You are an artist who has been working hard on your latest piece. You’re excited to sell it, but you’re not sure how to price your art. You want to ensure you get a fair price for your fine art, but you also don’t want to price yourself out of the market. You’re not sure where to start, so you do some research.
One of the most complex tasks a rising artist faces when just starting to sell their art is learning how to price art. The price tag you stick on your artwork could be the primary reason your art sells or doesn’t sell.
Most artists use their emotions when they are pricing their art.
Pricing artworks with emotions and not by studying the market is a recipe for disaster.
It is essential to put your emotions aside when you are selling artwork.
The art market, how well known you are as an artist, materials cost, the size, and your art’s quality dictate your price point, not your connection with the art.
The more you study the art market, the better prepared you will be when deciding on a retail price for your original paintings.
If you would like to see your art sell and not collect dust in your studio, take the time to learn how to price art.
Starting an art business is complex and requires researching different marketing strategies, including content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and pricing.
Be patent and learn everything you can about starting an art business; soon, you will begin to see your business grow.
To read more about starting an online art business, visit Sell Art Online Startup.
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Before Deciding On A Selling Price
Many artists work hard to learn and enhance their craft, dreaming of someday selling their artwork.
So many artists take art classes in college and soon realize they do not know anything about operating a business after graduating.
We believe that art marketing should be incorporated into art classes.
We advise all emerging artists interested in selling art to spend time studying and mastering art marketing while improving their artistic skills.
Do not just learn from comparable artists. Learn from every successful business, large and small.
Entrepreneurs are thriving for a reason. Study what they are doing and learn what strategies are working for them.
Your knowledge and skills for creating and selling art should complement each other.
Here are some popular posts to help get you started with online art marketing:
- Sell Art Online Startup
- Find Your Niche – Increase Online Art Sales
- The secret for Entrepreneurial Success For Artists Selling Art Online
- 4 Ways to Expand Your Online Presence – Art Marketing
- 9 Effective SEO Tips for Selling Art Online
- How To Write A Well-Written Art Description
What Is Your Art Worth
How much do you think your artwork is worth?
Similar artists price artwork with their emotions, not by the market value.
When artists feel emotionally attached to a particular piece, they price it higher.
They think a specific piece is worth more because they are emotionally bonded with the oil painting, watercolor print, or drawing.
It is essential to feel connected with your artwork, but that connection should not define how much you charge for your art.
On the other hand, sometimes artists are unhappy with a finished piece, making those pieces lower than the work they like.
Erratic prices for the same-sized art is a mistake you will not want to make, and it will only lower the value of your artwork.
Just because a piece did not come out the way you envisioned does not mean others will not like it.
Everyone views art differently, and everyone has unique tastes.
If someone is willing to spend money on your art, it doesn’t matter if you are happy with it or not.
All that matters is if the buyer is happy with the purchase.
Pricing with your emotions is a mistake you should avoid at all costs.
Understanding that inconsistency with your art prices will only harm your artist’s brand is essential. All your work should be priced per size, not how much you like.
Your art is only worth what someone is willing to spend. Not a penny more.
Another obstacle a young artist may have to overcome is comparing their art with other artists at a different level.
A professional artist selling oil paintings online for five or ten years has built name recognition and a following.
Before competing with their prices, you will have to work hard to build your following and brand awareness.
You might think your work is as good or even better than the artists you are researching, and it might be. However, if you are just starting to sell art, your art is not in demand, and you will have to sell your work at a lower price until you build name recognition.
There is a lot that goes into building name recognition. But if you spend the time marketing your artwork, you too will become an established artist.
How To Value Your Art
Pricing is not only about the quality of the art. The artist’s reputation is also a significant factor in the pricing of their artwork.
Your reputation, demographics, and the medium you work with will determine how much you will be charging.
- How well-known are you as a local artist?
- How well-known are you as an artist online?
- How many followers do you have on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest?
- How many people read your art blog posts?
- How long have you been creating and selling your paintings and drawings?
- How many pieces have you sold during your career?
- Do you have gallery representation?
- Do you work with an art dealer?
- Do you work with an art consultant?
To research the market prices online for a good starting point:
Another valuable tip is to attend local auctions, art fairs, and a local gallery.
The truth is art lovers, the market, and how well-known the artist is will determine the value of art, not the artist.
Just because you price your art for $1,000 does not mean it is worth $1,000.
If a collector pays that amount, it is worth the amount you are asking for.
