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I have always debated myself on this question, how much is a colored pencil drawing worth?  I cannot find any real source of information on how much colored pencil drawings should sell for.  I have been lucky enough to sell some of my works, but most are to family or to friends of a member of my family.  So I am not sure if that is a legitimate scale to go off of or not.  

Does one price pieces according to how good they are?  If one is better than the one before it that sold for a lot, should that one be more?  Or do you just sell it for bottom dollar prices just so you can make more and get rid of the old ones?

I have been blessed enough to sell four of my drawings as some may already know.  I sold one for $295 at a church charity auction, I sold another similar one at $370  with the frame the next year from the person that did not get the one from the auction the year before.  Then I sold two different ones individually to a family friend for $80 and $200 respectively.  That is about it.  

So what is your opinion, how should colored pencil drawings be priced?  Because no offense to painters, but painters of portraits, that are more abstract and not as good technically go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and I have the poor of that.  Or does one just have to accept that colored pencil work is considered less professional and more amateur and just take the hit and keep the price in the low hundreds if that and be happy at that.
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:iconcosmictyger:
Cosmictyger Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
Ive just seen a piece for $1500, smaller than a number of my own. hmm.  I guess it's about market.
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:iconmymonsterstuff:
MyMonsterStuff Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this caught my attention and I know this is titled colored pencil, but I am an intermediate graphite pencil artist curious about how much to charge people for my art work. I have a girl in my Spanish class asking me to do a portrait for her, and she is willing to pay me, but can't pay around a hundred dollars. I plan to do around a 9x10 inch portrait that could take me between 5 -20 hours to draw. I don't want to charge her a ridiculous amount that would scare her away, but I don't want to get paid a price that would be an insult towards my art work. what would you recommend I do? I already told this girl that it would be a $20 minimum, depending on the amount of time it takes. my last drawing (of Paul Walker) took me 20 hours to do. Please help! Feel free to look at my page to consider 'reasonable' prices! thanks for your time!
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:iconmymonsterstuff:
MyMonsterStuff Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
whoops, I meant a 9x12 inch...
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:iconkristeemayscreative:
KristeeMaysCreative Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am wondering the same thing. I have just recently had a lot of interest in my work and had 5 commission requests within 5 hours and I'm panicking about how much to charge them. I ended up basing it off of what someone paid me for one of my drawings and went from there. So I'm charging between $100-300 depending on size and number of people and subjects in the picture. People seem to be willing to pay that so I'm not going to argue LOL. But we'll see how long that lasts. Nothing is a for sure thing until payment is made.

I would never sell a drawing for $25 dollars but that's just me. I think it's an insult to the amount of work you put into it. Granted it depends how good it is and if the subject matter is appealing to people. But generally I feel that it cheapens your work and makes it less desirable. If you enjoy drawing and you don't really care about making a profit and are looking at it as a hobby, then you can do whatever. But if you want to make some serious cash I would up the prices and make the drawings as professional as possible.

I don't frame my pictures because I send most of them and a frame would cost way too much to send. And I agree that most people want to choose their own frame. But I also see the point that if you are exhibiting your work, then a frame makes a big difference.

Us artists need to get some cred for what we do and sadly we are doomed to get paid what people are willing to pay. Good luck to everyone. I hope you get the money you deserve 😊
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
How did you get 5 commissions so quickly? That is very impressive however you did that. Size is huge, I see no reason why one would charge a high price on something that is only 4" by 8" or even 8" by 10", that is big but really that is kind of small for a piece of artwork I feel. But I guess everyone works on different sizes. And then entire art card thing I never understood but it is impressive how some can work so small.

Also it is easy to charge a stranger $100-$300 for a drawing, much harder to charge family the same thing. Most of the time I give them away to family in a gift form. I never time my drawings, just estimate but really it should be hours and a rate and it is as simple as that.

However not all turn out good, and the difficulty of making that same drawing again as well as one did it the first time around has to take into some consideration as well. I know personally there are some drawings I have done that I could never get to look like that again, unless I traced it......which is the sin of all drawing by the way ;o)

So some really are one of a kind original pieces and should be priced like that.
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:iconkristeemayscreative:
KristeeMaysCreative Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a Facebook page and advertise my work on it through my personal page and groups pages i belong to. I actually have done most of my drawings as gifts to people and haven't charged anything. But now that i am getting commissions, i am going to charge for the hours i put into them. My drawings are only 9x12 most of the time. I'm not afraid to charge a high amount. Otherwise it's not worth it for me. Besides, when people come to you and ask you to draw a family member, they know it's not gonna cost $25. I don't charge family members unless it is one they have asked for specifically. Otherwise i do them as gifts without them knowing.

