How To Price Your Artwork

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Well, you know you want to sell your artwork, but the question is – how much is your art actually worth? How do you price your art? In this article, the art experts go over some quick, simple steps to price your artwork fairly, and in a way that will get you making money in no time.

When pricing your artwork, there are several factors to consider. We will be looking at pricing artwork at three stages: setting artwork prices for emerging artists, adjusting prices over your art career, and setting prices for exhibitions and events.

Setting Artwork Prices for Emerging Artists

You should carefully consider prices when you are just beginning to sell, as they may determine your prices as you move years and decades into your career. So, to start:

Calculate the cost of your materials

Acrylics on canvas are worth more than graphite on paper, and both are worth less than a large, stainless steel sculpture. Even if you bought your materials in bulk, you can still roughly estimate what the prices were. Your artwork should never sell for less than the cost of your materials.

Calculate the cost of labor

How much time did you spend working on this piece, and how much should you be paid per hour? Consider any other jobs you may have, or previous jobs you’ve held to determine what your time is “worth.” If you’re just starting out, don’t overvalue yourself just yet. Your value will grow as your reputation does. A good starting point is $20/hour.

Once you’ve decided your wages, multiply your hourly ‘wages’ by the number of hours you’ve worked on that piece.

Example: if you spent $50 on materials and worked on this piece for 12 hours at $20/hour, your ideal starting price point would be $290. However – there are even more factors to consider, so keep reading before you update your price lists.

Size matters, too

Smaller works should, all things considered, require fewer materials and less time to complete. For this reason, smaller works should always be priced lower than larger works when made of comparable materials.

Look at similar artists

If there is another artist in your area with a similar background to you who is selling works like your own for much less money, you have to recognize that most buyers will turn to them instead. Keep an eye on your competition, be aware of what they are doing and always consider this when setting your prices.

Do not overvalue yourself

It’s always easier to raise your prices after you’ve made many sales than it is to lower your prices after no sales. Being forced to lower your prices due to lack of interest can greatly harm your reputation.

Would you like to have access to specialized pricing services? If so, please contact us at  

On the other side of the coin, don’t be “cheap.” There’s a difference between a fair low price and an embarrassing price. While it’s acceptable to give special discounts for close friends, or even as a marketing tactic to create long-term relationships, you’ll want to keep your average artwork price at a level that shows you’re a serious artist and not just a discount decoration shop.

FAQ: Does education affect the value of artwork? 

In certain industries, the education and background of a professional will mandate their prices. A lawyer from Harvard, for example, may charge more than a lawyer from a lesser-known, lower-reputation law school. However, both of these lawyers will charge much less fresh out of law school than any lawyer who has been practicing law for years, who has proof of expertise and has won trials. The same goes for artists. A self-taught artist may charge less than an artist who studied at a well-known school or under a famous, well-established artist. However, a ‘new’ artist with no former sales or exhibitions should not sell their works at the same price point as a well-established artist. Your background will impact your artwork value, but more in the case of former sales, exhibition history, and reputation than your education history.

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Adjusting Prices Over Your Art Career

As we mentioned, well-established artists don’t sell at the same price points as newly emerging artists. However, the change doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, artists’ prices grow with their careers.

When to raise the prices of your artwork

When your work is selling well, it means you’ve established that there is value and demand for your artwork, so you can afford to increase the price. However, one or two successful weeks is not enough: you should be looking at at least three months of consistent sales.

You also may consider raising your prices when:

  1. Recent Succesful Exhibition (if over half of the works on display sold, minimum of 5) .

  2. Prize in a Noteworthy Competition.

  3. Increased Media Attention (ie: articles in high-profile magazines or websites).

Any of these circumstances might increase the value of your works, but you should be careful about sudden price hikes. For the most part, you’ll want to stick with gradual increases of 10-15%, but in special circumstances, you can stretch to 25%.

Consider Your Output

If you have a vast number of artworks and are constantly creating new work, you should price your works lower than if you only have a few available works and only create one new piece per year. That’s basic supply and demand, and is the same reason you can buy a factory-made desk at Ikea for much less money than a hand-crafted desk from a local artisan.

Be able to justify your price points

As you begin to show your work in new venues, you’ll be interacting with a lot of art professionals. These are people who won’t be fooled by improvised prices. You must either be ready to show proof of previous sales or, if lacking that, proof that other comparable artists are selling at the same price range.

Note: when showing proof of previous sales, do not let yourself get overconfident based on the prices that your family and friends have been willing to pay. Selling works to your family for $6,000 a piece does not mean that your art is worth that much. Savvy collectors will catch on when this is the case, and not only will they not be willing to pay your high prices, they’ll also take you less seriously as an artist and professional.

