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Old 09-04-2019, 12:18 PM
nosnam nosnam is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Advice on pricing

I would like some advice on pricing the following 2 paintings which will be part of a solo exhibition in New York. I do not know the market there. The paintings are 24" x 24", acrylic on linen. Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:08 PM
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theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: Advice on pricing

- can't the people that are hosting your New York Solo Exhibit give you some guidelines?
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:27 PM
nosnam nosnam is offline
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Re: Advice on pricing

thanks for replying.....they want a ballpark figure
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:12 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Boerne, TX USA
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Re: Advice on pricing

Why not $4.00/square inch? It's New York, after all.

Sling paint,
Virgil Carter
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:01 PM
SurrealityArt SurrealityArt is offline
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Re: Advice on pricing

Outside of being a reputable artist, there is no established method to pricing an artists paintings. The only information you will find on the web is the accepted "pricing paintings by size." Basically what the artist will do is calculate the size of the painting in square inches. Multiply the square inches by your dollar amount per inch. (Say $5 per inch). Include your materials costs for framing, canvas, paint, postage, etc and Double it for your price.

Though this is an accepted method, I have found that it doesn't work for me as I can spend 120 hours painting a 30x40" canvas or spend 120 hours on a 5x5" canvas. The same work, two different prices? I keep my art affordable, so I keep the buyers cost down to a minimum. In my method, I calculate the cost of materials and keep track of the amount of hours I work on a particular painting and base the price on the total hours work I put into it. Then the biggest factor is what % the gallery wants for a commission. Basic Example:
Materials: $70
120 Hours Worked: $5 per hour = $600
50% commission: $300 (half the price of the artwork)
Total for all: $970.oo (lowest possible sale price)
Hope this helps. ~T.J.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:57 PM
nosnam nosnam is offline
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Re: Advice on pricing

Thank you so much for your thoughtful advice. Seems like a good approach.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:23 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Advice on pricing

Remember to include in your price your costs for materials, paint, canvas, framing, wear on brushes etc. Also bear in mind that your costs come out after the commission. These are easy points to overlook.

As for pricing by the square inch, it can give a baseline. I recently crunched the numbers on tree local shows. The average price per square inch was $1.39. The lowest price per square inch was $0.06, the highest was over $8. The career levels of the artists carried widely. I am in a rural area in upstate NY. I would expect prices to be higher elsewhere.

My local price would make those $800 paintings. Virgil's NYC suggestion would make them $2300 paintings. Somewhere between those two numbers may be something you are comfortable with as a starting point.

I do a lot of looking at what paintings are selling for in different styles and markets. My conclusion? There really is no "industry standard" rate for pricing.
"Let the paint be paint" --John Marin
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:02 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Joshua Tree, California
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Re: Advice on pricing

I don't think pricing things by the square inch is workable because, what if you don't paint large? What if your large paintings are not as detailed as your smallest works?

I can see it being used as a baseline, but never as a barometer.

So many other things, IMO, need to be taken into account, like the artist's resume (exhibition history--where they have exhibited, who they have exhibited with, what collections they are part of, awards they have earned, how long they have been painting, etc.). Also, perhaps who they have studied with and their education. I say that even though I am self-taught because it should be taken into account if a person has earned their MFA in painting. That shows something substantial. You don't just pay for an education. You have to earn it too.

Also, the artist might have a bibliography--critical articles that have been published or written about their work. That counts for a lot too. A history of sales is also important.

Pricing your work for retail is tricky. My personal opinion is to always price your work in retail prices on your website so that you are not undercutting an gallery you wind up with. A gallery will usually double the wholesale price (what you want for your work). So the market value is different from the price YOU want. You have to keep this in mind. You should also keep in mind that if you price too high, you can shoot yourself in the foot for a long time because dropping your prices later (after someone has already paid for something at that cost) will denigrate their investment in you. You can always raise prices, not necessarily drop them. Not without consequence.

You should also look at what peers are pricing their work--peers with equal credentials, or thereabouts. Peers showing in equivalent galleries or shows, etc. Something along that line. You don't want to come in too low or too high.

Never undervalue your work because then so will your buyer. If you're with a gallery, the price-setting should be a collaborative decision. Look at your gallery like your spouse and the art as your children. If you are feeling uneasy with your spouse and are having thoughts of leaving them, it might not be a good idea to get married in the first place. You should have a happy marriage and feel comfortable, and trust them, just like any relationship. And it goes both ways. Communication is key. Etc.

Hope this stuff helps.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:46 PM
nosnam nosnam is offline
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Re: Advice on pricing

Thanks for all your great advice!
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:05 AM
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LAabstracts LAabstracts is offline
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West Hollywood
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Re: Advice on pricing

Lots and lots of variables to setting prices for specific works. General rules have already been mentioned above. I would add that most unvalue their work when first starting out.
Original Fine Abstract Paintings
Nestor Toro
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