How to Price Your Artwork to Sell: 4 Art Pricing Models Explained LIVE & What Worked For Me

How to Price Your Artwork to Sell: 4 Art Pricing Models Explained LIVE & What Worked For Me


It’s Dena Tollefson and welcome to my studio I am so glad to
have you here so are you an artist and have wondered how to go about pricing
your artwork and are you maybe new to selling your work
need some help navigating that pricing topic so if so I am here to help and so
let’s get started in today’s video I’ll be going over four
methods to price your artwork and answering all your questions so if
you’re new to my channel welcome and I hope that you’ll subscribe and ring the
notification bell so that you’ll never miss a new video and if you’re returning
welcome back and I’m really glad to have you here so I am a professional
artist I’m a full-time artist and I sell my work through art galleries for the
past 19 years so let me just get a little painting here so here’s an
example of my work I do this really heavily textured impasto this is a
monarch painting that I did and I also do watercolors but I’m mostly known for
this style of work but let’s get going let’s start with a list of the four ways
to price your work so the first the first method or the first model and also
if you’re on the chat I appreciate I’m gonna check the chat
here and just see if if anybody is here oh and I welcome that you guys are here
Oh Madonna Madonna good to see you how are you doing over there in Missouri I’m
in Iowa as you know so it’s it’s good to see you it’s kind of cold and windy here
today okay so this first model or the first one is called the similar artist
model okay and so and what we’ll do today is
we’ll go through all of these different and I’ve got some do’s and don’ts that
we’ll go through but go through these different models I’ll talk about what
has worked for me we can talk about the pros and the cons of the different
methods that type of thing and I’m always live when you’re at school oh
goodness oh and hey Diana good to see you so this
first artist model this similar artist model let me grab a piece of paper and
let’s talk about that a little bit so what actually I can do it on here what
you want to do is you want to find a local artist and what you’re going to be
doing is comparing your size of your work and the types of materials and
that type of thing comparing that to what they are doing
so what you’re what you’re going to be doing is looking at a local artist and
try and find someone that is doing the same medium as you so whether that’s
watercolor or a colored pencil oil acrylic whatever framed unframed try and
find something that’s similar try and find the same subject matter if possible
and when we say subject matter it could be like is it like abstract realism that
type of thing real ISM realism trying to find that type of thing then what you
want to do is you want to go in and the key with this is don’t compare if you
have the same skill set as they do so that’s the one thing about art that is
really really important is that it is not based on skill level
sales are not based on skill level really sales are based on on your name
recognition so the key here when you look for a
similar artist what you want to look at is to look and see are they of the same
kind of level as I am so if you’re a beginner at this so let’s just make an
example here so let’s say that you’ve got Sally and then you’ve got Wayne and
you’re out looking and you’re comparing you’re trying to decide what to charge
for your own work hey Erika good to see you and thank you
for joining so let’s say that you’ve got Sally and Wayne and you’re doing the
similar artist model let’s say that Sally does watercolor and I’m actually
going to switch to a smaller pen yes grab this one let’s say that she does the same
sizes as you let’s say that you do maybe 16 by 20s and eight by tens and let’s
say that she’s a local artist local to you and let’s say that she’s at the same
level of fame now if your fame level could be that your parents know you and
your grandparents know you and your or your kids know you that that could be
one level of fame the other level of fame could be you’re an Andy Warhol so
all along that continuum the key to remember is that literally every famous
artist started out with zero sales Leonardo da Vinci Andy Warhol you know
you name anybody Monet everybody had to make their first sale everybody had zero
at the beginning everybody starts from that same point so if you think of it
like like a singer the singers it’s not always who is the
best singer who ends up getting the record deal or ends up with with that a
lot of it has to do with who has perseverance who gets their name out who
does marking and then also who just has the you know as the willingness to try
and those sales and hey Artsy good to see you
and and I’m glad that you guys are all here so so if we compare if we’re doing
the similar artist method similar if I can spell today if we did a similar
artist method and we’re comparing say Sally and Wayne now let’s say that Wayne
does oil and he does large art and he lives in a different country and let’s
say that um he’s famous across two continents when you look and you say I’m
gonna compare my work against an artist and you have these two to choose from
definitely let’s say that you did watercolor let’s say maybe you did
acrylics or watercolor color pencil or something but if you look at that the
big thing that to look at would be how how famous or how how much notoriety
does that person have that would be the key you also want to compare the sizes
so if if you’re making say small art you would want to go with Sally now let’s
say that you’re an artist and you are known nationally or internationally then
you’d want to be comparing your prices against Wayne and it’s all these things
in between but what you do is you’ll go in the the way to do this then is you
want to look at don’t look so much at skill level but look instead at sales
and oh and hey Chrissy and I’m glad to see you Chrissy and thank you for
joining so so what you want to do is you want to take a look at at this level of
you know how how famous are not famous is that individual compared against you
and then go in and look at their prices so things to look at is is the work
framed or unframed and then try and get prices for that try and match up look on
the gallery wall or if you’re looking at Etsy or you’re looking at something like
that look and see if you’re working say that you’re doing a lot of things in
eleven by fourteen try and find there so is that our 11 by 14 and try and look and compare something that’s going
to be a similar size similar subject matter and then whether it’s framed or
unframed that’s the way you want to kind of try and compare those and okay Joe
good to see you so the next so that’s the first the first model to look at
would be the similar artist model so again you’re going to try and pick
something that’s local to you pick a similar medium that if they’re working
in a similar meeting because oftentimes works on paper or price less expensively
than works on canvas or if you’re doing giclees or prints that type of thing
try and find somebody that’s doing something similar and then look at the
sizes but don’t spend so much time looking at the skill level it’s really
the name recognition so the second method of pricing grab a bigger pen
here is the time and materials model now I know if any of you are familiar with
Erika Lancaster she’s got a wonderful channel she will talk about the time and
materials method she does that sometimes here when she’s doing M ETH ODS when she is
doing commissions that type of thing so what you do with that for the time of