How To Price Your Art For Negotiation

You may price your artwork at a higher point than you’re willing to sell it for, to give yourself room to haggle while still staying in a range you are comfortable with. There are two advantages to this method: first, your haggling clients will feel like they got a bargain; and second, you may end up making more money off of buyers who don’t haggle.

Be careful, though! You may scare potential buyers away with high prices. Keep your asking price within 10% of what you want to sell for, and be highly observant of the reactions of potential buyers. If people are quickly losing interest after learning the price, then mention to them that you have room to negotiate.

Setting Prices for Exhibitions and Special Events

Blend In With The Crowd

When showing your work in a gallery, an art fair, or any collective exhibition, be aware of the prices of your co-exhibitors. Your work should be priced very similarly to theirs: too high and it will never sell, too low and it won’t be taken seriously with the others.

Be aware of your audience

A New York audience is always willing to spend more on artwork than a small-town local audience. Additionally, buyers at large outdoor markets will want to spend less than buyers inside a gallery. You may want to adjust your sales with each new location, so do your research to see what other local artists are selling their works for in this style of venue.

Consider extra costs

When working with a gallery, you’ll have to start factoring the costs of commission into your prices. For art fairs, you might have to pay for the booth space. For any out-of-area events, you should consider the cost of shipping and transportation. All things considered, you’ll start raising your prices as you do more of these events to recoup the losses. However:

Don’t cheat your gallery!

If you use your gallery relationship to promote your artwork, but then sell through your own website at a lower price, you are cheating your gallery out of their commission. Your gallery may drop you immediately, and other galleries will be less likely to work with you in the future. Why? Because you are actually competing with the gallery and taking away their business and source of income.

The hardest thing about pricing your artwork is viewing it through an objective, impersonal perspective. If every artist priced their artwork at what they valued it at, then there wouldn’t be any affordable art on the market. Your audience doesn’t always see the emotion and stress that went into the work any more than you see the stress of factory workers who put together your clothes.

Don’t confuse price with value

A work that sells today for $200 can be worth millions when you’ve reached international fame. If you are selling works at a low price, do not think that it means you are any less of an artist, or that your artwork is bad. Cheap doesn’t need to mean cheap, and artists who confuse these two become self-conscious, discouraged, and uninspired.

By pricing your artwork right, you are one step closer to finding your art a new forever home.

Looking to develop your artistic career and build a presence in New York City and worldwide? Book an online career development consultation meeting today.

Let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to offer your own personal tips for pricing artwork in the comments!


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66 responses to “How To Price Your Artwork”

  1. Latasha)Swanly avatar

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  3. naomi ramsey avatar

    Uhh so I’m 12 and I draw and I do traditional and digital, I want to sell my art but I feel that it’s not good enough for someone to want to buy it, can someone help?

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  5. Frederique avatar

    I disagree with some of your points.

    Pricing your artwork is incredibly difficult, since there are just so MANY things to consider (e.g. skills, experience, labour costs, overhead, expenses, education, location, time, market, and so on…)

    So I have been searching the internet for a blog that really puts things in perspective. A blog which explains what do to, and why some things matter more than others. At the same time I would also befinit from a simple method, because things can get so complicated.

    In the end I have found a tool that I would recommend to all, which is also completely free to use. To me it offered the exact right perspective and the perfect tool (as an artist I have been using it ever since). Hope you will love it to, it called Pricing Art and you can find it at

    1. Katharine avatar

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  7. Caroline laferla avatar

    You are a artist and your work is makes you happy like me I was like you you and I was keeping it as a hobby but then I had a friend and he told me why aren’t you selling your work and I told him .I never tryed and he told me you should believe your work is brilliant beautiful fantastic amazing Outstanding you deserve to try so I am trying now and I am doing my best I am a jack of all trades artist and what I see I do it’s not easy for me as well because I am so much on my plate I am talking to you now but listen dear lady I don’t know your work and even though I can’t see it I am say this your work is brilliant beautiful fantastic amazing Outstanding you have God and MOTHER MARY and Angel’s protecting you and you can do just try I will pray for you always best regards caroline laferla Malta.

  8. emma avatar

    I recently started painting, mostly acrylic on canvas.I never tried to sell anything, it’s what I have always loved. I have visitors that come to my home and comment on my paintings. positive things but I never took it serious. today some one at my home for a business matter asked if I would sell them one of my paintings. I was speechless I didn’t know what to charge so I told them I would get back with them. I never took any painting outside my home. I never really expected to sell anything. I really don’t know what to do.

