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How To Price Your Artwork

How To Price Your Artwork

Amy Wilson

How do you price an original painting or drawing?

You’ve just completed a new work and – lucky you! – there’s someone interested in buying it. But how do you price your work in a way that’s fair to both you and your collector?

There are very few hard-and-fast rules in the art world, except when it comes to pricing, and you can get yourself into trouble if you don’t follow them. In this article I’ll be discussing these rules and how they relate to pricing original, two-dimensional works of art. If you are looking to price editioned prints, sculpture, video, or other works, this advice isn’t exactly for you, but hopefully it can give you a basis to start understanding how the process works.

Rule #1: Prices are based, in part, on medium.

Assume for a moment that you are a painter. You probably make a variety of paintings in different sizes on canvas, along with some drawings and studies on paper; occasionally you may make some prints. The very first rule for you to keep in mind is that generally speaking, a painting is going to be more expensive than a drawing, which will be more expensive than a print. Remember that this is a general rule, because the next thing to keep in mind is…

Rule #2: Prices are also based, in part, on size.

A big drawing is worth more than a little drawing, simple than that. But remember that Rule #1 and Rule #2 have to work hand-in-hand. This means that if you have a drawing that is 30 × 40 and a painting that is 30 × 40, the painting will be priced higher. It also means that if you have two paintings, one 30 × 40 and the other 60 × 80, the latter will sell for more.

Confused yet? It gets trickier.

Next: Rule #3 →


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