5 ways for artists to price artwork

5 Ways for artists to price artwork

22 October, 2018

Pricing artwork is one of the trickiest tasks faced by emerging artists.


When using the below methods, it’s also vital to look at what other people are doing. Research at least ten artists producing similar work to yours and calculate the average price they sell for. This gives you a reference point when it comes to valuing your own work.


All the below examples use a 1m x 1m artwork (40 x 40 inches) and a $100 material cost as an example, we used $ throughout, however use your local currency:




First, calculate your hourly rate:

Determine what your monthly salary is/would be if art were your full-time job and you sold all the works that you made over one month. If you’re a novice, go for the minimum wage in your area. If you’re more skilled, adjust accordingly.


Assuming 48 working weeks in a year (excluding 4 weeks holiday) at 40 hours per week, there are 160 working hours per month on average. Divide your required monthly salary by 160 working hours and that’s your net hourly rate.

Example:  $3200 / 160 hours = $20/hr


The price of your artwork is then:

Hourly rate x hours spent + cost of materials


Example: say your hourly rate is $20 an hour, it took you 80 hours to make a piece and you spent $100 on materials.

$20 x 80 hours = $1600
$1600 + $100 = $1700

Don’t forget to include any studio rental costs, time to buy materials and the cost of packaging the artwork in your calculations.  If the gallery you sell through also requires that you pay for delivery (such as artfinder.com), you should also include that cost.



 * Note, you can also use this method with cm, just increase the multiplier accordingly


(Height + width) x multiplier


Example: say you charge $20 per linear inch of your painting, which is 40 inches high and 40 inches wide.

40 + 40 = 80 linear inches
80 linear inches x $20 = $1600
If you didn’t factor it in already, add  $100 for materials cost
Total = $1700



 * Note, you can also use this method with cm, just increase the multiplier accordingly


Square inch x multiplier


Example: say your dollar amount is $5 per square inch and your painting is 40 inches wide x 40 inches high.

40 x 40 = 1600 square inches
1600 square inches x $1 = $1600
If you didn’t factor it in already, add  $100 for materials cost
Total = $1700




The Art Price Calculator app costs $1.99 on Google Play (there’s also a free ad-supported version)


They say ‘Just enter a few details about your work, and we’ll check them against our database of thousands of real-world art pricing examples, giving you our best (educated) guess as to what you could charge.’




There are numerous free and easy-to-use pricing calculators online, including:



This one is great, as it includes the cost of doing business (Studio rental, advertising & accounts) and wholesale and retail pricing based on the gallery commission and a consideration of how many paintings you can produce




Here’s a more simple calculator based on time, materials and frame costs.






The formulae I’ve listed gives you what you should receive as an artist i.e. the wholesale price. The retail price depends on your sales partner. It’s important that you keep your prices consistent wherever you are selling (as inconsistent pricing can alienate your audience), so a street gallery who takes 50% commission will mean that the retail price is double the wholesale (artists) price.


Artfuly only charges 25% commission, plus 1-euro membership per week for unlimited art uploads (You can count this as an advertising cost in the ARTSCOPE calulator above). So as an artist you can make a better income by selling with Artfuly, if you keep your prices consistent with all street galleries (50% commission) and other online platforms such as saatchiart or artfinder (30-50% commission). Alternately, you can choose to list your artworks with us at lower prices (25% commission).


We can provide personalised pricing advice – just email info@artfuly.com with your question.


Finally, if your art sells well at a show, you’re in a good position to raise your prices; likewise if you win an award. It’s also worth bearing in mind that buyers expect to pay less for smaller pieces, even though these don’t necessarily take less time to make, and that very large artworks may have to be adjusted lower to enable a sale.


And there it is. Set your price and then discover the art of selling art online:


Ready to start selling your work online?


Find out why Artfuly is the best choice for artists


and see details and apply here


Photocredit: Kenny Luo on Unsplash

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