  9. Marko Stout avatar

    Your article is spot on… almost the exact marking and pricing plans we’ve been using for years! and very well articulated by the author. Agora Gallery is an excellent starting place for emerging artists with many innovative and interesting exhibitions! Thanks for all the invites! Cheers!! Marko Stout

  10. Jack avatar

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    Do you know? on an average, around 64% of artists fail to sell their artworks successfully.
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  11. Kate avatar

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  12. Jeffie Magill avatar

    Hey, you used to write excellent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    1. Andra Bilici avatar

      Hi Jeffie,

      Thank you for your feedback. What would you like to read on our blog? Let us know and we’d be happy to tackle to topics.

  13. Anthony Anchan avatar

    Hi there, thank you for the great article.
    My name is Anthony, and I’m a 32 years old French architect/artist based in Tokyo.
    I’m still uncertain about the approach for selling my art. I Have made few sales already, but I’m not sure I’m doing it right. I’m using gel ink pens for drawing, and use different kinds of papers. My drawings are basically extremely detailed pieces, and since each piece takes a tremendous amount of time, I have decided to price my drawings per square centimeter. Considering that one square centimeter can take up to five minutes to draw, I thought that it would be a good start to do it that way because my clients wouldn’t be very surprised when they ask me for the price. So even if the size of the art is pretty big but the surface that I drew is pretty small, the price won’t be very high. On the other hand sometimes the art size is pretty small, but the drawing surface is covering almost the entire paper, so the price can be pretty expensive.
    When I say expensive it depends on what we consider expensive.
    Considering the few sales that I made until now, I think I can say that my hour rate is pretty low… selling an artwork that took me a bit more than 200 hours to draw for about 1500 dollars… I’m not sure it’s the right strategy.
    Basically every one who sees my artwork in real is impressed by the detail, and the quality, but when they see the price, two kinds of people appear: those who think it’s very expensive (such a small piece for so much money!!) and those who think I’m selling way too cheap (1500 dollars for 200hrs work? You’re crazy!!).
    I am not famous, or even well known, so I know it’s hard to find clients who are willing to pay that much for drawings made with ball pen by some unknown artist, and I have been lucky to have some clients who recognize my potential and who really appreciate what I’m doing. So that’s already a great start and I feel blessed.
    But on a long term thinking, I have to reconsider what I’m doing if I want to make this a consistent business (because yes, in the end I consider it as a business…). Since I’ working full time for an architecture firm, I draw only at night and in my weekends… so if I want to make a living with my artworks, the marketing side of it needs to be consistent.
    I think that any piece of art, especially if a very long time has been spent to make it, should be sold at a reasonable price, especially considering that the drawings I do are pretty hard to make and very time consuming.
    I cannot find any information for art pricing in the case of very detailed art. A lot of comments can be found for oil painting or murals, or other kind of arts, but nothing in the case of crazy detailed line art works like the ones I make.
    So if I could get some advice/opinion or feedback, I would be very grateful.
    Thank you in advance… and very sorry for the length of that message.

    1. Andra Bilici avatar

      Hi Anthony! You could try creating an artist page on social media (Facebook or Instagram), and network with potential buyers or even peer artists. This way, you’ll get a better sense of your niche. Hopefully, after that, you’ll assess your pricing strategy. Good luck!

      1. Anthony Anchan avatar

        Hi Andra, first of all I am so sorry for the time between your reply and mine, I just couldn’t find that page again…
        I am not sure you will see this message, but indeed I already share my work on my Insta page (@anchan_te) and on Facebook. I kind of get a better sense of my niche already, but for the pricing that’s definitely another story. Until now the different clients I had and whom I explained my way of pricing my artworks (per square centimeter) seems the fairest way and same story as before. Some will think it’s too cheap because too much work for the amount of money, and others will think it’s too expensive for such a small piece of art.
        I will keep trying to get connected with artists community in Tokyo but the language barrier makes things a little more complicated, even though I can speak reasonably well… but definitely not like in English or French. So that brings the challenge to a different level.
        Anyway thank you again, and if anybody else has some comment or opinion about pricing a very detailed artwork, I’m all ears ^^ Thanks a lot.

    2. Luvensky avatar

      I agree with that Anthony.

      You should consider the time you spend on your art piece. Expensive is relative!

      You should find the right buyers in the right places.
      Find an art dealer or gallery have buyers otherwise collectors who have money to buy artworks because they feel connected with and don’t care about the price it is.

