Pricing Paintings

While looking through all my paintings… old and new… and pricing them for the sale this weekend,  I found this old painting I did a couple of years ago from a photograph of the most colorful town in Italy…Burano.

Boats at Burano

11″ x 14″ oil on gessoed board

I painted it because I loved the colors, and I have been trying to use more colors, like the purple in the sidewalks. But I wasn’t thrilled about the way it turned out back then, so away it went, out into a large box in the garage. Now after all that time, I pulled it out again and I really like it. Funny how time can change your perspective.  I’m pricing this one at $85.00 with a white frame included.

This is what I have been doing for the past two days…pricing paintings.

paintings

Putting little stickers with prices on them, so I can compare everything. Finally, the stickers had to go, and I used white tags instead, but they did help me decide what to charge.

How do you price your paintings?  Any suggestions here? I’m pricing these low in hopes that I will sell a bunch. I don’t know if that is a good idea or not.  Any thoughts?

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21 thoughts on “Pricing Paintings

  1. Hi Karin, I read many articles about it, but at the end it is a personal choice. I feel that in my case, that i am still a raw artist, I price all my painting with a very simple method. I do it by size. No complications, no confusions.

    Some people might think that I am asking too little, some too much, but after calculating cost of materials (no time included) I feel comfortable with my pricing method.

    So, in other words, this is how much I charge by size:

    5 x 7, 6 x 6: $50
    8 x 8: $75
    8 x 10: $100
    9 x 12: $120
    16 x 20: $375
    18 x 24, 20 x 20: $400
    24 x 48: $575

    and so on. Some of the paintings fluctuate in price a bit, depending on the amount of paint and difficulty or detail.

    I hope this helps.

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  2. Hi Karin
    Last spring I got a woman who runs a gallery to help me set my initial prices. Since then I have started to price by the square inch no matter how much work is involved. I am auditing a mentorship right now and they researched the price
    Of various artists that were similar to the woman who is being mentored. It was really interesting.

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    1. That’s interesting. My daughters actually suggested that to me. So if you charged a dollar per square inch, that would be 36 for a 6×6 and an 154 for an 11 x 14 and 320 for a 16 x 20. That makes sense as far as comparing sizes. Thanks for sharing that. 🙂

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  3. I love the painting. I was told a good rule of thumb was start with $1 per sq inch. Like : pastels $1 per sq inch… Watercolor $1.50 … Acrylic $2 …. Oil $2.50

    You get the picture.

    You dont have to follow this but it helps as a guide.

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  4. I dont stick with that guide always because other ppl have told me “start low”… So sometimes its like 70pence per inch or 70cents….. I usually stay on that until I start selling more. I ALWAYS price per inch and maybe add on £5 for a frame (or$5)

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  5. Is the square inch pricing for internet purchases only? I’m curious on how you handle pricing when a commission is involved? Given that a gallery will take a % (some as high as 50 or 60%), do you tack on that % onto the square inch pricing? So basically, double the price when it’s in a gallery? ($320 for a 16×20 online, but $640 in a gallery). Also, I had read somewhere that if an artist is going to work with galleries, that they should charge the gallery price everywhere so there is no confusion for the buyers. Interested in what others think on that.

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    1. Good points! I have not had any experience with galleries yet, but I do know they at least double the price. Personally, I don’t think I would double the price on paintings not in the gallery, I think people have to understand that galleries are just going to charge more. Hope you get some other thoughts here.

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    2. I should have also said, I believe any work in a gallery is exclusive to selling while it is there. In other words, if the piece is in a gallery for sale it should not (can not legally?) be for sale elsewhere. So the question of pricing & % markup would pertain to when the piece is not currently in a gallery.

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      1. I talked to a gallery owner today, and she said that if you have paintings in a gallery, then all your paintings regardless of if they are in the gallery or not should be listed at the gallery price, otherwise people would try to go directly to the artist to get a cheaper price. She also did not recommend a square inch price, but that artists should not undervalue their pieces. For example, the 6×6 I had with me, she thought should sell at a little less than $100 and that I should make about $57. That included a frame or stand. A larger 9×12 she estimated would sell for $225 at the gallery. Hope this helps.

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