How much should I charge? Pet portraits - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-03-2014, 10:52 AM
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How much should I charge? Pet portraits

Hi everyone, just looking for some advice re my paintings.

I have recently started selling commissioned paintings of people's pets (so far just dogs and horses) and I'm not really sure how much I should be charging.

I have old 5 or 6 so far, mostly €25-€50, all about 30x40cm (the horse being 40x50cm), and I use acrylic on canvas. So far, I know most of the poeple I've done paintings for, and so I don't want to charge too much, especially when they are friends. However, if I am to paint for people I don't know, I'm not sure how much I should be asking for - I'm not quite so confident in my abilities just yet, so I don't want to overcharge!

Any advice is welcome! Apologiies in advance for any giant photos or ones that are sideways!







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#2 Old 07-03-2014, 11:23 AM
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I would calculate a few things:

1. How long it takes you to create the painting. Multiply that by how much you want to earn/hour. For example €10/hour x 3 hours = €30/hour. Essentially, how much is your time worth?
2. How much did the materials cost you? Canvas, paint etc.
3. How much profit would you like to make? So after taking into consideration how much your time costs + materials you'll want to have a little left over. Eventually you'll probably be using that for brushes, easels, etc etc.

Add #1, 2 and 3 together and voila! That's how much you should charge. Remember time is money, your time should not be free.

BTW your paintings are beautiful, my favorite is probably the last one. I'm by no means an expert but some of these would probably look even more phenomenal with just a simple background, specifically the one with the horse. I think they're great, you should be more confident in yourself while still striving to be better. Others obviously believe in you already or they wouldn't be asking you to paint for them!
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#3 Old 07-03-2014, 11:41 AM
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Thank you vear.

I must start calculating and keeping note of paint and canvas costs.

I'm still trying to figure out how to do good backgrounds - for now it's just a wash or solid colour, cause in the past when I've done proper backgrounds I tend to just overcomplicate things, but maybe I should practice in my spare time, and see what works!
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#4 Old 07-03-2014, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison182 View Post
Thank you vear.

I must start calculating and keeping note of paint and canvas costs.

I'm still trying to figure out how to do good backgrounds - for now it's just a wash or solid colour, cause in the past when I've done proper backgrounds I tend to just overcomplicate things, but maybe I should practice in my spare time, and see what works!
Yeah, like I said, I'm no expert.. I don't draw or paint, I just photograph. haha. But a good friend of mine used to paint a lot of horses actually. I think simple backgrounds are best. I notice the horse does have a tan background, but I feel it needs something else, maybe just as simple as the shadow of the horse might make it a little more 3D.
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#5 Old 07-10-2014, 12:02 AM
 
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Your paintings are beautiful! I agree with the poster as far as how you should charge. These aren't done on just canvas pad papers, so IMO you should get a price that you feel right about.

You can always ask the buyer what they would offer for it. Sometimes they offer more than you originally wanted. Negotiate.
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#6 Old 09-06-2019, 01:53 PM
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I know this is an old thread, so sorry for bumping this, but I'm just gonna go ahead and say this since it's so relevant and I really want to help out other fellow pet portrait artists:

You should always be raising your prices. That is all.


Here's a real-life example: I create some absolutely awesome pet portraits myself in Photoshop and people call me crazy for selling them for so high ($99). But I don't care. That's what I think my time is worth.

And they still purchase them. I think I can teach you a thing or two about pricing your pet portraits so to speak.

While this is just a game, let this be a lesson for life.

Always be raising your prices (or at least be trying to)

Like a wise man named Steve Jobs once said, don't settle.

My 2 cents.....

Have a wonderful day!

/Nabil
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