If no one is willing to spend the amount you ask, your art is not worth that price.
The bottom line is the market; art collectors will determine how much your art is worth, not the artists.
When you have finished your painting, it is time to take off the artist’s hat and put on the business hat.
How to Price Artwork for Beginners
It is problematic for young artists to put a price tag on their art. Deciding on a price structure might be one of the most challenging things you will have to do when starting your art business.
Setting artwork prices is not black and white.
To start, you will have to make a price list for all the material costs for each piece you create and the costs relating to your online shop.
The price of your art should never be lower than the cost of making the piece and marketing your business. Lowe prices might produce more sales, but the objective of an effective pricing formula is to create a profit.
Art Pricing Basics
The basics are simple, your work has value, and you deserve to be paid for how many hours it takes to complete a project and your artistic skills.
Someone in the art world would love to display what you have created in their home and are willing to pay a reasonable price for a particular piece.
Reasonable is the keyword.
You do not want to overprice your work, or no one will buy it.
On the other hand, your skills and time are valuable, so you want to be paid what you’re worth.
When starting, you will have to sell your work at lower prices, but as potential buyers become familiar with your artwork, you will be able to raise prices and increase your profit.
Setting Prices For First Time
An easy way to start pricing your art is by following this simple formula.
- Decide on an hourly rate you want to be paid.
- Know the cost of materials
- Know the cost of the expenses to sell the art.
- Multiply your hourly rate by the time it took to create the piece.
- Add the cost of materials and other expenses.
- The sum will be your price.
Here is an example:
Your hourly rate equals 20 dollars per hour.
It took you ten hours to create the piece.
20 x 10 = $200.00
The cost of materials and other expenses equals $75.00.
$200.00 + $75.00 = $275.00
You will charge $275.00 for the piece of art you have created.
The cost of materials will include canvas, paper, graphite, charcoal, paint, ink, frames, etc.
Other expenses will include online and offline marketing, the cost of craft shows, or commission costs if you are hiring someone to help sell your art.
Setting an hourly rate is an excellent place to start.
Artists at different levels might decide to use different formulas for their pricing.
After you have your price, it is good to check the market value for artwork with the same size, experience, medium, and location.
After you have learned what the market is, adjust your pricing accordingly.
Overpricing or underpricing your artwork will affect your sales and reflect on your artist brand.
Art Pricing Calculator
The Art Price Calculator is extremely helpful and makes calculating your art a breeze. If you are not good at math, this might be helpful.
You have to add some simple details, and the art calculator will provide you with thousands of real-world examples.
You will receive an average price based on the specifics you specified.
The Art Price Calculator is an excellent tool for any artist and can be purchased on Google Play for $1.99.
Art Price Calculator Features:
Art pricing data from millions of pieces.
- A clean and straightforward interface
- Ability to filter by size, type (e.g., painting, photograph, illustration, etc.), style, subject, and more
- Handy save feature – keep a record of your estimates and attach images if desired.
- Option to increase the amount of your art price estimates up to 200%
- Support for multiple currencies, with exchange rates updated daily
- Imperial and metric units
The Art Price Calculator has just developed a newer and improved version that searches millions of real-world pieces from multiple websites with more filtering options like style, medium, and subject.
Also available for Android devices, iOS is coming soon.
How To Price Art By Linear Inch
Here is a simple formula used by many artists for pricing their art.
(Square inches x your price) + Cost of materials + *Marketing Expenses
*If you are selling your art online, you will want to include how much it costs to operate an online business. Take a percentage of all the costs associated with operating and promoting an online business.
If you are selling your art at an art fair, add in the expenses associated with the show.
How much does it cost for a booth, business cards, etc.?
Here is an example using this formula:
The first step is multiplying your drawing or painting’s width by the length. This will give you the total size in square inches.
If your drawing is on an 8 x 10 Bristol board.
8 x 10 = 80
80 would be the total size in square inches.
The next step is to multiply the square inches by your cost.
80 x your cost = $
Let’s say that you charge $4.00 per square inch.
80 x $4.00 = $320.00
Add the total cost of materials and promotion.
Let’s say the expenses add up to $50.00
$320.00 + $50.00 = $370.00
The price in this example would be $370.00.
How To Price Original Artwork
Many factors come into play when you are pricing original art.
Defining your market, knowing what you have to offer, and researching other artists will help your pricing strategy.
Define Your Market
- Who is your target audience?
