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Pricing Art

"Agave Ridge" 16 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas


Ok, so I have painted the painting and got a title for it. And there is another hard thing to do. Price it. Art is worth what you are asking for it or in another direction, art is worth what someone will pay for it. Somehow there has to be a meeting of the minds of this amount.  Art is subjective – based on personal taste or preference. The painting I think is the most valuable compared to another the same size could be just the opposite. So I am going to use size as a reference point to base the differences on. Some paintings take longer than others but that is just the nature of how the art comes onto the canvas. So art value being in the eye of the beholder there must be some reasoning behind the price.

I have been told to always work in retail price, not to undervalue the work or overvalue it. A formula makes this process at least consistent for prices at this time. And when the time comes to raise prices then the art should all raise in price. In other words, all art is priced according to the same basic principles, determined by you so that the price of any individual work of art makes sense within the context of the rest.

Square inch pricing can make a formula work. Larger paintings therefore costing more. This makes sense when thinking about recouping your cost of materials because larger use more, and also the idea of compensation for time. My larger paintings take more time just physically putting the paint on the canvas.What comparable art by artists in your area sells for is a good starting point. There needs to be some comparison of the prices of your competition to get a rough idea of what range. Your profitability and goals also must be taken into consideration. If you sell and sell but are not making a profit you are not doing good business.

Raise the prices when you are selling too much to keep up with sales.


Now the next step is getting that art to market.

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