materials method is you’re gonna have an hourly rate that you give yourself and
we’ll go through that here in a minute an hourly rate and then you’re going to
have your art materials cost and then you’re going to add shipping and then
you’re going to have framing and then you can choose if you’re going to do if
for example you’re going to be adding any other things like studio space
easels wipes canvases brushes and transportation anything else like that
then what you would do is you would you would include those things if you want
to include that into your time and materials so and actually
let’s get a couple of do’s and dont’s here with that too so for pricing do’s
and don’ts you want to keep your price list handy at all times at all times
that and not while you’re sleeping obviously but um so keep your price list
I keep mine on the computer so that way if I also have printouts so if I get a
visitor to my studio who is wondering about prices maybe you wants to try a
commission that kind of thing I have that price list handy I have price lists
like this I’ll show you mine I go through that a little bit too but you
want to keep that price list handy and then the other thing that you’d want to
do would be to keep your prices consistent so for example in one place
you don’t want to have for example in one location let’s say that you got into
an exhibit at the local local restaurant and you hung up your paintings and you
said that maybe 8 by 10 is going to be $1000 and then you have a sale in your
studio and that same 8 by 10 might only be $200 what that’s going to do is
that’s going to create price confusion and so you want to really keep your
prices consistent and then you want to factor in you want to factor in your
gallery profit or if you’re selling with selling through a co-op if you have any
kind of even something like Etsy or PayPal
they’re gonna have when you do something like that they take a few percent for
PayPal if you’re going to have any kind of charges that are associated with
working with a co-op or any kind of a thing like that then you want to profit
on a gallery tends to be usually around 50 percent
so know that when you if you have a painting that is $500 when it sells
you’ll get a check for $250 dollars if they take 50% profit so you want to
factor that in to your pricing model all right okay so let’s check the chat here
shipping is very very important absolutely and oh okay yeah Chrissy will
check catch you later and good luck with your visitors and hey Artsy and it’s
good to see you and if I’ve missed anybody I apologize if I’ve missed
anybody so you want to factor in your gallery profit so the other thing to
think about is let’s see here oh and the thing too about consistent everywhere
you sell all right so you want to factor do um so these are do do do and then I
don’t would be don’t raise and lower your prices through the years this is super super important
you don’t want to raise them where your prices during the years she wanted the
slow and steady increase only and I’ll see if there’s any the most important
thing about today’s topic would be probably this but the trick is just
start low and then you only want to raise the trick that I do is I will only
raise if I can’t keep up with demand for sales
I will only raise my prices then you want to keep those prices low and then
because what can happen is over the years you might have one year where
you’re selling a lot the next year you don’t sell as much and it might be
tempting to say oh let me you know cut all my prices on everything but what
happens is is that people will your collectors are looking for investment
they are looking that if you bought if they bought a painting and they put
their hard money down for say say they put $1,000 down or five you know $50
whatever it is that they put down on your artwork they want to know that the
next year if it was three you know let’s say it was $50 they want to know that
the same size and the same type of work of yours will be worth $50 in the future
or $75 $500 $5,000 that kind of thing they want it to be growing what is a
fast way to kill a career what you don’t want to do is say I’m gonna have you
know say it’s this size or say it’s this little painting here you know if I’ve
got this little painting and if it’s this size for example I started these at
$75 won a 19 years ago this this size this little six by eight and now they
are what are they now 350 for this size but I’ve just slowly over the years I’ve
raised the price up and and so that way people who bought say 10 years ago then
now sometimes I’ll get a thing and oh I got this in the gallery it you know this
year well what’s it worth now that’s size so it’s important that way you’ll
make sure that your collector base will grow over time and
oh hey Davy good to see you and yeah you know Davy it’s an important topic
that we talked about pricing because it’s kind of a thing lot of people don’t
talk about pricing and it’s a super important thing for artists and I think
it doesn’t have to be a taboo subject I think that we can you know share about
it and talk about it because you know it’s it’s it’s really important okay so
this time of material method so let me show you an example of how to do a time
and material kind of a calculation so let’s say that you have a painting and
let’s say that your painting is a let’s say it’s a 10 by 10 painting and and
then you go in and you you want to sell this painting you trying to decide what
price so oh and thank you for saying that
Erika thank you so let’s say you have a 10 by 10 painting and let’s say that you
bought them the material so you went through and your paint for the project
and your brushes let’s say you had to go buy a new brush and let’s say you had
some paint but you factored in your paint and that type of thing but let’s
say you had to go buy a new brush and let’s say that you had some paint that
you put on and maybe your paint was $15 and maybe your canvas was say you know
$15 and and then you and then you had a frame for it and let’s say that your
frame was you know say $40 so if you add all of those up and you go in and then
you say okay I’ve got $15 in plus $10 in plus 15 plus 40
so that’s $80 now let’s say that you made this painting and you wanted to
ship it to a customer and let’s say that your shipping so this gets into the
discussion of should you have free shipping let’s say you’re selling
through Etsy do I want to do free shipping or do I want to charge the
customer for shipping so there’s this whole discussion of with shipping it can
be very enticing a lot of times people really love it if shipping is free
because especially if it’s an international shipment or even a
domestic shipment people will say oh you know I want to get this but I have no
idea how much the shipping is going to cost especially something like artwork
so I’m gonna not get it because I’m worried but if you tell them hey their
shipping is included then all of a sudden that that barrier is gone so
let’s say that shipping for this was gonna be say twenty dollars so now on
this painting you have a hundred dollars in and then what you can do is you can
say alright let me now so look at my time so how long did it take me to
create this work of art and how much time did it take me to get it ready to
ship and then how much time did it take me too so I’ve got the the painting
itself some people even factor in the
photographing of it you have to photograph it if you’re putting it for
example for sale how long did it take for me to photograph it and paint it and
then how long did it take for me to get it ready for pack you know packaging it
that type of thing and let me check the chat here okay and so Brenda you’re
