How much do you charge for art?

This is probably the most common question I get asked, and while I wish there was a simple answer there just isn’t. Each project is unique.  My pricing formula is (Cost of Supplies x 2) + (Hours x $20) , but that doesn’t help if you don’t know what the supplies cost or how long it will take to complete the project.  Again, each project is unique and there are many factors that can influence the time involved and in effect the price

Factors Influencing Price

  • Number of subjects (people or pets)– Capturing the likeness of even a single subject takes very careful observation. One trait just a few millimeters off can become someone else entirely. Adding subjects adds time.
  • How much of each subject is depicted- A head and shoulder portrait won’t take as much time as one that also includes hands or full body. This is many more careful observations.
  • Size of Painting– This is one of the bigger influencing factors when it comes to price. It takes more time to cover more ground, as well as added supply cost.
  • Details of clothing, jewelry, and props- The amount of detail in some cases can even double the time it takes to produce a work if not more.
  • Complexity of background- Just like any other detail, a complex background can add many more hours.
  • Quality of Reference Photo– Not all reference photos are created equal. Some reference photos translate better into a drawing or painting. It can have to do with lighting, range of values, angles, and many other factors. Sometimes it is necessary to work from multiple photos which takes time to piece together seamlessly. Also the size ratio of reference photos can make it necessary to either rearrange/crop the image or order a custom canvas.
  • Style the Art is Rendered In– some mediums or styles take more or less time.

Each one of these factors influences the time involved, and it takes more time from start to finish than many imagine. There are sketches, and in the case of paintings, color studies to be done before the painting even begins.

Ballpark Formulas

A formula of  (length” x width”= $) could be used to get a ballpark estimate on what a normal head and shoulders portrait painting would cost.  So you can figure up an 16″x20″ head and shoulders portrait painting like this (16″ x 20″= $320). Only a ballpark number

For Portrait Drawing {(length” + width”) x 7} will give you a general idea.  You can figure up an 8″x10″ portrait drawing like this: ( 8″+10″= 18″) then multiply the sum of length and width 18″x7= $187.  Only a ballpark number

On a Budget?

The prices that you get quoted are non-negotiable. It cost what it cost. However the terms are negotiable. In some cases I can tailor a project to fit your budget. We can also arrange an installment plan, and the artwork will be delivered once the final payment is made.

What Pricing Includes

When I quote a price for a piece of art, that is simply for the painting itself, and does not include things like sales tax, framing, or shipping/delivery. I will have artwork framed by request. If not I will leave that to you. Shipping cost are the responsibility of the customer.

Copyright- I retain the copyright to all artwork sold, which means you own the painting itself, but not the right to copy , redistribute, or use for marketing purposes. However I will sell complete rights to the artwork for twice the price of the piece.
No Publish Fee- If you would like me to not publish a piece of artwork I will do so for a fee of 25%. Part of the marketing of my art is showing previous works. If you would not like me to show a piece of art that I have done for you then that limits my advertising ability. This is not the same as delaying the publishing of artwork. Some customers commission paintings as a gift for someone and I would never want to spoil the surprise. In this case just let me know when it is acceptable for me to publish.
Downpayment– A payment of 33%-50% of the price of the artwork is to be paid before the project starts and the rest of the balance + any fees discussed will be due on completion and approval of the work before it is delivered.

Let’s use portrait painting for example.  If you are looking for a basic head and shoulders portrait you could multiply the length times the width

To get the most accurate quote, the best thing to do is look over the information here on the hire me page so you can get an idea of what to expect and the questions you have.  Then contact me with project details such as size, medium, images, and expectations for the project.  Don’t be afraid to ask anything.  I will be glad to walk you through the process.

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