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View Full Version : What to charge?


PthaloBlueGirl
05-27-2004, 11:07 AM
Sorry, couldn't think of a more flambouyant, sp?, title for the thread but that is what it is about: what to charge.

I want to be a professional artist. I like doing stuff my way and don't play well with others so work in regular terms has been unsuccessful. People seem to like my stuff. I am encouraged. Might change tomorrow but right now I feel good about painting.

The lady next door wants me to paint a landscape of her property. She wants it large to hang over a sofa. I only did one landscape before...well, I am not sure what to charge.

There was a thread recently somewhere on WC, in oils or portraits I think, about a portrait artist. I looked at her web page and she gets $4,000 starters FOR ONE PERSON in a portrait. I think that is...well, we won't say. I wouldn't pay $4,000 for a painting. I don't even know how you'd think of selling for that much. It is just a painting not a used car! At any rate, she, the lady who wants the landscape, said she'd give me $100.00 to start so I could get canvas and what not. Sounded good to me!! But what is the finish price?

I want to make good money but I also want my prices to be good enough to where a large number of people can afford it. Seems to me there are fewer people who can afford $4,000 paintings.

:D

Lady Carol
05-27-2004, 11:27 AM
You want enough money to keep you motivated but not enough to price yourself out of the market right from the start.

How large is the painting that she wants you to do?

This will help to determine the price.

I sold my first commission for $300 and it was 3 panels of 18X20 inches. Now I would sell my stuff for considerable more. My client is happy as his theoretically has increased in value just hanging on his wall.
e.g. 18X24 $500
22X28 $600

Basically as she is your first client, you want her raving to her friends that you did a great painting and that it was reasonable in cost. The goal here is to get more business. Also the cost of you art will increase as you sell more which will increase the value of the painting you sold to her (she'll be happy).

There is much info in Wetcanvas regarding the pricing of pieces so do a search. Some use a square inch formular to determine the price, others price by the way they like one piece over another.

PthaloBlueGirl
05-27-2004, 12:10 PM
Thanks.
The painting is going to be about 3ft long something large enough to encompass four buildings, trees, grass, and hang over a sofa.

I'll know more about the size and such later today. I just have no clue what to tell her about the final charge.

:D

HRH Goldie
05-27-2004, 12:16 PM
Hi Carol,
When starting off I can't understand why time spent isn't considered. ie someone working 'tight' with a lot of detail compared to plein air or abstract. What do you think?
Pthalo - Have you tried taking a couple of pieces or photos of them to a small art gallery and ask them their opinion. - opinions cost nothing right? ;)
Christine

Anita Orsini
05-27-2004, 02:35 PM
I would suggest seeing what others doing comparible quality work and that have the similar amount of experience are charging. Going too cheap only devalues your work but you also do not want to charge the same as someone who is an established artist even if your work is comparible in quality. Consistently producing a certian quality of work adds to the value of an artists work and you cannot expect to pass over this process. Selling, showing, awards are all factors.
Anita :)

Lady Carol
05-27-2004, 03:50 PM
Hi Carol,
When starting off I can't understand why time spent isn't considered. ie someone working 'tight' with a lot of detail compared to plein air or abstract. What do you think?


Someone isn't going to pay $1000 for a painting that is small an intricate just because someone spent 200 hours on it. People do not see value for money unless you are an established artist who has a strong following. People see size as value for money.

Lady Carol
05-27-2004, 03:54 PM
Thanks.
The painting is going to be about 3ft long something large enough to encompass four buildings, trees, grass, and hang over a sofa.

I'll know more about the size and such later today. I just have no clue what to tell her about the final charge.

:D
If you are looking at 3 foot long, then $100 to buy art supplies will not be enough. You should be negotiating price up front and getting 50% as a down payment to cover costs and time expended.

When starting out this whole thing is a grey area and all have their own opinion. You need to be comfortable enough to not feel you are being gipped or skrewing her. Your aim is to get more clients as well if you want that.

RottenScoundrel
05-27-2004, 05:30 PM
Personally, I would be flattered if someone asked me to paint something (I don't expect that anytime soon!). I would be happy with getting the cost of materials (perhaps a bit extra to boot for a few new brushes or whatever), and a bottle of rum. Then again, I would likely do it for just the bottle of rum. I just like to paint to relax.