What should I charge for my paintings?

I have a question for you....

Do you paint for fun?


Do you paint for money?

If you ask me, I paint for both!

I LOVE to paint! I always have.

In my mind, there is nothing in the world quite like bringing an image to life after it has been filtered through my mind.

And then.... 

I LOVE selling my artwork to people who see value in my creation.

Talk about the ultimate validation of my creativity! 

So many of my students also sell their masterpieces to people who appreciate their work.

And sometime, they ask me:

"How much should I be charging for my paintings when I sell them?"

The answer is complex, because pricing artwork is a complex process.

Thankfully, there are some formulas artists can follow.

The Artists Network recently shared a formula that I found useful:

Here’s what they shared:

1. Multiply the painting’s width by its length to arrive at the total size, in square inches. Then multiply that number by a set dollar amount that’s appropriate for your reputation. I currently use $6 per square inch for oil paintings. Then calculate your cost of canvas and framing, and then double that number. For example: A 16”-x-20” oil-on-linen landscape painting: 16” x 20” = 320 square inches. I price my oil paintings at $6 per square inch. 320 x 6 = $1,920.00, and I round this down to $1,900.

2. My frame, canvas and materials cost me $150.00 (I buy framing wholesale). I double this cost so that I’ll get it all back when the painting sells at the gallery. Otherwise, I’m subsidizing the collector by giving him or her the frame for free. $150 x 2 = $300.

3. Then I put it all together: $1,900 + $300 = $2,200 (the retail price). When the painting sells from a gallery, my cut after the 50 percent commission is paid comes to $950 for the painting and $150 for the framing, for a total of $1,100.

For much larger pieces, I’ll bring the price per square inch down a notch … maybe a dollar or two lower so that I don’t price my work beyond what my reputation can sustain. Alternately, for smaller works, I’ll increase the dollar per square inch because small works take almost as much effort as larger works, and I need to be compensated for my expertise, even when the work is miniature.

I hope this information helps you to become a 'Well Fed Artist'!

Dennis & Team
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