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Once I had prices using that formula, I then broke those figures down to the square inch price and compared them to what I had been charging per square inch. I found that some prices were right on and others were not. I feel much more confident about my pricing now.

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It can be as easy as increasing the profit margin or adding overhead — but I know exactly what I have done and how. Great discussion Lori and everybody. I too have been selling on Ebay for about a year. I often use used canvases that could be three years old, from my first year painting.

You might think Los Angeles has a lot of wealth, but most people visiting an art faire are really hurting in this economy. The way I see it, you can be pretty much brand new in this business, and price unrealistically high and never sell anything. Eveything takes time. I think the square inch idea is a winner. An easy formula to follow. Ron, thanks for sharing your experience. I think your approach works very well for most artists. I did do outdoor art fairs for 5 years… until a few galleries picked me up. Lori, this comment is very interesting and something I never thought about until recently.

A great selling point for multiple portraits. When I was first starting out, I got a commission to do every member of a family at the age of 4. It makes an awesome and fascinating display, mom, dad, and each kid all at the same age in the same media. Then, when kids grow up they can take theirs.


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This has been a great discussion, and I want people to feel free to add their comments here as they think of related issues. I am surprised and at times even shocked at how many artworks are sold at prices which are to say the least exhorbitant. Your information? Extremely good — down to earth — advice. Beginners — and that includes many who have been painting for years — should realize that starting low and raising prices at an extremely slow pace is not an insult — it simply isa wise way to stay in the game for a much longer period and to actually sell.

Hi, my question is… how do you correctly price a watercolor painting, would same criteria apply? Right now I price it by size of the paper that I use, then I add the price of matting and frame, usually doubling it, and then I come up with the final price. Should I stick to that or change some things.

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Have to understand that I live in Midsouth Missouri , in a smaller town, and sell my work in larger city near by. Unfortunately, watercolors often sell for less than oils. Wonder what would happen if I made my watercolor prices exactly the same as my oils? It would be a good experiment. This is my biggist problem, I think I got bad advice and confusing tips.. I believe you commented on one of my paintings..

I mostly agree with what has been said here but, what about how long it takes to do a painting? One took much more effort and time and ended up with much more detail. How would you suggest I deal with that? Unfortunately, artists rarely are able to sell their work priced on the basis of how many hours it takes. Artists earn high prices over time. Sure the artwork needs to be of high quality, but then marketing efforts must kick in to get the work known. Those artists also started out with low prices at one point, and worked up from there over the years. I understand the reputation thing and all but I still find the formula a bit odd not so odd that it shouldnt be used though, dont get me wrong.

Thats just me though. I know its quite common as well, as I know some painters who use it. OK Jessis, let us know if you feel like doing so how your setup works out. Thanks for getting back to us. I truly want to make this second love of my life work for me. Pastel supplies do not pay for themselves. So I need to get comfortable with the pricing. But I am a green novice. My instructor says is fair. That would be a dollar for the square inch. What advice do you have for a budding artist as far as getting into the pricing cunumdrum. Artists who sell at galleries usually create a cohesive body of work before entering the gallery — the same goes for doing outdoor shows or any other selling venue.

I painted about 2 years, took classes and then began selling my work at art association shows and outdoor shows. My colleagues mentored me in how to prepare a body of work for sale. It required patience on my part, but after 2 years of outdoor shows, gallery owners invited me to show at their galleries. If you show at group venues, what do other artists sell their work for — who work in the same medium and also are at the same level skill wise sell for. Lori, I work in soft pastels. Mostly landscapes. I did some work in acrylics many years ago. No formal art training.

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Love to draw, seems to come naturally. So I had a bit of an edge when I started less than 6 months ago. The last one just came together.

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Still not right but finally better. I do not consider myself an artist yet. I have my own mini show on Facebook if you can call it that. It keeps me grounded and shows my progress from the beginning to current to my friends. And I have all of my work on Picasa, which I can send to whomever I wish.

Also showing my progress. A little more formal. But I have many friends that I use to hone my skills from thier feedback. One of them ask me to put a price on one of them. That is where I am now. Not knowing where to begin. Where to begin. Who to go to. Where to go to. I have not been able to get online for a while. The young lady that I have been training under had advised me to price my piece by the sq inch.

However since this is the very first sale, and I have no name in the art world, that between and plus framing cost would be fair to both me and the purchaser. I was literally knocked to my knees. The first in a long line of sales. There is so much that we need to know that has little to do with the canvas. Record keeping, pricing, contacts and so much more that your head may swim. I was caught off guard this time. I will not be caught off guard the next time. My suggestion to anyone that is trying to get thier work noticed, and sold, talk to any and everyone that is selling out in the world.

No question is too private. If the are willing to talk to you.

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Soak up all of the knowledge you can get. Interesting discussion!


I guess in this century it is the painter boy instead of the pool boy. But seriously pricing is difficult especially when selling in different areas. I have the dilemma that I would like art to grow my reputation but be affordable for the masses. I have even tried putting my art on tee-shirts to get young people interested my art work. I thought this weird because you see other more famous artists dead ones though on tee shirts and posters.

The important part is to use permanent pigments and with all paintings, keep them out of the light.