I have to disagree about the tracing thing. It doesn't make you any less of an artist to trace the basic outline proportions of the person or animal etc... It's how it is filled in that makes all the difference. Anyone can trace an outline, but only a true artist can give it the third dimension and bring it to life. I've seen some crappy ones, believe me. Besides, if i am going to be commissioned to do a portrait, I don't have time to mess up the proportions. I have to get to the meat of the drawing so that my customer is happy. No one wants a badly proportioned portrait that they are embarrassed to show. I'm not afraid to admit i trace the basic outline of the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and face shape. with black paper, you only get one chance to get it right and i'm not about to screw that up.
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Well that is cool, good luck with you commissions. As for tracing, I have thought that once but it just never felt right to me, ever. Because yes coloring is important, but I would argue if proportions are traced and everything is right, it makes a poorly shaded piece look ok and some might still like it. If proportions are off, then it does not look ok regardless of shading.

I will never trace anything, then I will always be a little off every time, but I value that hand work. That is why a lot of digital portraits I do not care for, because they usually just copy the exact outline of the photo then color. And to me that is just like a coloring book then. Sure it is hard to color but it is just as hard to get proportions correct. But again I value that, and most people do not know the difference, if something looks good they think it is that artist is good, instead of it just being traced. I guess it comes down to who can do it, and the odd thing is with tracing, the person you are getting the portrait for could trace just as good as the one doing the drawing, it takes no skill to trace that is my issue.

But I guess in the end, no one really cares, but it is hard to mess up a portrait tracing. Also doing it by hand, it becomes yours a little more, it is a little different because really if one wanted a copy of the picture then why don't then just go get a copy of the picture. If one is wanting some type of artistic greatness and to have a photo realistic piece that is great, but the drawing to me becomes less a drawing the more tools, computers or tracing is used.

That is just my two cents, and I guess in the end as long as one gets paid and the buyer does not know or care, I guess who really cares in the end....so I am probably alone in regards to this stance.
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:iconkristeemayscreative:
KristeeMaysCreative Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can appreciate where you are coming from and i do most of my work freehand. I only trace the basic outline of commissioned work (usually portraits) so that i don't have to redo the work over and over until i am happy with the proportions. I don't have time for that having two small children and only getting to work on stuff when they sleep. The whole digital art thing is a different realm of art and i don't compare a completely pencil drawn piece to that. To me, a pencil drawing should completely be a pencil drawing. Unless of course you mix pen and watercolor and such to it to make it pop more. But i only work on black paper, so none of those apply to me. I'm a perfectionist and will spend twice as long as most people on a piece until i can do anymore to it without ruining it. All of my animals were done freehand and i am really happy with how they turned out.

You are right in that it really only matters what the buyer thinks in the end. Most don't fully appreciate the intricacies of pencil drawing and the attention to detail, but they love the end product.

I hope you do really well, and start getting better prices for your work :)
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
That is true, there are times I have to draw a subject two or three times till I can get it right, so in saving time I see that.

And as for the digital work, not comparing yours to that, but it is the concept of tracing. Some digital artists do their own linear art and I really appreciate that. But some just take linear art someone else made and just color it, and then post it as if that is something impressive. Sure coloring it is great but goes back to the color book idea where a lot of people can color and it will usually look good because what you are coloring looks good or the linear art they colored already looks good.

But with animals, I find them to be much easier than a human face, only have to really get right the eye and nose position and it is pretty much good to go. But with a human get anything wrong from the chin line, eyes, nose, eyebrows, hair line and it throws it all off. Drawing like a butterfly or an insect, it is very eyes I find when compared to a person. Oddly enough people seem to want the neutral subject matter of animals far more than any person which I guess is understandable.