- How old are they?
- How much is their yearly household income?
- Where do they live?
- Are they male or female?
- Are they in a relationship or single?
Where you sell your art will influence your pricing.
- Do you sell locally, nationally, or internationally?
Knowing your target audience, including age, gender, marriage status, demographics, and yearly household income, is essential for determining your asking price and developing an effective art marketing plan.
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- What Is Your Target Audience Searching For
What Style Of Art Do You Create
- What sizes do you offer?
- What mediums do you use?
- What are the physical characteristics of your art?
- How do you categorize your art? For example, is your art abstract, realistic, etc.?
Narrow down your niche.
For example, what subjects do you paint if you create realism paintings?
Do you paint animals, humans, or still life?
Defining your artistic style and narrowing down your niche will help you develop a pricing strategy and help you market to the right audience.
Identifying what subjects sell the best will also help you decide how much you should charge for your artwork.
Best-Selling Painting Themes (Source: Felt Magnet)
- Traditional landscapes
- Local views
- Modern or semi-abstract landscapes
- Figure studies (excluding nudes)
- Seascapes, harbors, and beach scenes
- Impressionistic landscapes
How To Price Art By Researching Other Artists
Next is researching other artists with the same style and skill level as you.
The easiest way is to go online and do a search. Bookmark all the artists that have similar accomplishments as you do.
Etsy for original art and Fine Art America for giclee prints are great places to start.
We also use Keysearch and Semrush to help find competitors online.
Gather and log information such as:
- How long have they been creating art
- How long have they been selling
- Education and awards
- Name recognition and brand awareness
- Blog Traffic
- Social media shares
- Social media followers
Take all the prices from the different artists you have found and the average price for all of them.
This will give you a good idea of what people will be willing to pay for your work.
You could also visit local galleries and compare the artwork prices displayed in galleries similar to yours.
Another good idea is to research local artists. Find out what is selling for them and the price of their artwork. Learn where they sell their work, tactics, and strategies for their marketing plan.
The more information you can gather, the easier it will be to develop a price range that will work for you.
Visit Your Local Craft Shows
Visiting local craft shows throughout your art career is a great idea.
There are many benefits for artists to go to local craft shows. Besides building relationships, networking with other artists, and being inspired by new art, you will learn what people are willing to pay for art.
Take notice of the prices of art that is similar to yours. Look for the same medium, size, subject, and skill level.
If the prices range from $500.00, $750.00, and $900.00 and nothing sells except the $750.00 priced art, you know what people are looking for and are willing to spend.
Analyze several booths to get a more accurate study.
Related Post – 5 Tips For Setting Up Your Craft Fair display
You might not like how it sounds, but you compete against other artists. If you sell a piece of art, that is one less piece a fellow artist is selling.
The good news is that there are collectors for every artist. Artists are unique, just like music. There are millions of singers making a living from their music.
Because everyone has different tastes, when competing with another artist, you are not competing against them in a sporting event. You are just pricing your art competitively.
The lowest price and the highest price always seem to turn off buyers.
Think about when you are going to buy a high-ticket item.
What happens when you see a very low price?
You probably think that there is something wrong with the quality. The words, “You get what you pay for,” will ring in your head.
When you see the highest price, you say, “That is overpriced.”
You will be more competitive, pricing your art in the middle than you would under or overpricing your competition.
As I mentioned earlier, Semrush is an excellent tool for discovering who your competition is online.
How To Price Art Prints
Selling prints of your original artwork is one of the many ways you can increase your income.
Whether a full-time artist or a part-time artist, selling art prints can be a valuable asset for your art business.
Pricing Digital Art
There are a couple of ways to price digital artwork.
The first way is using a cost multiplier.
The cost multiplier adds up all the cost of materials and multiplies the sum by a specific number.
Paint supplies $30.00 + Canvas $10.00 = $40.00
$40.00 x 2 = $80.00
$40.00 x 3 = $120
This works well for traditional artwork.
Pricing Digital Art With The Cost Multiplier Example
The only costs for selling digital art prints are the prints’ costs.
Print cost $10.00 x 2 = $20.00
Print cost $10 x 3 = $30.00
Study The Outcome Of Your Efforts
There is a lot that goes into pricing art.
If time, materials, and tools are the three factors of the cost of a work of art, pricing artwork would be effortless.
However, it is not that simple.
Some people say it is as much of an art as science.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer on how to price art prints.