asking how do we price according to the area we live in you live in an area
where the economy is low income and buying artwork is not considered a thing
to do with a high price okay so Brenda what you can do then is you can take a
look at your the area that you want to be selling in so maybe there’s a locally
high city that has a gallery or if you’re maybe selling like through Etsy
that type of thing then you could go and look and see what they’re doing there
and so on hey Pencil yeah okay and good to see you Pencil and I think I think I
saw you earlier in there okay and so Erika says what she does with Etsy
after having a tons tons of research about what’s best you add your shipping
into the cost of the product and you say free shipping yeah and I would recommend
that to Erika that really I think it takes the barrier away for people Oh
Angie oh my good friend Angela Rohret is here and good to see you good to see you
so Erika are you saying you ranked there’s less of a chance if that’s
them ranking your products if the cost of shipping is high yeah and because Erika
lives in its Monterey right it’s Monterey Mexico I believe Erika lives in
so she does a lot of international shipping if she’s shipping to the states
as such okay and Alcheon on hey good to see you my friend okay and so Erika says
you have to pay a DHL UPS because a Mexican post is unreliable yeah and so
that’s the key to is okay so you’re two hours from the US border and and so the
shipping is going to be so the shipping might be twenty dollars and then you
have to decide also based on the your artwork when you go to ship you’ll need
to determine if you want to add additional insurance onto the shipping
so oftentimes with like UPS I work with my local UPS store and what they will do
is I use special art crates with my work because almost everything not almost
everything probably two-thirds of what I do has to be shipped out to the
galleries the rest of the galleries are close enough close by then I can drive
things directly but all the other stuff I have to put in these really heavy-duty
shipping and we can I have a whole live stream just on the topic of shipping
because there are a lot of intricacies with that and you know whether or not to
insure that kind of thing but typically you want to also add shipping insurance
that kind of thing so now your time on that this is the time and materials
method with that time and materials method so let’s put this on here tuned
one a factor in shipping or consider shipping
so that’s a do and do consider free shipping so what you can do with the
shipping if you want to do free shipping as you can kind of get an average cost
of what it’s going to cost to ship and you can actually call your UPS or your
FedEx you can name a city that you would ship to and a dimension of the package
and then and the value of what it is and give a city address they will actually
tell you how much it will cost a ship from your local local place so if you do
that that’s kind of a neat way to do so let me check the chat here okay so these
are okay so Alcheon and so you’re asking are these my prices or the usual
default ones so I’m just giving an example here of a time and materials
thing well I have my personal price list and I’ll go through that later and show
you how I how I specifically do mine personally we’re just going through some
examples of if someone for example did it like a 10 by 10 painting how much
they might have and everybody’s is going to be totally individual I mean you
might buy a $2.00 brush or you might have a you know $50 brush or you may not
have bought a brush at all or your paint you know your paint might be 50 cents or
it could be $30 or whatever so just kind of an idea of how to factor the
different things in and then for time you want to consider these different
times help does hopefully that answer Alcheon okay and so and Erika you’re
saying one tip for people shipping the artwork if you’re thinking of adding
insurance make sure you read everything over absolutely I’ve had to do a few
insurance claims and was disappointed with that with shipping and yeah they
are happy to take the money that’s true that is true what I tend to do is I do
mine in a super sturdy container and then I don’t add the insurance because I
know that the container is going to make it so what you
do with time and materials is you would take your material so this would be your
materials say that was a let’s say for example for this example it’s a hundred
dollars and then your time so let’s say it took you to do the painting and to
make everything let’s say that you had say ten hours into that painting plus
the packaging the photographing that type of thing so what you would do is
you would take your material which would be $100 in this example plus your hourly
rate and so some people will use an hourly rate of twenty dollars an hour
some will use twenty five dollars an hour some use ten dollars an hour five
dollars an hour some use you know fifty it just depends what you want to put for
your rate and then you would let’s say you used just for example twenty dollars
an hour then ten times twenty is 200 so you would say your materials plus your
labor would be 100 plus 200 would be $300 so 300 dollars is what you would
charge for this painting now if you are selling it for example in a gallery
that’s going to be your what’s called your retail price so if the gallery
takes 50% when you get a check when the painting sells you’re going to get a
check for 150 dollars so what you want to look at then is you want to think
okay now let me think about this because I spent a hundred dollars in materials
so your profit would be 150 minus the cost of your materials which is in this
case 100 so your profit would be $50 so the gallery is going to have a hundred
and fifty dollars you’re gonna get a check for 150 your profit would be 150
minus hundred which would be 50 so the way then to factor that would be so okay
oh and pencil Oh hugs to you and and I hope that this is
a helpful topic also yes okay and so let me check the chat here okay so okay so
Diana you said that Etsy shipping international so expensive you decided
not to go international and and so you know what yeah I hear you on that and
that’s a choice I have I the galleries that work with my art they do
International shipping for me leather show you like the Santa Fe gallery
Canyon Road Contemporary but a lot of the other galleries really just do
either domestic or the person picks it up locally so yeah that whole topic of
international shipping is is tricky and you know oh and hey Jonesy good to see
you and I appreciate you guys I appreciate all of your likes and I
appreciate your that you guys are here in your subscription so so when you look
at your profit then so here this would be your profit in this case would be $50
so again if you had a ten let’s say just in this example your materials were $100
you decide to charge $20 an hour for your labor and you maybe spent ten hours
total on painting photographing and packaging and then so your materials
plus your labor was $300 and then when it sold through a gallery it was 150
your profit would then be $50 now let’s say that instead you sold it through
PayPal directly through PayPal well then it would be your profit would be a
hundred and fifty dollars minus the PayPal Commission which is around I
think three or four percent something like that so if we look at a hundred and
fifty times if it’s three percent then you would make your profit would be a
hundred and forty five dollars and fifty cents so then I’m sorry your profit well
your profit actually would be your materials minus your cost your profit so
then your profit is actually going to be now take off
