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September 19, 2011
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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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