And as for prices, it is great to get paid for work but really if that is the motivation there will be a lot of disappointment. But hard not to go down that road, do what pays money. There is such a flood of art though everywhere, it kind of dilutes everything. So I try to just do what I like and if someone thinks it is good great, if not that is fine too.
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:iconkristeemayscreative:
KristeeMaysCreative Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I guess the only way to truly get paid what you deserve is when you do a commissioned work. That way someone who appreciates your art is asking you to draw something dear to their heart and are willing to pay for your expertise. But if you are selling an already finished piece, then it really comes down to what someone is willing to pay for it. But i still think it should get the cred it deserves and all the hours that went into it. Art is definitely subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some will pay thousands for a plain blue canvas called "Sky" that took 2 seconds to paint, but won't give more than $25 for something that may have taken 10-100hrs to draw. It's a fickle world. I say stand your ground if you really believe in your work, and if it's just a hobby and you get joy from selling your works at whatever price they will sell, then more power to you.
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:iconamyx231:
Amyx231 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
Sorry, it's been a long time. However, I feel strongly about this subject.
To put it bluntly, colored pencils are pretty basic, at least in the traditional academic route of Learning art. I had lessons in graphite as a kid, literally 10 years old, and made pieces that are...spectacular. I can no longer make pieces that nice, I'm rusty...the point is, a teenager can draw beautiful colored pencil paintings. In the traditional setting, you wouldn't even touch oils until like your 20s. And therein lies the perception of CP being for kids. Because people expect them to be learning tools rather than the finished product.
Not at all fair, certainly. Painting is often easier than pencils. But there you go. You spend 20 hours on something drawn, it gets a distracted pat on the head. You paint something in one afternoon, your dad attempts to frame it. Seriously :(. Same thing with oil pastels, the kid sister of oils.
Price low, go up. Or price high, go down. I don't think anyone truly knows what the right amount is at the start. Trying to guess a middle value is futile. (But I'd say you guys should all charge at least a couple hundred!)
Also, there's the market. Framed, I'd pay $100 for something basic (after I graduate, get a job, etc of course). Unframed, eh. Are you selling for hanging in a bedroom? Or for showing off to guests?

From the buyer side, I'd rather get something more simple, than feel bad because 100 hours of work are fading in my living room. Heck, I don't even expose my own work to light. That and I'd not pay $1000 for any drawing. Laptop or a sofa if I have that much to spare.

And for now, I'll stick with giving my stuff away to whoever wants them. Cause they are pretty bad. Hence my dad has a bazillion in the garage, lol. Too bad my best pieces keep getting lost in the moves :( . Apparently those moving vans gobble up bigger artwork. :.(
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for your thoughts, and it makes sense painters are just more respected, and yes hundreds of thousands of people can draw well. DA is the proof of that, finding a person that can draw is not that hard, finding one that can paint well realistically, much harder.

And people love prints now a days, and with it being so easy to print things, buying any drawing for $100 is very rare I would say. People want a cheap $15-$20 print over a $100-$300 original as stupid as that seems.

Not sure I will ever get into the print game though, just seems so cheap and one has to sell thousands to make good profit on a print anyways.

This group alone, tons of sell worthy art, but doubt much sells for any amount sadly. As long as one likes drawing though, I still see no real reason to stop improving and getting better.
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:iconxmedullaoblongatax:
XMedullaOblongataX Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012   Traditional Artist
$80 - 300 seems a good range actually, depending on the size of the piece. I personally don't work per hour, but I charge based on complexity and materials. An 11x14 colored pencil wedding portrait I'm working on is going for $90. When I go to local art shows, I see a lot of art hovering around the low to mid-hundreds.