      Luvensky Valmont

  14. Johny avatar

    This is a cornerstone article for any artist starters who want to have a fresh look into pricing their arts realistically. Plus, selling your artwork once at $100K will not guarantee that your other artworks can sell at much.

  15. Seth Buabeng avatar

    Thank you for this advice. Pls am a thread artist and am now starting to sell my works. I find it difficult to price my artworks. But after reading your article I now know what to do. Pls how can I contact you

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Dear Seth,

      You can email us about any queries at

  16. David avatar

    Thank you for the pricing tips provided in this article.
    Who, ultimately holds the reigns when it comes to increasing prices; the gallery or the artist? For several years, one of my top selling galleries has set the prices and the price increases. I have heard from collectors that my work is not high enough in price and I have a hard time keeping up with sales and commissions. Thoughts?

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Dear David,

      The prices of artworks is usually a mutual decision between the artist and the gallery. The gallery is involved in the process because they know the market well and can guide you better. However, if you are not happy with the results and decisions, try to talk to your gallery staff and see what they think.

  17. en BENALMADENA Maquillaje Semipermanente cejas 3D avatar

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    Nonetheless, the posts are too short for novices.

    Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank
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  19. Shasta Wesch avatar

    I genuinely enjoy reading on this website, it holds good blog posts. “The living is a species of the dead and not a very attractive one.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

    1. Margart Saba avatar

      I would like to first share with you about myself and how I ended up here on your site.
      I am a 56yr old woman who has been on disability since 2012, use to be a very physically active, outdoorsy person when I injured my back in 2008. Jumping ahead to 2017 when I was compelled in trying something new in the hope to make some extra money, being I’m on a low fixed income and just making ends meet. So I was inspired to teach myself in doing diy crafts, not to mention allowing my creative imaginations some liberties; I take pictures of everything I made and still do. Until I started watching videos on how to do paintpourings with acrylics.
      To my great surprise i found that it is a truly enjoying hobby that gave me such pleasure in the process with each paintpour I did. So now that is all I do.
      My only issue is even though I have gone as far as parking in a parking lot to set up a table to display my paintings and crafts to sell them. Sadly, just have not sold enough to get ahead, yet my perseverance and strong belief that some day my hard work will prevail in profiting so I can live a much more financially secure life. Because at this point, I have more money into my paintings and supplies than in the bank. But I’m still when I can money wise I do get enough materials to do afew more paintings. So, what I would like to see happen is to first show someone what I do have to get their professional input, insights and to basically be told what they really think and maybe foresee any more profitable possibilities for me? Which is a dream for me. Personally I really love the work I’ve done thus far, they are unique, creative and no 2 paintpours are the same, which fascinates me as well as seeing with my own eyes how the paints interact with eachother when pouring onto the canvas or board. U know it’s a great painting when it just pops out at you as well what you see within the paints, it simply is magical to me.
      Well, thank you so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to read this, I truly do appreciate you for it.
      If whoever reads this wishes to see my work, I am willing to send pictures directly to you. I do not have a portfolio or anything like that other than my pictures, and videos of some of the paintings too. But note, videos may have to be resized cuz they are too long in order to be sent to u, so the quality may be a bit poor.

  20. Suelene Rebouças avatar

    Thank you very much for all this information. I’m terrified in price my art. When people asks me how much it is and willing to buy I evade the question.
    And I go away because I think there are better artworks than mine. I did sell quite few, and some of the buyer paid more of what I asked for it… But still difficult to me to do it. I use oil, colored pencil, watercolor. I’m a self taught artist, and I think this is the reason I think my work isn’t worth.

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Hi Suelene,

      If the buyers are paying more than you ask for, then your art is definitely worth much more than you think. Don’t underestimate yourself, every medium has its own charm.

      Good luck!

  21. Lori avatar

    I’m in the process of creating a home studio after working in (and paying for) a common space for some time so I am acutely aware right now of how much a studio space costs. In addition to materials for the art itself (encaustic), I need to purchase workspace furniture, storage containers, ventilation, tons of tools and brushes, etc. My utility costs will also be going up. When calculating costs, shouldn’t one also include a small percentage of these expenses in order to amortize their costs? If I’m only compensated for time and materials I will always be operating at a loss, effectively lowering my hourly rate.

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Hi Lori – yes, you absolutely should.

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  23. Shanza P.L.Raura avatar

    Thank you This article is very useful to all.Help me to find good agent for my fine arts,oil color to sell my Art work from Tanzania.

