Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Pricing your art

How do you price your art?

Paul Dorrell, gallery owner, in his article "Establishing Prices for your Work" says:

"...I’m often asked by novice browsers why paintings and sculptures are always so “expensive.”...I typically answer by explaining that my artists have been working in their disciplines for anywhere from twenty to forty years. They’ve established, through decades of struggle, techniques that are unique to them–meaning that their work is uncommon. They have now reached the point where they’re due proper compensation for all the privation they’ve been through, and, in most cases, that their families have been through as well. To charge any less would be a disservice to the artist. I carefully explain all this, then finish by asking the questioner that if they’d been down such a long, exhausting, risk-imperiled road, what would they charge for the work? Invariably the answer is, “More.”

I say, “Very good,” then proceed to close a deal

There are 18 interesting artists' comments to follow that article.

Sonya Paz, a professional artist, has a commonsense guide to pricing your work here in the EBSQ Archives - such as:

"...Add up the materials and give yourself a humble fee, then times it all by three. For instance your canvas 15.00, usage of paints 6.00, your humble fee based on a four hour project 40.00. Sub totaling 61.00, times three 183.00. This is just an example, you can make your humble fee whatever you feel is fair for you..."

The pros and cons of pricing your art by the square inch, on WetCanvas includes two long pages of artists' opinions, including:

"...I had to put together a quickie price chart. What I came up with is Level 1 ($1 per square inch); Level 2 ($1.25 per square inch); Level 3 ($1.50 per square inch) and Level 4 ($1.75 per square inch). I decide the "Level" based on the complexity of the subject. As we all know, some paintings are very quick and some with a lot of detail will take much longer..."


"...A flat $ / sq inch doesn't work for me because either my small paintings would cost too little, or the large ones would cost too much. So I have a sliding scale of different rates for different size ranges. For example, if
sq.in. <= 80, then $4.50 / sq.in.
sq.in. <= 200, then $4.00 / sq.in
sq.in. <= 300, then $3.00 / sq.in
sq.in > 500, then $2.00 / sq.in

That works for my own style and method of work. I came up with that by first trying to think of a realistic price for the different sizes that I typically work in. Then I made a spreadsheet of square inches vs. $/sq.in. When I saw that the prices I had in mind fit a nice curve on the spreadsheet, I came up with that sliding scale

Alyson B. Stanfield, on her Art Biz Blog, has Pricing Your Art: 10 Rules, including artist feedback, and:

"...if you can't produce enough work to keep up with the demand, it's time to raise your prices..." (!)


Annie said...

Hi Bronwyn:

Thanks for stopping over to my blog :)

You have a unique style and I especially like the coffee/tea painting, one of my favorite subjects, and the contrast with the black handle of the pot. I like your background too.

I looked back in your posts and your post about procrastination was interesting. Think I'll check out some of the sites and books. Back when I had a boss and was making a living doing commercial art, I never procrastinated. My pay check depended on it. Now that we're retired, I find a million excuses not to paint :( Procrastination is not a fun state to be in for me.

See ya over at EBSQ,

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Bronwyn: Thanks for the mention. You have some terrific resources here!

LINDSAY said...

Very informative post! Thanks for the great read!

DToms said...

I agree with Lindsay, very informative post. And very nice interesting blog. Thanks also for the nice complement you left for my painting=)