For a small or medium sized colored pencil painting, I like to pay $50 - $100, medium to large $100+. The artist burns through colored pencils like crazy - especially if you've got the lead set crooked in the barrel (ARGH PRISMACOLOR), so you have to figure material cost into that as well. But $80-300 is a good range.
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:iconbechit:
bechit Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Love your work! I'm glad I found this. I was recently asked to illustrate a childrens book for a friends friend. I do mainly colored pencils and animals. I wasnt sure what to charge her. This part is so hard for me. Just recently got back into drawing again and loving the idea that I might be able to make alittle money at it too.
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
It all depends on how long it takes, it is more than fair to charge say $8-$15 dollars an hour depending on the quality of the drawing and ones personal skill, and or how rare of skill it is. Because by the hour takes into account size, detail and color as well, and it all comes down to time and what it is worth.
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:iconcheetahspirit:
cheetahspirit Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I strongly believe that if we price our colored pencil work less than other mediums, then we are telling our audience and the art world in general that our work IS less valuable. I price my work based on 3 criteria - the amount of time it took to create, what the current market environment is like (comparing to what other art of the same size and apparent skill level is going for), and the amount of money that "feels right" to have in my bank account if it sells. I sold a colored pencil portrait in one of my first shows for $1,000 (pre gallery commission), to someone I was told was an art collector. I then had to realize that if my work is going to be collected and resold, then these collectors will start selling my work for more than I am!! So I raised my prices accordingly. But again, I don't think CP artists should sell themselves short because our medium is still becoming accepted into the art world. I talk to fellow artists of all mediums on a weekly basis, I don't think I've ever been told that my work is priced too high, and in fact, most of them tell me not to sell myself short. Now when it comes to selling prints and small pieces in an art fair type environment, then that is a different scene. Price at what you feel comfortable with on a personal level, but don't ever feel that colored pencil work should cost less because it is inferior to another medium. I know a successful artist who likes to say "talking about art is like dancing about architecture". Comparing mediums is sort of silly to me. This is just my opinion.
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:iconcosmictyger:
Cosmictyger Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
Good point. Our work, in many ways, is comparable to encaustics rendered at the levels of other mediums. This should increase their value, the greatest shortcoming may be the "canvas".
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:iconcheetahspirit:
cheetahspirit Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Totally agree. I have seen some AMAZING encaustic work. You bring up a good point - many think that if something is not created on a "canvas" and is not created with "paint", that it is a lesser creation. Artists and non-artists alike. For the past decade or so, many colored pencil artists have begun calling their drawings "paintings" as I do. No, a pencil is not a brush and does not contain paint. However, both paint and colored pencil use pigments to achieve color. I doubt we'll be calling either of them pigmentings any time soon. But the point is the same - regardless of medium, good art should be given respect. And any time someone calls my artwork a "sketch" I stop them dead in their tracks. This might be getting off topic, but a sketch is either a quick doodle, or a preliminary drawing that generally takes a small percentage of time compared to the "finished work".
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:iconkatevlcek:
katevlcek Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011
I just sold a coloured pencil drawing for AU$2200
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
How much is that equal in American dollars? It is about $2000? WOW that is crazy, impressive stuff, outstanding! That is really impressive, congrats! I can see why, which one was it? Regardless all your work is stuff I think people want in there house. It is nature, basic and clear, seems people would rather look at a piece of art with a flower or a landscape over portraits, or that is what it seems. That
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:iconkatevlcek:
katevlcek Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011
I am hoping to ask more than that for my show next year - up to four or five thousand for some pieces. But yeah, compared to large oil paintings on canvas there seems to be a pretty low limit on how much you can ask. There is an American pencil artist called Laurie Lipton who recently sold a graphite piece for 30,000. Her works are quite large and detailed and she is very well established, which helps. Although I use pencils, most people consider my work to be painting,as the pigments are technically paint (I use watercolour pencils) and I build up the layers the same way an oil painter would, I think this perception helps me ask a bit more for my work.
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
How large is the piece you create? But wow I did not know anything made in pencil went for that much. Feel blessed you even have a market with the money to buy that type of piece at that price. Impressive stuff though, I do think your use of watercolor pencils helps a lot like you say. Then in many ways it is paint if used wet, it is water color paint not water colored pencils. Do you use them dry?

In some ways though, if one sells a piece at a few thousand, then that sets the mark and since people know it went for that, similar works instantly becomes that value from then on. And one can go off that value and move up from that value. Even though hypothetically it could be just one individual willing to by that amount, but it does help ones mystic as a artist, to be able to say you sold a piece for thousands...congrats again!
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:iconkatevlcek:
katevlcek Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011
the piece was about 30cm x 20 cm. it is small limited market, but yes, at least it exists. i use the pencils dry.
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:iconarchambers:
archambers Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011
With drawings on paper you always have to consider the cost of framing.

I usually try not to sell a drawing that is not in a frame. With that said, I try to work out the price between hours spent on the drawing and size. I have a few drawings bigger that full sheets of illustration board. I worked on them for months. Framed, I would be giving them away if I didn't ask for at least $1500 for each. Any less than that, I'd just keep them in my studio. I've had a few 18"x24" figure studies matted and framed that sold for a few hundred bucks.

It just all depends.
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:iconeveriris:
EverIris Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
This is interesting because I recently was asked by a friend who is a dog groomer to give her some prices for her clients to draw dog portraits. What the heck do I say? So I decided to start with $200 as a base for an 8 X 10 single portrait in color pencil and then build up a following (hopefully) from there. I figure word of mouth and popularity in my small world may drive the price up gradually. Remember, everyone else seems to be struggling monetarily too and if your priced too high, then you're not making any money at all. Right? Any thoughts?
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:iconkw-scott:
KW-Scott Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I figure my artwork is worth more to me than what I charge for it. I do know that those who've bought my work are very happy with it and I get great satisfaction out of knowing that they're happy with what they've purchased.

