View Full Version : First Sale!!!! Question about price.

Tom Behnke
02-13-2006, 10:03 AM
Hi Dusties:

I am officially a professional artist, LOL.

Some of you have already seen this painting, and I apologize for the repeat attachment, but I have a story and a question, and wanted the people who already responded to the first thread to see the update.

Anyway, I was very upset when I drew this, and very upset afterwards over personal matters in my life. But finally, now that the most important person has heard the news, I can share it with you, who can certainly take partial credit for this, because without your help and encouragement, and inspiration, I don't think the painting would have come out so well.

And of course, to my muse, if she looks at this, YOU are the reason art is still in my soul.

So, I was working at night at this hotel, and a lady came to the front desk at 4 AM on Friday because she had thrown her back out and wanted a number to the nearest pharmacy. I had framed the Zen Garden scene and had it sitting against the wall. (mind you, this was a 5.99 frame I just put it in so it wouldn't get destroyed. I don't have a real good storage place for my finished pieces. I had planned to mat and frame it professionally when time and money allowed.).

The woman mentioned how lovely the painting was, and I said that I had drawn it, and she was amazed.

Long story short, after about twenty minutes of conversation about how she loved art, loved my work, couldn't believe I had never taken a lesson, her eyes could not leave the painting. And she finally offered me $300 for it.

Naturally, I snapped it up. Yay! I SOLD a piece of my art after doing it for so long just for amusement!

So, my question is: This is a 16 X 20 on Canson paper. Did I get a good price as far as you are concerned. I tried to use the dollar per sq. ft. rule. 16 X 20 being $320, plus the framing costs (which as it was amounted to just over $6).

Let me know your opinion on this. Someone had asked if it was for sale the day before, and I hadn't thought of a price as I was trying to build up a number of paintings for a show I was offered, and kind of blew the sale without coming up with a number quick enough.

Sorry I couldn't take a better pic, but the lady wrapped it up and took it to Hartford. She also left me her number and is redoing her decor and wants Lighthouse or Waterfall scenes and told me to send her a pic of the painting should I do one of those subjects (which you know is my next project, LOL)

Anyway, thanks for the help, and I look forward to being part of this wonderful, supportive community for a long time.

02-13-2006, 10:37 AM
I think the price was excellant, but I have not sold anything as of yet. It truly is a wonderful painting. james

K Taylor-Green
02-13-2006, 10:50 AM
A very good price, Tom. Most acceptable. Congratulations!

02-13-2006, 11:09 AM
Great painting and good price point I think! Congrats!

02-13-2006, 11:32 AM
Congratulations on your first sale. I also think that the price was right, considering you really didn't have much framing cost involved. So get started on the next one before she comes back...:cool:

02-13-2006, 11:42 AM
So, you sold that lovely painting? Fabulous. I am very happy for you and you certainly deserve to sell those paintings. They are wonderful

02-13-2006, 12:43 PM
How wonderful! I have not sold anything, and would never have dared to ask that much. That's great, and I love the colors in the painting.

02-13-2006, 12:48 PM
Many many congrads.... super nice feeling isn't it? Well done....That is a BEAUTY of a painting- and OFFERED YOU $300..... good heavens- I have sold 3 paintings- period- framed- nice frames- for $50. each- you are way ahead of me!!!! Keep it up.... in fact- put price cards on them and keep them at work.....

02-13-2006, 12:57 PM
Absolutely..... great price....... well done indeed!

Bhavana Vijay
02-13-2006, 01:11 PM
Congrats!!!I am so happy for you!You should be really proud of yourself!! You deserve it, i hope you are in a happy place in your life right now.
I havent sold anything so i wouldnt know about the price but i would think thats pretty good.

02-13-2006, 01:26 PM
Congratulations. You must be pleased knowing that what you make gets appreciated!

02-13-2006, 02:15 PM
Tom - You did great - both on the painting and the sale. I price by the sq inch + factor and you've done exactly as I suggest to beginning professionals. Remember though should you begin to sell through galleries that they are going to take a percentage in commissions, and it may be 50%. Do not raise your prices just for them. If and when you raise your prices, make it across the board whether you are selling them yourself or through a gallery. Galleries don't look kindly on artists who "undersell" through themselves. I always look at "home sales" as being a bonus for myself, therefore you've just given yourself a bonus with this sale! LOL


02-13-2006, 02:24 PM
Very cool story. Lovely painting. Hmm, $300 buys an awful lot of pastels, if used wisely ;).

