How I've priced my art


Now I've got a (big) stock of paintings, framed and ready to go, the question is how much should I be selling them for?

Scour the internet and there's lots of advice. Because, naturally; its a problem for every artist setting out and you need to get it right from the off. Once committed, it's difficult to change things significantly, at least in the short-term.

There are some horrendously complicated formulae being recommended out there but setting an hourly rate for yourself and then basing each painting's price on how long it takes you to complete it seems to be one of the simpler and more popular suggestions. However, while this might work for artists who produce a diverse range of art in different media and styles, it doesn't really work for me and even this relatively simple approach seems a bit over-complicated for what I do.

That's because I'm essentially offering the same product every time i.e. a pastel painting of a Welsh landscape, in one of just four set sizes and always in an identical frame. I just can't imagine a buyer being willing to pay three times as much for one of my paintings that looks ostensibly the same as another one of the same size hanging alongside it, just because it happened to take me that much longer to complete. Individual, bespoke, prices also feel like a nightmare for keeping on top of my finances.

Much simpler to set a fixed price for each of my four sizes, regardless of how long a particular painting takes. I'll make more on some and less on others, though the fact that I also sell limited edition prints means that, eventually, I should make a decent return even on those paintings where I take a bit of a hit on the price at which I sell the original.

Fortunately, the fact that my product is so 'consistent' works to my advantage when it comes to setting those fixed prices. There are an awful lot of other artists selling exactly the same thing as me (Welsh landscapes) at similar sizes. And there are a lot of galleries acting for them. It doesn't take much effort to browse some of those artists' websites and have a chat with some gallery owners to learn where it would be reasonable to pitch yourself as an emerging artist. So that's what I've d