I generally price my artwork based on size rather than time spent on a piece. I also charge more for a commisioned work than I do for something I've chosen to draw. I'll spend more time on a commissioned piece and fret over it so much more that it's just going to cost more :-)

I draw and sell a lot of original artcards. Here in my area they're catching on and a growing number of people are buying them. So much so that I may have to go to making and selling limited prints just to keep up with demand. :-)

I think you should also charge based on your ability. That being said no one's perfect and everyone has their own style! I like to draw with as much detail as I can get and I like to add color to make my pieces "pop" or come alive with bright tones. I'm coming into my own here locally and becoming better known for my use with colored pencils so hopefully my prices will go up... as with most things the more popular you are the more you cost.

I feel like you should charge what you feel like is fair and what you can live with. In the end you have to be happy with what you sell your artwork for and the person buying it has to be happy not only with the artwork but what they gave for it as well. :-) I hope that this helps :D
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Plus you have going for you the fact you draw animals really well. People love art with animals in them. I would do it but I cannot for the life of me get the motivation to draw an animal, I am obsessed with faces and expressions instead. But I could totally see people wanting well done animal art. Few want a picture of some person or celebrity on their wall, I have no issue with that though, my house is full of them...haha ;o)
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:iconkw-scott:
KW-Scott Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I know what you mean about having a house full of artwork... When I'm showing I take down everything and load it up to take with me but when it's not out some place it's hanging on the walls of our home. :-)

I want to draw more people but alas I don't get called upon to do that very often. Still I try to draw at least a portrait each month just to try and stay in practice. I like being able to draw what I want and it's nice when the people like what I do. Animals and such comes fairly easy to me to draw. As a matter of fact the first thing I ever drew was a bird I saw in my backyard when I was about six years old. :-)
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
How much are these artcards? I assume only a few dollars, do you think that is why people buy them because that is more around the price one is willing to spend? That is good you have demand for them though, do people use them as a actual card then to give someone or what?
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:iconkw-scott:
KW-Scott Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I usually recieve between 5.00$ to 8.00$ for an original artcard. I've got paper frames for them too that makes them into a greeting card. so people go for those alot too and I get 2.00$ for those so that makes it between 7.00$ & 10.00$.

For a 5" x 7" matted and framed piece I get between 30.00$ & 50.00$ depending on the piece and if they want more then one... I can usually sell two with a 10% discount. So if you wanted two piece at 30.00$ each I'd sell them both to you for 54.00$ :-) Not bad when you're looking at another piece I've got marked at 50.00$ :-)

I do two local art shows each month, the first and second Saturday each month. Plus I've got artwork in a local gallery here and I get to show in the local library or one of the local banks nearly every month now. I guess you could say that my artwork is really catching on. :-)
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:iconbriscott:
Briscott Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Here's are question for you. If you've sold and you've used a reference do you get in touch with the person of the reference to give a share ? ( by the way I have )
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
No I have not contacted the maker of the reference photo, because most of mine that sold are Pieta drawings and Michelangelo is not longer with us. As to the photographer, well since they are internet photos I rarely could find the creator of a certain photo, most are open to the public and taken by the press. I did contact Twig once to get permission and see what would work best there, never sold one of those though. I must say though, I most of mine wanted or not wanted do turn out different from the original reference, so I could say I make it my own then... ;o) But I can see if one uses a photographers photo or a portrait, like stock image to contact that individual and see if they want a percentage, so how much of a percentage did you give them?
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:icontheperian:
theperian Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
As I usually do art by commission (portraits, etc.), I have to have a flat fee before I begin to work, so I can give a quote. The quote is a combination time usually involved per subject x number of subjects worked out to (approximately, but not exactly) minimum wage, material cost and who I'm doing the commission for - friends and family get a 50% discount.

When all is said and done, it works out to roughly the price range you are asking.

But as several other comments have suggested already, it's not just a matter of how much coloured pencil art is worth, it's about how well-known the artist is. For those of us who are still starting out, keeping prices reasonable is not undervaluing our work - it's a marketing tactic. The more people who see the art hanging up in various places, the more who will ask about it and follow that back to the artist. Several times 'freebies' (family portraits for birthdays, magazine illustrations for small press publications, etc.) have lead to new paying commissions for me.

Once your name is out there, and you're receiving too many commissions to be able to produce in a reasonable time, I would imagine higher prices are not only feasible; they're necessary.

