top of page

The Five "Ps" to pricing your art

Pricing your artwork can be one of the most challenging aspects of being an artist. At a recent members’ meeting Matthew Eyles shared his experiences and opinions with other members and gave some points to consider when determining a price for artwork.


“Many artists are selling their art too cheaply and not getting paid fairly.”

  • Track the time spent on each artwork. This includes the actual creation process and any preparatory work, such as sketches or research. The UK living wage is £12/hour. Aim to factor in at least this rate for your time when pricing your art.


“So much is about perception.”

  • How well-known you are as an artist affects the price you can command for your work. Build your reputation by exhibiting frequently and develop a following on social media. Cards and other merchandise can make your art more accessible and spread your name further. Engaging with your audience and having people want your artwork enhances the perception of its value and can justify higher prices.

  • Larger artworks typically command higher prices due to the perceived value of larger pieces, even though smaller artworks can take just as long to create.

  • Different media strangely seem to attract different prices. For example, oil paintings generally fetch higher prices than watercolours, due to the materials and the historical perception of value.


“Be brave with your initial pricing. Price your art at what you think it is worth.”

  • Factor in all costs. A straightforward method to pricing your art is to add up the costs of your time (hourly wage multiplied by hours worked), materials (including framing), and any other expenses (including gallery commissions). If you’re exhibiting in galleries, remember that commissions can average at around 45%.

  • Offering prints can be a lucrative way to earn more from each piece. Ensure print prices are proportionate to the original’s value. Limited edition prints can command a higher price. Prints must be of high quality and should reflect as closely as possible the standard of your original work.


“However good your work is, it needs to be presented to its best advantage.”

  • Even the best artwork needs to be well-presented to command a high price. Quality presentation can significantly enhance the perceived value of your work so be sure to invest in good framing and presentation materials.

Position in the market

“Know your market and what your place in that market is. Do your research.”

  • Choosing the right market for your work will ensure you’re reaching the right audience and maximising your potential earnings.

  • There are many different kinds of markets for art, from local art fairs and online marketplaces to high-end galleries and private collectors. Deciding which market you are aiming at will significantly impact the prices you can command. Align your pricing strategy with the market you’re targeting to ensure it’s appropriate for the audience you’re reaching.

  • Thoroughly research galleries before you approach them. You may need to make multiple approaches to the same gallery before receiving a response but don’t give up. A good gallery may take a higher commission but they will also have a vested interest in selling your work and may take more steps to promote your art. The average commission is around 45%.

Finally, once you have set a price for your artwork have faith in yourself and stick to it! Ensure your pricing is consistent across all platforms to avoid confusing buyers and damaging your credibility. Be transparent about discounts and promotions. And remember that pricing is not static; as you grow and evolve as an artist, so should your prices.


bottom of page