the cost of materials so your materials were I’m sorry not a hundred and fifty
it’s gonna be three hundred minus the cost sorry okay
so if your if your painting was three hundred dollars
you sold it through say PayPal PayPal will take say 3% of 309 150 ignore that
last bit so let’s say that they took that so we’ll go 300 times 0.97 and your
profit is going to be two hundred and ninety one or your you what you the
check would be that you get is two hundred and ninety one dollars now if
you take off your materials your profit would be then be two ninety one minus
one hundred which is a hundred and ninety one dollars instead of fifty
dollars so where you’re selling your work makes a difference but then you’re
also with that you’d have shipping and that kind of thing so these are just all
kinds of considerations but it’s important to do some scenarios and think
about your all the different considerations when you’re doing this
and we have with J hey good to see you an art life and yeah Jonesy that true
yes fifty percent is a standard commission some once in a while you run
across a gallery that will try and charge fifty-five or sixty percent
that’s kind of unusual I try and avoid those type of galleries I do have one
gallery that does forty percent but all the other ones that I
work with are all they take fifty percent so so then Diana you’re asking
well it’s better profit by not going with a gallery however at certain price
points like for example I know that I would not have been able to sell the
amount of work that I’ve been able to sell by just doing it myself
so the gallery they have beautiful lighting they have clientele and there’s
some people will only buy through galleries some people will only buy
directly through an artist there they’re all kinds of for every artist that’s out
there some some artists are too shy and they’re like oh I you know I’m afraid to
talk to customers that type of thing so it just really depends on you as an
individual what you like to do what works for you that kind of thing okay so
so we’ve talked about the similar artist model and then and then I’ll say okay
let’s do it Erika same here okay into unique coffee so many numbers well
you know and the thing too is Ang is is like once you go through a few of the
numbers it makes more sense but and so Art Life you say you’re currently taking
a break from drawing tomorrow’s realistic drawing oh I’m excited to see
what you’re gonna do Art Life you know that you’re also doing the # Green Gold
Challenge and for for those of you who aren’t already committed to doing the
#greengoldchallenge I hope that you’ll do it I’m so excited I’ve got a little
two-minute video out on my channel but everybody and this kind of this color
here is actually a green gold we’ve got some green gold I in watercolor on here
and on here but just gonna go and see everybody’s version of of using the
color green gold as a challenging color to use of course you can have other
colors in your artwork and you upload a video to your own channel on Sunday or
sorry ya know Saturday Saturday May 5th and then put the words green gold
challenge or hashtag #Greengoldchallenge in your title and then I will go out and
do a search for all of the videos that have the word green gold challenge in
their title or hashtag green gold challenge and then make a giant playlist
so it’ll be a great way to meet other youtubers and it’ll be a lot of fun to
see all the different ways that we can use green gold and we have over 40
people who are who are saying that they’re personally told me that they’re
going to be do the challenge so it’ll be a lot of fun I
modeled that after Eve Harvey Art’s doodle day which was a lot of fun and
okay so now yeah and Angie it is so okay Jonesy
you’re saying that okay I’ll read up a little bit here okay so Erika you’re
saying galleries already have audience built in and marketing is hard and yeah
marketing is a super expensive thing to do that’s why it’s nice if you have a
gallery they’ll take care of that and then Erika you’re saying anyone looking
to sell artwork online it takes an audience it takes a while to do it it
absolutely does and so Paint with J yeah and so there are always ways that
what’s so nice is with the internet there are a lot of things out there a
lot of different ways that we can reach an audience but building up your social
media is super key for art and that’s again because and I’ll go back to back
to this discussion here that as an artist what is the most important
thing and actually that’s kind of a thing here too is do consider your
reputation your social media so you guys being on social media right now what
you’re doing now is you’re helping your art career by being on YouTube and
actively participating in you know the live streams that type of thing
uploading videos to your own channel doing Instagram Twitter Facebook
whatever it is that works for you those are things and methods and ways
that you’ll get recognition for your art because social media is so key if you
think about it like think about Coca-cola Pepsi McDonald’s names that
are well-known everywhere did you ever notice that they’re always
still advertising they’re always still marketing and you’d be like well gosh
everybody thinks of that but you want to be on people’s minds as an artist you
want to be active in your art community active online that type of thing because
art is not necessarily just like musicians the best musicians if you go
and hear a musician on the singer on the radio and then you go over to your
church and you hear another person singing it’s like oh my gosh I think
that person at church actually has more talent than the person on the radio but
maybe the person at church maybe they you know they didn’t have the same
marketing opportunities and that kind of thing so what ends up happening is it’s
that same way with painting with any kind of artwork sculpture whatever it is
that you do if you are connecting somehow with some someone and then they
want to add your art in in their environment whether it’s a corporation
or it’s a individual what happens is when you are connecting with them then
then they’re bringing your work in and it’s not necessarily who’s the most
talented because the world is out there if you look at some famous artists it’s
like oh you know so-and-so has more talent than them but it’s really about
it’s really about that connection that they made so let me check the chat here
okay so I’m gonna be making a playlist yes Diana
so everybody who participates in a Greengoldchallenge will be out there
absolutely yeah and Erika you know it’s interesting about the proportion of art
making time versus marketing I’ve heard some gallery owners say that they
recommend that artists spend 60 to 70 percent of their time marketing their
art and thirty to forty percent actually making it and for some people it’s even
a bigger proportion and that you know that is very very important an important
thing okay so so to these pricing models and also if you guys have questions and
if I’ve missed your question I apologize I will be going back and if I
haven’t been able to say hello to you I will be going back in the upload and
I’ll be reading all of your comments and your questions so if there’s another
question I didn’t get please later and upload write it down and I
will answer that for everybody who might have that same question okay so this
this third method of doing your pricing is called a linear inch method okay so
the linear inch method so what you do with the linear inch method is as you go
and you say I’m gonna take my so let’s say that I had a let’s say that this is
12 by 10 I’m going to take my and this is a and this is B so you’re going to
