Set Art PricesSetting prices for art is very difficult for many artists. How do artists determine how much their personal masterpieces are worth? 

Many tend to set them either too high or too low.

There are several factors artists must consider before appointing a cost for their creations.


Selling Your Art at the Right Prices


  • There are literally millions of other artists who you are competing with to sell art.
    Artists must understand what other artists in their field are charging for their work, and determine a rate accordingly. If anyone wants to get an estimate on new tires for their car, the common practice is to call around to several different garages to get estimates. The same should go for the art profession. I am not saying that artists should contact others directly, asking how much they price their art.

    But, artists should check out what others are charging, to assess a price for their own art. This is easy to do for artists who sell their art online through sites such as Fine Art America.

  • Create your own Website!Find out what what other artists with similar training are charging.
    For example, if you have only been painting for two years and shown art in three gallery shows, find other artists at that level, and price your art similar to theirs. 

  • Pay attention to the art buyers and economy in your region.
    If the art buyers in your area generally go for lower cost art, you will be forced to price your art lower for locals. Of course, if you have your art on online gallery sites such as Fine Art America, which are international, a larger price may be set.

  • Keep track of the time spent creating your artwork to set a hourly rate.
    Whether you spend 4 hours, or 14 hours on an artwork, a hourly rate will assist you in determining a price to sell your art. A good practice is to have a calendar in your studio. Every time you paint, for example, simply record the time when you begin and end.

  • Charge for cost of materials.
    What you spent on paint, framing, stretchers, canvases, and other art supplies, should all be factored in. Keep all your receipts for these items or record the prices, to include in your final assessment.

  • How much it costs to transport the artwork to the buyer.
    If the buyer cannot pick up the piece, it has to be packaged and shipped by courier or postal mail. The cost of materials in such cases may be very high, so an extra charge for shipping may have to be added. Some artists who have to do this often, add the cost of shipping to the initial amount.


Next time we will give you some additional great tips on how to set a price for your art, and include a practical formula that emerging artists can use to determine their rate.

Post a Comment Blogger

  1. great! this is often quite hard to figure out :)

  2. @Kyla Hynes

    I agree.. Sometimes,the best practice is to have a formula to set prices. This makes it much simpler. My next article will be about that... with some additional tips.

  3. Great advice.. A cooperative gallery I am involved in also has a list of minimum prices we can charge for the different sizes. There is no max, but that fixes the dilema of newer artists undercutting because they don't know how to price their work. They also undervalue their work and therefore are shocked by the prices they should be asking.

  4. When determining the price for a piece of artwork, should the following be figured in: the entry fee for a juried show -
    the percentage the venue will charge if it sells - the tax that you need to charge? I factored in the above, plus framing, photographer, the amount I'd like to make $100 (I didn't figure in the time it took). The final cost of the 30" x 24" framed mixed media piece = $800. It will probably not sell with this price tag. Please address these concerns. Thanks.

  5. @Anonymous
    For any art sale, I would discourage selling it less than the expenses. $800 is a reasonable price tag for a 30" by 24" framed piece.

  6. I have been practicing the same range of prices for my art for years now, locally and internationally. I always thought that it was better. Of course, with galleries I loose a certain percentage. Isn't it better to build confidence for prospective buyers?


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