How to Price Your Artwork

If you are just starting out as a professional visual artist and you have a good body of work that you’d like to sell, but you don’t know how to begin when it comes to pricing your art….here are a few pointers that might be helpful! *Note: I do try to respond to everyone in the comments, but sometimes it takes me a while! My website: ArtByCedar.com A few footnotes I wanted to add after receiving some helpful feedback from other artists: The price examples I give are for gallery-wrapped canvases, ie unframed. So for me, the cost of framing is not a factor. If you frame your work, you will have to add your framing costs onto your retail price (obviously, or you wouldn’t make a profit!) In this case I’d probably still price by size to start with, then tack on the framing costs afterwards. I’ve seen many artists that have 2 prices for each piece they sell, a framed price & an unframed price. I think that’s a smart way to do things, as many galleries and collectors may prefer to frame a piece themselves. (But of course this all depends on your work–the frame you choose may be of integral importance to the work.) A note about size: looking through the goggles of my own situation, I hadn’t even considered how low /inch would be for very small sizes, since the smallest size I typically work in is 20″ x 20″. If you make smaller paintings, you’ll want to start higher than /square inch. (A 5″x7″ painting for would be ridiculously low for most painters–except possibly if

25 Comments

  • Thanks for your advice. I’m about to go to my first out door art festival ( and I’m 60)but new to the scene and clueless.Arthur

  • That’s a very substancial lesson for me starting my art career..I’ll keep tract on your online lessons..thanks a lot!!

  • @58kingarthur Good luck Arthur! I have yet to attend an art festival. I never have enough artwork (or time, or a van, or a booth–LOL!) Hope you are successful.

  • @spiralcosmosart Thank you for sharing that! Some thoughts: Wow, that geisha was a jerk. THAT is why I don’t typically do commissions. If I were the artist, I would have kept painting instead of giving it up because of some sour experiences and judgements from others. And it is always so important to remember, as a professional artist, WHY you are doing it in the first place (to make ART!) 🙂 And I’m thankful to live in a time/place with a middle class, where art is not only for the rich.

  • @spiralcosmosart Also note that in this story (as I’ve found many times in our culture) that when an artist expects to be paid for his work, he is called “stingy.” An artist who works for free is certainly generous, (as is anyone who works for free) but why is one who does it for money “stingy?” I can’t think of any other profession where this is the case. Money changing hands doesn’t have to take the joy out of creating art! (The moral: Just don’t work for that ugly-hearted geisha!)

  • @RadicalEel I love this story because it raises the question what makes art sell for big money? What makes a p.o.s.from Damien Hirst, CY Twombly , Andy Warhol or Jackson Pollock sell for millions of dollars? It seems to me the filthy rich are usually too cynical to believe that someone who is openly has a heart to relieve the suffering of fellow humans would contribute nearly as much. That is why the big money is for sharks in formaldahyde or a diamond coated skull.

  • Thanks sooo much for doing this video. I’m just starting out and I’ve been a bit shy about pricing. The pricing style is a GREAT idea. Definitely going to use that.

  • Thanks sooo much for doing this video. I’m just starting out and I’ve been a bit shy about pricing. The pricing style is a GREAT idea. Definitely going to use that.

  • I was wondering if your $1 per sq. inch includes the time spent on the piece. I shocked a collector when I told him the price of a drawing that took about a month’s worth of time. (he thought it was way over priced). I thought it was a fair price, but I also like what you say about overvaluing artwork, and to just let it go.
    I may come down on the price.

  • @19scott54 It’s perfectly fine to price your art at whatever you think it’s worth, even if that means not selling it. Don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable! Each artist has to set clear goals. If your goal is to SELL art, I suggest creating less time-consuming pieces so you can actually make money for your time. If your creative need is to make more involved work, then do it! Not all art-making is compatible with money-making, and that’s okay. Personally I try to find the overlap.

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