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  25. Nashwa Abdelfattah avatar

    Dear editor, your article is the best study I’ve ever read. I’m an artist and I had worked as a gallery director over a 6 years in Cairo, Egypt. Pricing was the main issue I used argue with all the artists, I did many searching over the art blogs, and you are the best blog I received.
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      Thank you, Nashwa!

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  31. Nicole Guillet Flammini Artist peintre avatar

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  33. Onyebe Ella avatar

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been facing serious Challenges pricing my paintings. I wish to read more articles on this topic to really get better. I am working on getting my website too. I will be needing all the supports and keep working hard. I really appreciate this post and am looking forward to reading more from you. Thank you.

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Dear Ella, thank you for this wonderful feedback, this really makes our day! We will continue to delve deeper into this complicated subject, stay tuned!

  34. Bright A. Ntakky avatar


  35. Lubega Felix avatar

    thank u very much for this advice. I am a Ugandan artist specialising in banana fibre mosaic. this form of art is done by very few people but am glad I have been following most of the tips u have given. thx a lot

  36. Gerry Tuten avatar

    Thank-you for this information. I think that we al struggle with pricing.

  37. Víctor Julio Torrealba avatar

    Estimados expertos de Agora Gallery un cordial saludo para ustedes y su valioso equipo, Luego de leer con detenimiento el articulo expuesto en su blog tiulado “How To Price Your Artwork” COMO PONERLE EL PECIO A TU TRABAJO decidí escribirles para felicitarlos por esa iniciativa de poner al alcance de todo publico (Artistas Noveles y Expertos y obviamente a Coleccionistas Nuevos y Expertos) esta valiosa herramienta que con sinceridad y objetividad puede ser usada en cualquier parte del mundo.

  38. jayant avatar

    Thank you for this valuable information which is asensial for all the artist and the art lovers

    thank you

  39. Peter Peeters avatar

    My kind of art is different.
    Shapedcanvas art is not so famous and it’s hard to compare myself with Turi Simeti.
    I do not sell much at this moment and my question is: do people not like my art ie is it too different and they just aren’t ready for it?
    If I show my art, everybody says WAUW thats great but then it stops…

    1. Marta Brysha avatar

      Peter people liking your art and buying them are two different things. The problem is that you are not reaching your target market, ie those who love you work and have the money to pay for it. Many of us are in this situation. I took a look at your work on Pinterest as it is the only place i could find images. I think you need to establish your own website so that if people hear of you they can at least take a look at your work. In today’s world the first thing people will be looking for is a personal website that showcases your work.

  40. mamatha s.p avatar

    Thanks for giving advice and ideas to sell my paintings. Every artist should read this….it will really help us.

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Dear Mamatha, thank you very much.

  41. TONY OWERE avatar

    We so much thank you for all you been teaching us and the information you have been given us, Thanks for every thing, Am Tony Owere an artist

  42. Stephen Oni avatar

    This is highly informative, thanks for sharing

  43. Ali avatar

    Very nice article and it s very useful to me, that s always my problem how to price my work, thanks so much

  44. kevin nathaniel avatar

    Thank you agora, great information, really. Grettings from indonesia

  45. Rachel avatar

    I have my own website plus I list on other online platforms. I find pricing very discouraging. I live in a remote area so I rely on the web to sell my work. The competition is fierce and in order to sell I frequently find that I have to sell for less then I think my work is worth. I work as an artist full time and I am self taught. I try different methods in marketing and selling and often refer to “going back to the black board” to try and work out alternative plans to get my work out. I am heading there now ???? Thanks for the info!

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Dear Rachel, pricing is definitely one of the toughest aspects of marketing your art and we hope that this article has helped shed some light on the process as well as give you some ideas. Since you’re in the remote area, I’m assuming that you’re utilizing social media to promote and market your art. You might find it helpful to take a look at some of our articles from the How to Promote Your Art on Social Media series. There are quite a few articles in the series and I think that looking through them will give you some good ideas.
      Let us know how else we could help. If you have a specific question or would like to see an article on a certain topic, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  46. Zeinab Khalil avatar

    Thank you for this valuable information.
    Im an aged Egyptian former assistant chief editor in a news agency and a painter .I studied art since long years ago for it was life to me despite I was always busy in work,therefore it was a challenge for me .I joined the Egyptian art move 1978 with participating in the large group exhibiton beside the private and held many exhibitions abroad including Germany..Italy.Now residing in Hamburg in the time being.So pleased of seeing your posters on my f.b. page.Hope to follow up.Best greetings.

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Dear Zeinab, we’re delighted to see that you’re enjoying our advice articles. Thank you so much!