02-13-2006, 03:31 PM
Well Done! Your just starting out, first sale $1.00 per in is good, however your work is also very good so you will be raising your prices sometime withing the year. Next step is to $1.50/sq in x1.1 for materials. You've just learned the best marketing tool: exposure. Someone else suggested you keep your work out to be seen at work with a price tag. I second that. I often take work into a local restaurant who also hangs a piece or two of mine. Just sitting with a piece on the table or better yet working on a small piece has brought me several sales and commisisons.
Now get to work on that waterfall or lighthouse, or better yet a waterfall with a light house:)

M Douglas
02-13-2006, 04:28 PM
Way to go Tom:clap: :clap: Congratulations!!!


02-13-2006, 04:51 PM
Hi Tom,

I think that according to the market and not having a name in the market, the price is a good one.
Unfortunatelly, the quality of paintings sometimes sells less than the name.
But ALL OF US WILL BE FAMOUS and we'll show them good !!!
Congratulations and lets hope that she spreads the word !



02-13-2006, 05:37 PM
Congrats! And that is a very good price when one hasn't developed a name or sell thru a gallery.
I've got one customer who will pay more but most of the time I can't sell at all on the online auctions at a decent price. Sometimes not at a low price either.

02-13-2006, 09:30 PM
great story- congratulations- it feels soooo good, doesn't it? and not just the first time- you will feel good every time!

Very good price, especially for a first sale- in my first year of selling I only asked $150 for the same size pastel- and my framing costs were low, but at least $30, sometimes $40 AND 25% was going to the shop owner. But still- it felt good! I'll never forget, I was in the art supply aisle of Michaels art and craft when my cell phone rang and it was the owner of the store telling me that one of my paintings (red fox on velour) had just sold- I almost couldn't believe it.

I'll bet you feel really inspired now!!! Remember to get the names and addresses of your buyers- maybe send her a thank you note and then keep in touch about shows or anything else that has to do with your work- people have been known to buy more than one painting from the same artist!

02-13-2006, 09:59 PM
Congratulations! Greatest feeling in the world when you find out someone is willing to pay good money for one of your paintings. You'll be selling many more in the future, I'm sure!

Tom Behnke
02-13-2006, 10:24 PM
Thank you everyone:

I am frantically searching for lighthouse, waterfalls themes. Yes, I think I might upgrade my pastels. Saving for something else major in my life, and the money is a big step that way, but I think an offering to the art gods in some quality materials can perhaps be spared.

Thanks for the advice, Peggy. Hope to have enough paintings in the future to approach a gallery and use your formula and advice about 'home sales'.

Tom Behnke
02-13-2006, 10:30 PM
By the way, the details of the haggling were, she asked how much, I said $350, just to throw out a number because it was 4am in the morning and she was ill, and I didn't really think it was a serious inquiry. She said that wasn't bad at all, and after staring at it all through our conversation, she said if she had that much she would take it home right now. Then said she could only get $250 out of the ATM, and I said ok. Then she said, but that is too low a price. It's worth more! If I give you a check, with ID, and you have my credit card on file anyway at the hotel, how much would you take?

So I said $300. And off my baby went in her arms.

I probably cheated myself out of $50, but I was too excited to maintain a hard sell, lol.

02-13-2006, 10:54 PM
What a good story Tom, and you did right in agreeing to bargain. Some people like to work that way, and usually end up buying if they feel they have gotten a good price for something they want. Besides that you got her name and a possible future sale to I don't think you cheated yourself out of anything.

Enjoy the "sacrifice" to the art gods!


Tom Behnke
02-15-2006, 04:55 PM
Thanks Peggy:

Still haven't found any good lighthouse pics, and I am frustrated because this week I didn't have any good ref pics at all. My last day to be able to draw is Thurs, and I haven't anything started (although I did begin writing a play that has bounced around in my head for four or five months, so not a TOTAL creative waste, LOL).

Going to the library tomorrow, and find some good pics that I can start when I am back at my 'drawing enabled' job on Sunday.

Yes, money certainly helps the inspiration. :)

02-16-2006, 01:38 PM
I'm so happy for you,Tom!Congrats!I'm going to put my work to test,that is,try and sell it as soon as I've collected a few.I'll start the gallery rounds then....hmmm...scary.....
But you have earned it,totally!Look at your painting!It's so beautiful!It's going to bring its owners much happiness!

Tom Behnke
02-18-2006, 01:39 AM
Thanks, Avani.

Finally got some shots of Lighthouses and waterfalls today. Sun night I will pick one and break out the Wallis or Colorfix I just bought. Haven't drawn since I finished this one, and I am JONESING, lol.