You can make a better decision based on the above tips, but you will still have to test the waters.
Based on your research, decide on a price and test it for a month or two.
Work hard to promote your art prints to everyone during those months.
Keep detailed notes on what marketing strategies you are implementing.
After one month, review how many sales you landed and what affects your marketing strategies produced.
Revise your prices and your marketing strategies according to the data you gathered.
Remember that there is no right or wrong way to price your art. As long as you are making a profit, you are heading in the right direction.
- How To Sell Art Prints Online And Make Money
- How To Sell Art Prints On Etsy With Printful
- How To Sell Prints On Fine Art America
- Square Printing For Artists
Be Consistent With Your Art Prices
Now that you have a good idea of your price range, you can set your price range and stick to it.
Many new artists change their prices regularly.
They start to put their emotion back into pricing.
If something is not selling right away, they lower prices.
Other times they might increase the costs of some art because they have a connection to it.
There will be a time when you should increase the prices of your art or reduce the price. You should not change them regularly.
This will only confuse your audience, and they will begin to lose your trust.
As you build your brand, you can increase the price of your art.
If you have a surplus of not selling art, look deep into your marketing strategies.
Maybe you are not targeting the right audience.
If your marketing is on target, maybe holding a sale would work well.
If you are holding a sale, make sure you include the original cost of the sale price.
Letting buyers know how much they are saving is a great selling strategy.
Also, include the date the sale ends. You want them to purchase right then and there.
Stay consistent with your prices online and offline.
It does not matter if you are selling your art in your studio, an art gallery, or online, the prices must stay the same, or you will increase the chance of diminishing your brand’s reputation.
Related Post – How Much Do Pencil Drawings Sell For
Justify Your Asking Price
Sometimes, a collector might ask you about your art prices.
This will happen more if you provide commissions. It is as essential to explain your art commission prices as it is to tell the story of your art.
When someone asks you about your art prices, you want to be convincing with your answer.
How you answer this question could be the difference between a sale and no sale.
The way you answer the question needs to be convincing.
You are not being dishonest by convincing people your art is worth the asking price. You are providing the facts.
Know how much it costs you to create your art and how much your time is worth.
Explaining your pricing to new collectors or people on the fence will reassure them they are making a “good” purchase.
Pricing artwork consistently comes with a wide range of benefits.
A consistent pricing strategy allows you to build credibility and an outstanding reputation among buyers and art collectors.
Some buyers like understanding how art is priced.
Final Thoughts On How To Price Art
Congratulations on deciding to sell your art. Knowing someone will enjoy your art in their home is a great feeling.
The best thing you can do at this point is to take the time to research. You do not want to rush into something that will harm your brand and art business.
The more information you can gather will help you to make a better decision.
After deciding on a price for your art, you will need to market and promote your work. Your art will not sell itself.
You will need to promote what you have for sale during the week.
You have learned a lot about how to price art today.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that will work perfectly for you.
You will have to do the work, research the market, and compare prices with your fellow artists and similar artwork.
Do not undersell yourself or your art.
You spent many hours enhancing your artistic skills and deserve to be paid a reasonable hourly rate for your expertise.
Keep track of all costs for doing business, such as art materials, marketing expenses, internet costs, and website costs. The cost of doing business should be calculated in your prices.
Remember to keep your emotions out of the equation.
Have confidence in your skills and stand by your prices.
Pricing artwork for emerging artists is a challenge, but once you have an idea of all the different strategies artists use to price art, you will make a better decision.
You might have to price your art lower than you would like while building name recognition. After you have created a following and your art is in demand, you can price your artwork at higher prices.
How do I price my art for online sales?
When pricing art for online sales, you need to consider the cost of shipping and packaging and any website or listing fees. You will also need to factor in the time spent creating the piece and set a competitive price that reflects the value of your work.
How do I price my art for commissions?
When pricing art for commissions, you will need to consider the size and complexity of the piece and the time it will take to complete. You should also factor in the cost of materials and set a fair price that reflects the value of your work.
What is a reasonable starting price for my art?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as prices will vary depending on many factors such as the type of art, the level of experience, and the market you are selling to. You should research and compare prices with other artists to get a better idea of a reasonable starting price for your art.
Can I raise my prices once my art becomes more popular?
Yes, you can raise your prices once your art becomes more popular, as long as it still falls within what other artists charge for similar work. However, you will need to continue promoting and selling your art to maintain higher prices.