Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pricing a Painting

I've been asked for a price estimate for re-creating my painting "Strange Dreams" (pictured above). The new version will measure 12" by 12", and like the original, will be painted in acrylic on pre-stretched canvas.

I'd like to ask my fellow blog members what I should consider charging - and how to better calculate the amount of time it will take. (I always underestimate the time.)


  1. You know more than anyone how fast you work, Brian, but I may have a helpful tip or two.

    Graphic designers have a rule: take your best estimate and double it.

    I've found that the time I spend on artwork has a lot to do with my level of experience with the task-at-hand, but is even more influenced by the personality of the client. Try to get a read on that as quickly as possible.

    Sometimes it's good business to take a risk for a new client, or a new approach to working. Just make sure you take good notes for future reference.

    I wish I could give you specific numbers, but some folks would call that an attempt at price-fixing. Some subjects are best tackled over lunch. Go to galleries and see what similar art costs. That may help.

  2. Thank you, Chuck.

    Working outside of one's usual medium also tends to throw all estimates. I taught myself Adobe Illustrator by using it on two consecutive cover assignments, but don't ask what my hourly wage broke down as. It was worth it for the knowledge.