What Should I Charge For My Paintings?

Many of you are several months into the How to paint Blooms Program
and producing some nice looking paintings!! As the paintings escape from the studio and onto the living room walls, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are being complimented for your work and others are making polite enquiries as to whether you are selling your work or not?

Well done!

My own studio is beginning to overflow with the painted examples and I have had enquiries to sell my peachy pink rose an the green pears painting.

The most common question I get from students is… how much should I sell my art work for?

And the most common response from them is … they don’t think their work could possibly be worth charging for.

If you are having a similar response this make it harder for you to sell your work when you believe your efforts are worthless. You are likely to mumble and stammer over pricing, and to make self deprecating comments. You will actually make it difficult for anyone to buy work from you!

That’s where I come in. Jac to the rescuuuuueeeee!
It’s time to give you some ground rules advice about selling your artwork.

Jac’s 5 TOP TIPS

1. COMPLETE THE WORK READY FOR SALE

When you finish a painting make sure it feels complete and totally finished.
That means going through your Blooms finessing steps thoroughly.When a painting feels and looks comp lee then you feel great about your work and so will others. The painting will do the selling work because it will look so great.

Clean up the edges of the canvas, and apply some matt or gloss varnish to even out the surface gloss which may be uneven after applying the acrylic gloss medium ion random amounts during the painting process.


2. PRICE YOUR WORK

Buy some manila tags from the newsagent and make a price tag for the painting. Attach the price tag and decide the price. This will depend on the quality of the painting.
Write the title, size and price on the manila tag.

I would sell from $450-$800 for the 45cm size painting depending on the amount of detail and how finished it looks. Student prices in my Make Money From Art Program at this size have been selling from $290-$480.

When you are starting out price to sell but don’t undercut the price. You won’t feel good if you undercharge. Never be embarrassed about asking for what you want. You only need one buyer. So what if someone doesn’t agree with your pricing. As long as one person feels its right for them that’s all you need. You may have to give up being a people pleaser! And being self effacing!

Putting a price tag on the work, even if you tuck it behind the canvas till someone enquires, means you have a bounder in place that says you value your work.

3. VALUE YOUR PAINTINGS

Don’t give your work away. Not even to friends. Unless you really want to, and it a special occasion. Make them wait for it if you can feel yourself having the painting willed away from you. Let them know they can have it at Christmas time. In the meantime take orders for commissions off the sample, and let the painting work for you.

If you have spent 8 hours on a painting it is worth something. If a friend genuinely wants your painting and can’t afford it, consider bartering something they have that you want for it! Here are some of the things I have received when bartering paintings; Multiple cases of excellent wine, earthmoving, plumbing, lighting, rose arbours, roses for my garden and a cappuccino machine, which I later sold.

Paintings are worth something. Would you expect a lawyer to give up 12 hours of their time plus expenses for nothing? Didn’t think so.

4. BE PREPARED TO NEGOTIATE

Everyone loves a bargain. Me included. So build in a twenty percent buffer zone so that if someone else were to sell the painting for you their commission is covered and if you sell it yourself, then you have room to negotiate and provide a discount which is a win for the client.

If you name your bottom price first up then you have no room to go up in the deal when the client comes back at you wanting a cheaper deal. You can only go down in the deal. If you allow wiggle room before you state the price then you can be generous with the buyer. Only discount for a good reason. Let the client know the reason. Here are reasons I will give a discount;

The client is paying in full straight away

The client is buying two or more paintings

The client has recommended your work to others previously

The client is going to give you a testimonial about how much they love your work and their new purchase in writing or on video, plus permission to use it.

It’s a mate so you are giving mates rates

It’s someone’s birthday!

5. DISPLAY YOUR WORK PROUDLY WHERE OTHERS CAN SEE IT

Okay, so you just started panting and it’s a bit like telling everyone a big secret to share your work!
Start by hanging your work proudly at home so when visitors come by they can see what you are doing and that you are interested to sell some of your pieces. After a few conversations you won’t feel as nervous.
One of my students in the Make Money from Art program nearly dropped her son’s birthday cake when a visitor screamed how beautiful her paintings are, and can she buy three!
If you have an office for work, why not hang some pieces there and expose your paintings to your work colleagues?

Selling a few paintings along the way will pay your course and art materials so give it a go.

A WORD ABOUT SELLING

Selling paintings is never about turning into a smarmy salesman. Some of you will be relieved to hear that. Its about attracting the right person for each artwork . Your job is to do a great painting, which will inspire someone. If you love the painting chances are it will.

I find that clients are either madly attracted to the work or not. If they are, I know all I have to do is chat nicely about the painting and why I did it, and the painting will do the rest. Being certain about the price helps too. They will either choose to take it or not.
Often times a painting purchase has nothing to do with you or the price but more to do with will the painting fit on the wall and go with the new settee. Or whether the credit card has any funds left on it.

For more expensive pieces there is always lay buy.

If someone wants a larger painting than the sizes we are doing in the How to Paint Blooms course, you are welcome to try my Blooms Painting Workshops in Brisbane, Melbourne, Kapunda and Sydney which take you through the process of painting large and powerfully.

Visit www.bloomspaintingworkshops.com . One of the girls who finished her course last week has already had an offer for one of her two large pieces since arriving home.

The larger the painting the larger the price you can charge. The larger the painting the more you want things to go right as otherwise you will have a huge mistake rather than a small one on your hands!

So I hope that gives you something to think about with the paintings you are producing from home. The great thing about the small size is that gives you a modest price point to start out with, which is affordable for others. I wish you the best with your sales. Do share your successes on our private Facebook page for members. Facebook me to join.

Happy painting and happy earning while you are learning.

Jacqueline Coates

June 2014

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3 Responses to “What Should I Charge For My Paintings?”

  1. Ros Betts October 11, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Thanks for a great piece of advice in this article.

    Putting value on the time and the energy put into any work of art, is important. Even though this article is talking about money, that isn’t the main point about putting a value on the artwork.

    For me, It is recognition that thought, feelings, emotions and a journey has been undertaken and has come to a satisfying completion. It is about the growing confidence and recognition of how much of the ‘self’ went into the artwork.

    It is about the exchange of energy being ‘of value’ to someone else that results in a sale.

    I am happy that I am a Creatrix!

  2. Robin Dunn August 22, 2015 at 2:18 am #

    Thankyou Jac for very comprehensive and supportive advice,and for confidence and clarity a bout prices. You make each and every subject so interesting and you don,t miss anything.

  3. Inge Peerson January 18, 2017 at 5:14 am #

    Hi Jacqueline. Thanks for the journey of painting blooms. I have enjoyed it tremendously. So much fun, so many challenges. So much learning about myself. So much letting go of fear. And, at last I got to paint those daffodils I was told that I never would or could.
    I am so glad to have made your acquaintance, Jacqueline. You are a beautiful and generous woman, and I wish you success in all of you endeavours.
    I am taking a break this year from all of my previous commitments and wish you all the best.
    Regards and best wishes, Inga.

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