I'm 100% with you on the feeling you get when seeing an abstract priced in the thousands, though. It's gut-wrenching to think that a dripping line on canvas could sell for ten times as much as your painstakingly rendered work. Here's a little anecdote to cheer you up, though; related to me through a mutual friend:

(Abstract artists look away now, please.)

An artist in New Zealand who was equally distressed at the high value placed on only abstract work found out about a national competition for post-modern art. Just for a laugh and to vent her frustrations, she had her five-year-old granddaughter paint a finger-painting, then wrote up a long description as to the 'deeper meaning' behind the work, and signed her own name to it.

She won. :)

I'm not sure whether the judges know to this day, but she made her point.
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:iconmrs-matsuyama:
mrs-matsuyama Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i always HATE when people ask for a price for my stuff!
im no professional, and whenever im asked to draw something i always think it looks horrible!
i only draw things i REALLY want to draw. not some random strangers picture!

i sold a 2 colored pencil drawings that were about 2' 1.5' for i think $50? and one the size of regular computer paper but on black paper for 25 i think.

i didnt make the price i told the person buying them to pay me what they thought it was worth D:
which prolly put them in an awkward situaton... FFFF
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree, I also almost get angry when people want me to draw something I do not want to draw. As for drawing something you do not want to draw, I think ultimately, at least for me if I do not love the image and really see a lot in it, the drawing itself will show that and turn out flat because I see no value in the image so then the motivation to make it good is not there.

I could see people wanting your stuff though, especially the animal work, seems people buy animal portraits more than human ones most of the time...
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:iconcarrionart:
CarrionArt Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I think I've seen this discussion, before, lol... and I'll probably get flamed (again) :sigh:

Using what you have sold to family and "close" friends as a gauge for pricing isn't a great way to do things; they aren't really objective buyers, first of all, and there isn't really a great deal of "market" there for you to take the temperature of, either.

Beyond that, it gets a little trickier. Art, for all the pissing and moaning of the overwhelmingly liberal community that makes up its creative base, is possibly (and ironically) the truest example of the free market. If your work isn't good, nobody will buy it. (Okay, the government will steal money from the taxpayers and give it to you to waste, but actual PEOPLE who have to account for their expenditures won't pay for it). So the fact that people have bought your work is encouraging. Unfortunately, unlike times past-- when artists had to actually have a resume' in order to be called, "artists"-- anybody with enough money to pick up some pencils and a pad of bristol board can claim the title, these days. This has largely watered down people's perceptions of what an artist actually "is." In addition, you have folks that have no concept of the value of their own work, or they simply sell it for reasons of vanity. Take, for example, the people that consider art a "fun hobby," and charge $25.00 for a work that may take 8 hours to complete. At that rate, the "artist" is making-- before expenses-- just over $3.00 an hour.

It dilutes the market, and severely undercuts those artists that depend on art for their main source of income. Portrait artists really take it in the ass from these people.

Colored pencil work is considered less "serious" than any type of painting because it takes considerably less investment in time, practice, space and materials in order to master it and to develop professional-quality work (given that the artist is equal in talent and technical training to an artist in any other medium). In point of fact, the general hierarchy when it comes to art's value tends to be (in descending order): sculpture, oil paintings, watercolors or acrylics, pastels, charcoal/conte', colored pencil, graphite. Kind of nuts, when you consider that it is more difficult to execute certain styles in graphite, than in any other medium! The same could be said for any medium; depending on the technique, genre, style, and subject matter, it is really quite difficult to assign a value of one work, over another, so collectors look to things like the archival nature of the medium, the reputation of the artist, and how much the artist's work has sold for in the past, when making a buying decision.

Since you've sold work in the past, you have a good starting point, and something of a reputation that you can build on. The important thing to remember is that it is very easy to RAISE your prices, but not so much to lower them. By this, I mean that you can continuously increase your prices until you price yourself right out of the market, but if you ask too much and have to drop your prices, sales will dry up just as quickly because people will just wait for you to drop them again.

