I've always given my art away. Now I'm ready to do a show but don't know how to price the paintings...

How do i determine the value of my work? I realize that makes me sound like a hack but I've just never had to put a price on anything. I've attached a detail from one of my paintings (it's only about a quarter of the work).

sort by: active | newest | oldest
mrgre998 years ago
When I started selling my paintings I costed it in the same way I would with any other venture. Work out the cost of your matierials ect. then look at how many hours the painting took you and decide a rate you feel comfortable "working" for. add the two together and take into consideration any taxes you may have to pay, commision ect. I paint quite quickly generally a picture will take less than half an hour so I price mine quite cheaply and can sell quite a lot.
"hourly rate * hours + materials + taxes + fees " does sound like a good formula. Also remember that while lowering prices is easy, raising prices often means finding a new customer.
I agree. The biggest problem is bieng able to value your own work as an artist. I paint for pleasure primarily and love the sensation of someone buying my paintings so I keep the price as low as I can but sell more paintings. also be wary of friends and relatives overvaluing your work. what do you want from this? Do you want to sell very few paintings for large sums or lots of them for a good price?
jrehnke (author)  mrgre998 years ago
I paint for pleasure as well and do it for the feel of creating it. I have a few paintings that are each approximately 20 - 50 hours of work, depending on the complexity (it's semi-classical realism for lack of a better term - close to real life yet the entire work wouldn't be confused with a photograph). I'm considering working with an agent as I am not a salesman. I've done a lot of sterling wirework jewelry which I've tried to sell (and have done well with) but am extremely uncomfortable saying "hey, look at this great work I did, would you like to buy it?" Has anyone worked with an "agent"?
You can perhaps try an auction. Give each painting a numbered tag, and take bids in a silent auction. Maybe hang a little box under each one for recieving paper bids.
If I were trying to find the price of my services, I would browse through prices of similar ones offered on the web and perhaps adjust downward slightly (to account for the fact that they have an established brand while I do not.)

A slightly more scientific method is to look at very free markets, like Ebay auctions. Keep in mind that this will often produce the lowest acceptable price.

You might consider hiring an agent. Compare the price of hiring a professional to the prices that you might be selling your art for. Also consider that a good agent will have connections with the world of buyers.

Another option I have seen is to arrange with restaurant and cafe owners to display your works with price tags. Now, as jrehnke points out, there is wide variability in what people are willing to pay. However, dividing prices into installments can often short-circuit people's decision-making process. So I would suggest prices like "a month of your daily double latte" or "filling up your gas tank a few times."
Location has a huge impact on price. A picture at a garage sale is only going to get a few dollars no matter who made it. Look at the location where you are going to do your show-they will have an established client base who expect certain things, like price range. A mall show is different than a gallery show for what to expect.
jrehnke (author) 8 years ago
evidently the pic doesn't show up. I guess it doesn't matter what it looks like anyway - I'm still perplexed by the price of Art
> I'm still perplexed by the price of Art . The value of Art (or anything else, really) is whatever you can convince someone its' value is. . It's subjective. You can't say that this painting has X amount of Y, which is worth Z per unit, so it's worth A dollars. Someone thinks "this painting moves me so much that I'm willing to pay $X to own it." Or maybe "if I buy this painting now, I can convince someone else it's worth even more later." . . With all that nonsense out of the way, I think NIP makes some very good suggestions. Good luck.