take a plus B and then you’re going to do it times a a rate and then that is
going to be your price so so so you don’t go A plus A plus B plus B you just
go A plus B so let’s look at an example let’s make a a chart for that what that
would look like and I’ll actually do let’s actually do this with some some
common sizes that people might use and I’ll show you how to do you know how to
do this all right so let’s make a little chart and let’s say we have okay so here’s our
size actually you know what let’s do let’s do it bigger here we’ll do it this
way so this is gonna this is called the the linear inch model and a lot of
artists use the linear inch model and so what that would be is again you have A
plus B and then times a rate so so let’s let’s just take a common size here so let’s say let’s make oh let’s make like
six different sizes so let’s say you had let’s say you have an 8 by 10 and let’s
say you have 11 by 14 16 by 20 18 by 24 30 by 40 and then we’ll go really big
let’s say yet is 60 by 40 and let’s go in and let’s say so if you if you add 8
by 10 add the two together so that’s your so you have an A and you have a B
so your a would be a and your B would be 10 so 8 plus 10 is is of course eighty
or eighty I’m sorry eight plus 10 is 18 and then this is 25 so I’m just taking
these two together 16 plus 20 is 36 18 plus 24 is 42 30 plus 40 is 70 and 60
plus 40 is 100 okay and let me just check the check here and see what we’ve
got here oh hey violet Connie good to see you all the way you know and you
know Australia good to see you okay and let’s see here if there was anything
okay and you guys are just saying hello to each other okay wonderful
alright so let’s say that on the linear inch so what you do is this is your
number of inches then for these different sizes of artworks and then
here is where you have your rate so what they recommend is that a beginner might
do something like five dollars per linear per linear inch and an
established artist might use something like say twenty dollars a linear inch so
so let’s work out what that would be so let’s do a let’s say that this is going
to be though so for one dollar here’s one dollar then I’m sorry one dollar
five dollars for five dollars so we would take 18 times five so this would
be what they recommend as just a starting point or a Laura this is just
kind of an industry standard might be so five times 18 would be for example
ninety dollars so you would charge ninety dollars for an eight-by-ten and
let’s say if it’s if you’re using a linear rate of five dollars per linear
inch then if it was five times twenty five you then you would go one hundred
and twenty five dollars for eleven by fourteen your you would have a hundred
and eighty dollars for sixteen by twenty s your 42 dollars this would be let’s
see here two hundred and sixteen a 30 by 40 so
seventy times five this is going to be a three hundred and fifty dollar painting
and then a really large one 60 by 40 is going to be five times one hundred or
five hundred dollars now when you’re using the linear inch
model this is sometimes a lot of people use this and then let’s say that you
were doing saying a stat what they call an established artist rate which would
be maybe twenty dollars per linear inch so then the eight by ten its instead
going to be three hundred and sixty dollars eleven by fourteen now you’re
gonna charge retail five hundred sixteen by twenty you adieu seven twenty 18 by
24 you would charge eight hundred and forty dollars a 30 by 40 you would
charge $1,400 and a 60 by 40 you would charge two thousand dollars now and what
you can also do then is you can put in your own I encourage you to make a chart
of all your prices and then you can put in whatever rate you want to charge so
now a challenge with this can be what if you for example let’s say that you
choose to go with five dollars a linear a linear inch and let’s say for example
you make an eight by ten and you’re gonna charge ninety dollars for it well
what happens if your if you sell it through a gallery and you get half it’s
you’re gonna get a check for forty five dollars or you maybe do it through Etsy
and after shipping you maybe have $60 but let’s say it costs you $75 in
materials to make it then you’re actually losing money so what can also
be helpful is if you go back and you think about at the end work backwards
and say how much profit do I want to make from each item and then go from
there okay so let me check the chat here okay yeah Alcheon absolutely this
stream will be uploaded afterwards and I encourage if anybody has questions I
would love to hear from you with any questions later also in the upload and
you guys feel free to answer any questions that or if you have questions
that that you can answer for somebody else feel free to to jump in on that
appreciate that and yeah okay so this pricing system Davy is a fantastic
pricing system in fact I use I use a hybrid between the linear the square
inch which we’ll talk about next and and the time of materials I do a little bit
of the time and materials method but mostly my work is is typically using the
linear inch method when I was first beginning and I had no sales at all zero
sales I started with a similar artist model where I went in and I looked and
tried to study what other artists were doing that were similar to me
and I looked other local artists that had a similar size but that were just
beginning like I was and remember that everybody everybody who you know
everybody always has their first painting sale everybody starts out at
zero so you know it’s it’s exciting when you make that for sale but don’t feel
bad anybody that’s out there if you haven’t made a sale yet Picasso
started at zero paintings at one point he had zero sales and and it’s just a
matter of you know getting that first one and then building upon that so so
let’s go over to our do’s and don’ts so we talked about factoring in the gallery
profit but what we want to also think about is this is something to avoid is a
don’t what we don’t want to do is we don’t want to adjust prices based on what we think someone can
afford okay now there might be an occasion where you
have like a cousin or you have a friend or something like that and and you were
gonna make a special deal for them one time only you know whatever that’s
that’s up to you that’s a separate thing that’s I even kind of discouraged even
trying to do that what I would encourage is if somebody’s got a limited budget
and they can’t afford what you’ve got I would recommend that you sell them like
a study of something or a try not to give them your full art because what
happens is people talk and they will come back and if somebody if you sold a
let’s say you sold a painting like you know a little guy this size and you sold
the painting for five dollars to one person and you sold it for a thousand
dollars the same size to another person over time people end up talking about
either the good deals or the bad deals that they got and that is a quick way to
kill your reputation is to adjust prices based on or oh I think this person is
rich I’m gonna try and you know charge a ton of money for them for that you want
to avoid doing that because even those rich people will end up researching and
figure out that they got fleeced for that so party reputation is once you set
your prices absolutely don’t adjust those based on how much you think that
someone can’t afford and in a way it almost kind of diminishes the person who
you know maybe the person didn’t have a lot of money and then they they felt
like oh you know the person didn’t think I could afford to pay it or didn’t think
that I could buy it so instead think about what budget they have and then try
