How to price you art

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zepplin153 wrote
on 22 Jun 2012 4:28 PM

How to figure a price for your art work

Pricing is a funny thing. I have a basic platform for a good starting point. Our philosophy is to help you feel confident about giving a price for something rather than pulling a number out of thin air. I certainly am not the authority on pricing but I may be able to help you get a good start. Ultimately you will have to experiment and discover what works best for you and your clients. But this may help. Pen, Paper, and a Calculator may come in handy for this exercise.


Read below then click this link to download the Art Pricing Calculator for Excel.


Consider your time and assign a value.

You will have to decide what you want to make per hour. We feel a fair rate of art time should vary from $15-$100 depending on image complexity and your skill level.


Track your materials and cost of production and mark it up.

The justification for marking up your materials is to both recover your expenses on a project and be able to buy more to keep producing. A typical markup on materials is between 15%-50%. Some expenses some people forget to factor into the formula is gas, phone calls, electricity, paints, brushes, travel expenses, and many others. You really just need to think about everything involved in bringing an image to the world.


Supply and demand

There is one more thing to remember, if you have any image that sells better than others the price may need to be adjusted up.


click this link to download the Art Pricing Calculator for Excel


If you cant download the spreadsheet or wish to do the math manually, below are the Pricing Formulas GRAB A CALCULATOR AND SOME PAPER (Just trust the math, I promise it works. If it gets too confusing read more below…. if you are still confused…. call 615-815-6015)


Original painting asking price = Time+ marked up expenses

  • Time  = add all time involved in creating your art and multiply it by your hourly rate. Add all riving to get materials + prep work + stretching canvas + actual production time + any other.  It’s OK to keep a log. Determine an hourly rate.
  • Expenses = (add up all costs). add all gas + paints and paint brushes or other + canvas or paper + Electricity in studio… etc. + Any other cost involved in bringing this image to the world
  • Markup Expenses = (add up all costs) multiplied by (percentage of markup divided by 100) .
  • Example: Lets Say you have 20hrs in a painting and you desire to make $15/hr and your total expense is $100.00 and you want to mark it up 35%. (20hrs multiplied by $15.00) plus ($100.00 expense plus ($100.00 expense times (markup percentage/100)))= $435.00. In short (20×15)+(100 + (100x(35/100)))= 435


Retail Pricing for a Gallery = (100 multiplied by your price) divided by (100 minus gallery commission) 

  • Example: to continue from above example, the amount of money you need to make is $435.00  and say the gallery commission is 50%. ($435.00 x 100) divided by (100 – 50) = $870.00. That is your minimum retail price.
    • Sometimes you can add a little wiggle room so the gallery sale has some ability for negotiation. 10%-20% is normal.
    • Additional formula: (minimum retail multiplied by 100) divided by (100 minus wiggle percentage). So using our example above, lets say you want some wiggle room of 10% then ($870.00 multiplied by 100) divided by (100 minus 10) =  $966.67 would be your quoted retail price with wiggle room for negotiation and you still make your desired amount of $435.00 after the discount and the gallery commission.


Again, this is not the end all solution to pricing. You may even find a few math shortcuts in the process that work better for you. Some of this is the longer way to figure the math but it is precise. Please let us help

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