The topic of "prices in art" is unpleasant for most artists. Many find it difficult to switch from a creative process to economic considerations.
I can understand this well, as I feel no other way. As someone said so beautifully in the comments on Instagram on this subject: "You can't put a price on pouring your heart and soul onto paper." (@passion_for_pastels)
You don't have to if you decide not to sell your art. For example, you could just give it away as a gift or simply keep it.
But since in general the efforts are more in the direction of making a business out of it, one has to deal with the topic for better or worse.
There are different ways to approach this topic. Mostly I include them all in my considerations. Here are the 3 basic methods.
The prices of an artist reflect how long he has been in the business / how well known he is. In addition, pictures of different sizes should have reasonable prices in relation to each other.
The price for a picture should be the same at all locations (gallery, online, direct sale)
Painting size as basis
The easiest way to approach a reasonable pricing is through the size of a painting.
To this you add the length to the width. The result is multiplied by a factor that you have previously determined.
The advantage of this method is that the prices are correct in comparison between larger and smaller pieces. With very large pictures, however, I would add something to the price, with very small pictures I would charge a little less.
With time you can simply increase the factor and thus raise all prices evenly.
Galleries often take a percentage of the sales price as an expense allowance. This ranges between 30 - 50%, whereby 50% is not unusual. This should be included in the price considerations.
And as mentioned above, there should be no price differences between the gallery price and the online price.
If a painting is sold after an exhibition, but the customer has seen the painting in the exhibition, the gallery owner naturally owns his share as well.
Price according to effort
A basic consideration should always be what the picture has cost in production.
Listened to the composition:
- Framing (if you have it done externally) or hours + material Framing (if you make the frame yourself)
- Profit margin as a factor
Example: inexperienced artist in a collective exhibition
PastelCard 40x30cm = 4.80 CHF
Chalks approx. 10,- CHF
Fixing spray approx. 1,- CHF
Share of small material: approx. 5,- CHF (e.g. painting board, adhesive strips for fixing, easel..)
5 hours of 30,- CHF = 150,- CHF
Ikea frame: 40X30cm à 10,- CHF
Total amount: 180.80 CHF
Factor e.g. 2.5 > 180.80 * 2.5 = 452,- CHF
If the painting is sold in a gallery in this way, the result is the following:
452,- / 2 = 226,- each to gallery and artist
226,- - 180.80 = 45.20 So exactly 10% of the selling price is for the artist
Depending on this it would be advisable to choose a slightly higher factor.
In the end you always have to decide for yourself if you can live with the price as well as with the profit.