and give them some of your art there might be a sketch that you have even
just a something like that that that they could have that would be an
original from you but that’s just something to think about so let me check
the chat here okay okay and you guys are talking and then
um oh and people buy sketches they do absolutely absolutely that’s a very
valid thing to to sell is a sketch all right so now let’s talk about the next
common pricing model and that is the so we’ve got the linear just as the square
inch– method okay so the square inch– method we’ve got the linear inch method
and the linear inch what you do is you take one edge plus another edge you only
count A plus B so it’s A plus B times rate and the linear inch model on the
square inch model what you’re gonna do instead let’s say you had a 12 by 10 you
go A times B times a rate and that gives you your price and you might think oh
what’s the difference between these two well that it’s actually really
interesting because here you’re charging for every square inch and here you’re
just counting the linear inch all the way around half the perimeter you just
go like that and then you multiply times a rate so the square inch– method let
me show you what that looks like okay so let’s in fact do the same sizes and then
we can compare linear inch versus square inch so here’s our square inch model now
let me switch pens here so what that looks like is that looks like if you
have A and B so it’s A times B times a rate and let’s get our sizes going here so let then again these sizes are you’re
gonna have your own sizes that you like to work in you might call them like an
A5 size or you know something like that but just whatever you normally like to
create art in 1 2 3 4 5 6 okay so we have let’s get a size so we’re gonna do
the same size and I want to show you the difference in how the prices come out
between the linear inch model and the square inch model and okay Oh Lucy hi
Lucy and thank you for joining okay and Erika you have an idea could be to
create studies prior to the larger painting which should be done anyway and
offer those at lower yeah absolutely sketches you can do sketches at a
completely different price point and that’s excellent
Erika yes I had a gallery owner Stan Wiederspan told me that once he said
keep all of your preparatory studies that type of thing because those all can
be sold you know at a different rate than your standard work okay so now what
you do here there is a beginner recommendation for beginner
recommendation is one dollar per square inch an established person would be
three dollars per square inch so let’s go through and I’ll show you these how
these numbers come out so here for example now instead with the linear inch
we go eight plus 10 equals 18 here we go eight times ten so this is going to be
80 so we’re gonna be multiplying by 80 not multiplying by 18 so you can see
that it all of a sudden the numbers are different so we’ve got 80 inches here 11
by 14 is 154 16 by 20 is 320 18 by 24 452 30 by 40 is 1200 and 60 by 40 is
2400 now if you are doing let’s say that your rate let’s say it’s $1 then then
we’ll do a $3 one here so let’s do a $3 one will be here and then and then this
column can be you know whatever you want to make your own personal rate so so in
this case these are literally time eighty times one is eighty so all of
these are 80 times 154 so we take so this is A times B this is A plus B so in
this case the square inch model I would take an 8 by 10 is 88 times 10 is $80 is
80 and then times $1 is $80 11 by 14 is a hundred and fifty four square inches
so I just go 11 by 14 is 154 and I multiply by one so that’s a hundred and
fifty four dollars is what I would charge in this case I would charge
sixteen by twenty times one is three hundred and twenty dollars this is four
hundred and fifty-two dollars is what the painting would cost or the work of
art whatever it is could be colored pencil could be sculpture um you know
anything $1,200 and here it’s $2,400
so look at and well let me fill in for the what they call the established
artist here so here we have now if we multiply by three so now we would take
eight times ten times three so eight times ten times three he is going to be
two hundred and forty dollars in this case eleven by fourteen which is a
hundred and fifty four times three is four hundred and sixty-two dollars
and typically you round up in galleries you typically round up to the nearest
you know you might run either round up or round down 460 or call it 475 or 500 320 times three is nine hundred and
sixty four hundred and fifty-two dollars times three that is going to be one
thousand 296 1200 so the 30 by 40 size painting it’s twelve hundred square
inches times three dollars per square inch is going to be three thousand six
hundred dollars and then here a 60 by 40 $2,400
times three so we have 60 inches times 40 inches multiplying times three
dollars an hour or three three dollars a square inch for an established artist
which would be seven thousand two hundred dollars so and let me just check
the chat here okay oh and it was good to see you Jonesy
take care of Jonesy and then oh and I’m when I want to show here is the striking
difference between these two models so if you look at the linear inch model
let’s compare sizes so for a beginner artist what they would recommend is the
$5.00 per linear inch that’s kind of the industry standard and for the square
inch model beginner artist $1.00 square inch so if you look at an 8 by 10 in
both cases so they would charge $90 on the linear and you would charge $80 for
the square inch model but look when you go 11 by 14 it goes up a little bit to a
125 but look at the jump from 80 you go to 154 if you look at that 60 by 40 if
you’re making a really really large painting you’re only going to charge
$500 but look if you’re doing it as a beginner using the square inch
model in 1:1 model pricing model you’re using fight you’re only you’re charging
only 500 dollars and then here you’re charging $2,400 so what is interesting
so let’s in fact just get them side by side look at let’s we’ll get just a
clean pace here so if I just show the rates here so here are the eight by tens
so look at that here for a 30 by 40 I’ve used the square inch method you’re gonna
charge 1200 but if you’re using the linear rate you’re only charging as a
beginner three hundred and fifty dollars so talking about the pros and the cons
of the different pricing models and oh and I see that Leydi has joined oh and
yes I know that you do not speak English but Leydi we’re glad to have you here and
I appreciate that you’re here and everybody say hola to Leydi she does these
wonderful acrylic pours so so when we think about these models I know what
I’ll do is I’ll show you let’s just do a couple more of these do’s and don’ts
commissions so let’s talk about commissions with pricing so you do
charge more for commissions commissions are stressful because
you’re trying to make something specifically for someone rather than
just making something organically the way it flows from you as an artist
I tend to charge not tend to I do charge 40% more so I get whatever price I have
for that size and then I will charge 40% more for Commission it’s it’s a because
otherwise people can just go and get what you already have that you already
make but you definitely want to recognize that that work has been
custom-made for that individual you might be making you know certain colors
certain things that are out of your normal comfort zone even if you say I’m
gonna do everything that’s in my normal style there’s still that pressure of are
they going to like it or not so that’s definitely a thing to think about it to