Most artists that I'm aware of seem to price their works according to size, mostly, which seems to be a good rule of thumb. Especially if you have multiple works hanging together, you wouldn't want one 11 x 17" selling for $500.00 and another selling for $125.00. There are other ways to price as well, however. For instance, I do quite a bit of mixed media work, and some of it is EXTREMELY detailed, so a single 15 x 20" painting in colored pencil, ink and watercolor might take me upwards of 150-200 hours to complete. At my normal hourly rate (I try to earn $30.00 an hour for art-- most industry experts say that rates between $30-50.00 are fair) that would mean that I'd have to charge around $6300 per painting to cover overhead and time. I know I'm not gonna get that for a single painting, but I can get prints of the same work done and if I sell the prints (as a limited edition) and the original painting for a total of around $7500.00, I make my money, and my customers get a product that actually appreciates in value (the prints, being a short-run limited edition, hold their value well and the original painting will increase in value as my reputation and sales increase). So I wind up using a combination of methods, basically on this formula: size of work+medium+hours invested+cost of materials+overhead (studio rent, heating, etc.)+cost of print run (if any) = total amount needed to cover the job. Then I decide on the price of the original art, deduct that from the total, decide how much I can sell a print for, and divide the remainder of my expenses by that number to find out how many prints I need to have made (rounded to the nearest 5).

Complicated enough? :D

As far as resources go, though, I might suggest trying out the Colored Pencil Society of America, and the United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society. There is also a Japan Colored Pencil Society, for those so inclined. Also, Professional Artist Magazine (among others, but I like Professional Artist the most) runs a monthly feature on the business of art which routinely offers advice on how to price your work, as well as the rationale behind many pricing guidelines. In addition to these resources, a quick search of "art profession" or "professional artist" on amazon.com will yield numerous titles that have tons of useful information for the aspiring professional. Just make sure that you read both the book description, and all of the customer reviews, before purchasing. And don't buy anything written by Eric Maisel-- waste of ink, in my opinion.

Anyway, lol... I hope that was helpful. In the end, it's really going to come down to what works best for you, personally, since your work and methods are unique to you, and your pricing and marketing probably will be as well (at least until you get gallery or dealer representation). I'd say you have a good starting point, though, and having your foot in the door is often the hardest part. Now, you just have to keep the momentum!

Best of luck!

~Allen
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
That all makes sense, thanks for your input. However sculpture I am not sure is the top, it is if it is a marble statue, but bronze is a little cheaper, and wood gets about as much respect as colored pencils do. My brother and dad carve big and small wooden sculptures, and as of right now few respect that as much as they should. But if it was marble people would totally love it...

One really should start low though, that makes sense, and then increase a little over time. And I make everything the exact same size, so the pricing to size does not fly. I try to price to how well done the drawing is and how likely it is I could do it again or not.

And yes we have talked slightly about this before but it was more the respect or lack of respect with colored pencils. It was not specific to pricing colored pencil works.
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:iconcarrionart:
CarrionArt Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'd have to agree with you about wood sculpture, since wood didn't even enter into my thinking :/ And that's a shame, really, because I've seen some impossibly gorgeous wooden sculpture. It's uncommon, but there are some really skilled woodcarvers out there doing work that rivals bronze casts.

On bronze (and other metals): part of the reason it's measured so highly is the cost of the metal, and the amount of skill required to actually cast it well. A crap cast is still crap, no matter how expensive the metal is... as it would be in any medium. Stone sculpture in general is probably still the standard, I would guess. My question is whether representational sculpture is still as well-respected as it used to be, or if the whole Modernist/Post-Modernist movement pushed that completely aside, as well...

And I'm not sure what to tell you about pricing if all of your work is the same size. I can say that it's a bit self-defeating if you have a bunch of works with a wide margin of prices; buyers will look at it and wonder why there is such a wide discrepancy, since the overwhelming number of buyers won't know squat from the quality of one piece over another, at least not in the same terms that you or another artist in your medium would. Most of the time the buyer just wants something that matches the theme in the specific room they're thinking to hang it in, and won't clash with the drapes. Having a wide range of prices just raises their suspicions; I'd probably try to keep all of my prices within 10-15% of each other, if I was in your position.