consider is is this idea of charging more when we do a commission and then
and then we talked about talking about free shipping that’s always a good idea
if you can the way you can do that is on shipping you can go in and figure an
average for where you think your customers might be let’s say that you
had one price it would cost $20 to ship another one it’s going to cost $40 to
ship and another one it might cost $25 to ship different cities that you might
anticipate shipping to you can set your free shipping price you might want to
set it as an average or maybe the most expensive and that would cover literally
everybody’s shipping and then that way you can you can do free shipping and and
then it’s kind of an easy way you you can just have your price list ready to
go and then it’s like oh shipping is included add that into your price after
you do your calculation same thing with framing so do consider having standard frames or shrink wrap or acetate
actually not shrink wrap acetate plus a mat as far as your standard sizes so
when you’re working consider making things that are going to go into a
standard size mat you can buy like Blick has these really nice roadshow acetate
things they have a foam core and acetate in a mat you can slip it right in there
that’s something that’s nice to send the customer the artwork is protected
they’re rather inexpensive but fact to be sure to factor that into your pricing
add that on at the end well when you’re figuring your price if you’re thinking
about for example time and materials method
and then standard frames might be that you have you’re working in your art if
you’re going to be framing think about having a certain kind of frame that you
always would get and then add that into the price remember that if you’re
selling through a gallery the gallery is going to want to take not going to want
to take the gallery will take their rate from that so be sure that you will make
the profit that you want afterwards if you’re going to be doing that say for
example through you know through a through a gallery if you’re doing
through Etsy something like that selling on eBay selling locally you might have a
booth fee if you do for example an outdoor booth that kind of a thing or
indoor art festival there might be a booth fee so be sure to factor those
things all in when you’re doing your pricing now let me show you a little bit
of what I did so so in my career I began with a similar artist model then what
I’ve done over time so once you have your prices set again you want to be
sure to always keep those prices consistent and then don’t raise them
lower the price I always do a thing where I will never lower the price I do
a thing that I’ve been calling lifetime pricing where I will only either keep
the price where it is for that size of artwork or the price will go up and then
that way collectors know that they have a safety when they or when they get
something one year if they buy a painting you know five years later the
painting that they bought before will be either the same price or it will now be
higher in value so let me get out and I’ll show you so this is my okay okay
doesn’t a gallery dictate your prices no Diana absolutely not they will they a
gallery does not have any say in your price they will ask you what your prices
are and so that’s why you go and you want to select a gallery
you want to be sure to select a gallery that matches in your current price point
and if you’re on the lower end of the gallery then you have growth so as over
time if you raise your prices that’s another thing do’s and don’ts so you
don’t want to raise your price too quickly and then also consider so you
could consider periodic price increases and the way that I personally do that is
I will actually wait until I will wait to raise my price until I can’t keep up
with demand when you run out or you’re close to running out of art or or art of
a certain type so it may be that you’re doing you know you have a bunch of art
that’s maybe like say this size and then maybe all of the art that’s you know
smaller you know maybe this size is all sold out and that type of thing you know
it’s a matter of making sure that you don’t raise the prices too high too
quickly I’ve been in galleries for 19 years and over time so so like this
little guy is painting this size would be $75 is how I charged earlier and then
now with my current price list this is a this little guy here this is a six by
eight I believe yeah six by eight is now four hundred and twenty-five dollars and
then with a frame it’s four eighty five so I’ve made myself a price this is my
own personal and I’m kind of going out on a limb here to show you my personal
list but this is personally what I charge for artwork so I have everything
from a little four by six that is three hundred and forty dollars and then my
most expensive for example as sixty by ninety is going to be twenty four
thousand two hundred dollars so I’m having a very large range of offerings and a lot of what sells for me tends to be in this the bigger range but
for example 30 by 40 so if we compare that to like my 30 by 40 is 3700 so I’m
charging quite a bit more than than that but I its closer actually to the square
inch model so I’m kind of using this the model that I’ve done over time is I
intended to start with a square inch model but then what I found was that
when I did that these smaller paintings these are actually close to oh gosh what
is that per square inch 340 divided $340 divided by this is 24 square inches okay
so these little these tiny little paintings I charge $14 a square inch but
these bigger ones for example like a 30 by 40 so those are 3700 so those are 120
those are whoops 3700 / 1200 okay so those are only $3.00 a square inch so
I’ve got on one extreme $14 a square inch and then over here there are only
three dollars a square inch so I’m using something that’s actually closer to a
linear inch model in certain range but then out here the prices are closer to
the square inch model so how this happened to me over time is and
everybody will have their own way that they do this is larger sizes up to 120
and then and then I have a different whole different set of prices for
watercolors so my watercolors per square inch are you know much much less
expensive because I’m known more for my this heavy Daubism texture
but my watercolor prices are not at all selling at the same price as my as my
oils and my acrylics now there are other artists who their watercolors are going
to sell for way more than their oils and their acrylics so it doesn’t mean that
one is better than the other it’s just what are you more known for and what has
sold over time so so like for example a little 8 by 10 unframed 8 by 10 for me
in watercolor is 225 but then it’s 525 if it’s oil but again that it doesn’t
mean anything it just means it doesn’t mean that watercolor is good or bad or
or whatever it’s just that’s how I’ve just set my prices and then my giclees
or my prints what I’ve done is I try and set them right around a dollar per
square inch for that I do sign my giclees and then they’re in a matted frame
so anyway but I hope that that’s been helpful and I hope that this whole
discussion has been helpful you guys I appreciate that you guys are here and if
you have any other questions that you haven’t mentioned in the chat you know
please feel free to put those questions in the comments afterwards and I’ll do
my best to get those answered and anybody that if you want to also you
know chime in on these answers I I would also appreciate that so so let’s go
ahead and end the livestream and and I thank you guys for watching and all my
best to you and have a great weekend and take care bye bye