Trust me, though, I feel your pain. I work in pretty much all media except acrylic, so when someone comes to my studio to look through my work, they might see charcoal drawings at one price, ink drawings slightly higher or lower, mixed media using charcoal and ink higher than that, and then paintings in various sizes and media... it's crazy. (It would probably help if I wasn't so ADHD about what medium to use... :D )
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:iconigorxxx70:
Igorxxx70 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
I took lessons from an artist that sold her colored pencil drawings for $3200 each and sold 12 - 15 per year. ( Ann Kolenberg) Look her up. She is pretty good. It depends on how good you are and your reputation. You sell them according to the demand. As the demand increases then you increase you price.
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
That is true, should sell according to demand, but does one set the bar according to what you sold in the past or not? That is my issue, I think I should go up when I sold pieces for around $300, and the new ones are better than that so should be more? I am not sure or maybe just go back to around $100-$200 so I can try to get rid of them.
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:iconigorxxx70:
Igorxxx70 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011
What is your market? Do you have a show place? Do you use restaurants and coffee houses etc?
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I do not really have a market, just friends of the family or what not. Have not made any real sales outside of someone knowing someone else coming from the family. Having a gallery would be great, but cost of rent is so high one would have to sell thousands a month to just pay that.
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:iconigorxxx70:
Igorxxx70 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
I have my work in three different places. A coffee shop, a art gallery, and the library. The library doesn't sell anything but it gets my name out. Making a lot of money with art is very difficult. If you are trying to make money you would be better off getting you a lawnmower and cut grass. These economic times are not good for selling art. Not enough disposable income around.
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:iconcatula:
Catula Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Considering that all my work is done with übercheap Crayola (or completely generic) colored pencils, and that pretty much the only thing I draw is cartoon fan art, I probably sell myself short most of the time. For an 8.5x11 that I spent 6-8 hours drawing, I'd probably feel greedy charging more than 15 to 20 dollars, no matter how complex it was to draw. That said, I've never really tried selling my work before, so I don't know how well it would do anyway. :P

I'm starting to feel better about my art though, since a good friend spotted a picture I had drawn being hijacked, cheaply printed and sold on buttons at a recent convention. Perhaps I *should* start charging for some things... }8)
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:iconqueenofcostumes:
QueenOfCostumes Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I charge a flat rate by the size and number of subjects if the work is commissioned. Most colour pencil works (unframed) I charge under AUS $100 for, up to A1 size. If there are any particular custom areas (eg different style, added sections etc) I may add to the flat rate.
However, If the work is pre-existing, I sell it based on its artistic merit. When you suggest completeing a commission in coloured pencil, people immediately think it is tacky because of its associations with kids, and as a cheap medium, but people are often not sure or surprised at what the medium is capable of when they see it as a pre-existing work (and sometimes can't identify it as coloured pencils).

I charge significantly less on coloured pencils simply for the convenience - It is quicker, cheaper and cleaner on my part, but no less effective to work with than paint, (despite the fact that most of my work is with paint). I also think that a frame can make a piece worth $40 look over $100, even with a cheap frame. If you do your own framing, you offer it all as a bundle and make a massive profit. I hate giving customers unframed work because I know that the vast majority of people have no idea about how to protect the artowrk, let alone display it properly and that is to the detriment of my presentation to anyone who views it.

Hope that helps!
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:iconshiovra:
Shiovra Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I generally charged people $25 for a single person 8x11, $5 more for each additional person and $5 more for detailed background. I figured those prices by looking at what others charged for their own works. Since I consider my drawings to be a fun hobby, I don't want to over charge people, so I also figured the price of my time and the price of my pencils. Prismacolor soft core pencils are getting expensive....
As for frames, those little buggers can be pricey, though most people I've drawn for prefer to get their own frames, so I just give them the artwork.
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Sad thing is, for portrait, even celebrity works I think people see artists in a mall. They have portraits like in your rage, around $30 give or take a few dollars. And anything over that, people at times seem not willing to pay it. But at say $10, depending on the artist, if that took 10 hours, you are getting paid $1 an hour, so I would rather just keep it then ;o)
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:iconshiovra:
Shiovra Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I refuse to do a celebrity drawing. And I only charge so low because I have never had any formal art training. I am completely self taught and not many people give colored pencil the credit it deserves. I refuse to do digital, I feel it loses something that way. Sometimes it can take many trials and errors till you get something just right with colored pencils, and even then you find flaw in it. :-/ And not everyone can paint. I'm terrible at it! >.< So I strive to better my colored pencil art, working to make the people look as realistic as possible. Generally, it takes about 3 or 4 hours tops for me to finish a full color 8 x 11, so yeah, more than $1 an hour. Besides, I am a wife, a mother of a 5 year old,I have a job and I'm a published author. Art will remain a fun hobby. :-D
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:iconjeremyosborne:
JeremyOsborne Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Also, I cannot stop drawing celebrity faces from time to time. I think it is the concept of trying to capture that elite face on paper, some of their looks are just out of this world. I find it really hard to draw a person that does not have an outstanding feature or identification. But slowly I am doing less and less celeb portraits, but Avril is a constant though, cannot stop that ;o)
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:iconshiovra:
Shiovra Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I wouldn't mind trying my hand at David Tennant, though. He will remain my favorite Doctor.... :-D
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