Dereck Turner

25 thoughts on “How to Price Your Artwork to Sell: 4 Art Pricing Models Explained LIVE & What Worked For Me

  1. TianaDIY says:

    Hi Dena, sorry I missed your stream, look forward to watching it now!

  2. Dena Tollefson says:

    Do you have a favorite pricing model? Please let me know in the comments below.

  3. Siri's Studio says:

    Hello Dena, I missed your live ๐Ÿ˜”
    That is a beautiful butterfly painting ๐Ÿ˜

  4. Deborah Art says:

    Thanks for this share, very informative.

  5. Rachael Padilla says:

    This is a great conversation Dena. I think that there's not enough conversation about pricing. Especially when it comes to consumer education. The more we talk about it the more on the same page artists can be, and then the more buyers will understand why something is priced the way it is. Thanks!

  6. Za Arteest Dana Portier Morvant says:

    I am so thankful for your generous sharing. I would love to know about safe art boxing and shipping.

  7. Za Arteest Dana Portier Morvant says:

    How do you keep track of your time?

  8. J m Art With Detail says:

    Hi Dena, sorry I missed my friend๐Ÿ˜ž

  9. Carey Bridges says:

    Thank you for so much helpful information. ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ˜Š

  10. DAVY. J.Y. Art with a pen. says:

    I am so glad i caught this live stream. I am usually out and about at this time Dena. Very informative video ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Art Journey with Swapna Namboodiri says:

    That's amazing Dena. You have covered all the points and have explained it so well.. Really useful video.. ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป โค๏ธ I keep missing your live stream because of the difference of time zone ๐Ÿ˜”

  12. Handmade With Love By VodS says:

    1350๐Ÿ›Ž๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘awesome lovely ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜Š

  13. Mushy Bear says:

    You have real talent and a super kind heart……You have answered all my questions and helped me with pricing alot … All love towards you๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

  14. HappyAngel Drawings says:

    Hi Dena! This is a wonderful idea for the video, it came right on time ^^ as I was struggling at how the pricing goes! Thank you so much ^^ Lots of love for you (๏พ‰โ—•ใƒฎโ—•)๏พ‰*:๏ฝฅ๏พŸโœง

  15. David Denton Art says:

    This is a great video Dena. really interesting. I've gone for a time and materials method and then split that into the prices of the different limited edition prints and the original. So If I sold all of the limited editions and the original it would cover my time and materials. At the moment I am working at an hourly rate of less than the minimum wage. The linear inch method would lead to my paintings costing $192 for 2 months work. The square inch is slightly better at $294 but again this is for 2 months work, sometimes more. My problem is that my art takes such a long time to produce due to the amount of detail I add it is not cost-effective to use either the linear or square inch methods. Another problem that I have is that when I have giclee prints done, I'm not willing to accept low-quality prints so I pay quite a lot for my high-quality prints. But straight away this ups the cost of the prints and makes them look expensive. It's all a bit of a minefield. Thanks for doing this video. It's a great subject to talk about ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Divine Art says:

    Hi Dena, awesome video for new and upcoming artists. Wish I could have joined the live video but due to different time zones I miss many of your live videos. I wanna know how make same price for two portals, if say one takes 5% commission and other 40%.

  17. Katieโ€™s Art says:

    Amazing video! very informative and helpful! Iโ€™d love to try selling some of my work someday when I improve, thank you for this video!๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ๐Ÿ’•

  18. Angie Hewitt's Artroom says:

    This is such a helpful resource . Pricing work is the hardest part of selling. Thank you so much for explaining. I've book marked the video so I can share the link and use myself for future reference. This topic comes. Up 1million times a day during exhibition season. You're amazing Dena

  19. Simple Drawings says:

    good information even on the point of view of buyers

  20. Luci Dadoyan says:

    Thank you for sharing this information! Love your work so much! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿฅฐโค๏ธ

  21. DRAW2NIGHT says:

    Thank you for very helpful art business advices! You are so skillful dear Dena! Big like!

  22. Schaefer Dietrich says:

    Lotโ€™s of good information. Great job

  23. Angie Holmes says:

    Hi I am new to your channel. I started painting while taking care of my mom who had Alzheimer's. I didn't know people would start asking to purchase my art so soon.This video is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing this information.

  24. Dana Ellis says:

    Question Letโ€™s say I have 2-8×10โ€™s but one is oil one is acrylic and one has more detail and took me longer. Should I price them the same? Your video was so informative. Ty so much!

  25. The Painting Stoof says:

    Great video, Dena! Before I became a full time artist I had the hardest time understanding that skill level has nothing to do with art value. I used to look at art in galleries/museums and wonder why they belonged there, lol. You have great tips for incorporating the medium, substrate, and materials cost into pricing. Looking forward to your video about commission pricing coming soon!

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