Start To Finish – Raven – Mixed Media Painting Walkthrough

Start To Finish is an ongoing series in which I share the progress on a painting from start to finish and I tell you a bit about my process and the different steps. Click here to view all posts in this series.

I’ve seen birds as a theme in a lot of paintings recently, and it inspired me to want to incorporate birds in my own paintings.

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I started out by playing on a bunch of canvas boards. Planning to make a cohesive series with a similar starting point, but each painting still being individual and different. I selected an analogous colour scheme (colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel) and just played around. I used a sponge brush, stencils, sprays, drips and splatters.

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As usual I start by sketching with my Stabilo All pencil. Each painting in the series will have the silhouette of a bird. This one is a raven.

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Using titan buff, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, magenta and white I put in rough shading.

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By using blues in the darker areas of the face I deepen the shading. Mixing in white/titan buff for the highlights makes certain elements come forward. I used a fineline applicator bottle to create the textured hair.

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Here she is finished along with her sister ‘Blackbird’.

Art Questionnaire (join in!)

Art-Questionnaire

I thought it would be fun and interesting to do a little questionnaire! 20 questions for you to answer about your relationship with art.

Feel free to copy the list and answer them on your blog or social media (a link or mention would be much appreciated!) or in the comments below.

You can be as brief or as detailed as you like. I’ve given my answers below, can’t wait to read yours!

1. Who is your favourite traditional/master artist?
2. Who is your favourite online artist?
3. What is your favourite art course you’ve taken?
4. What art course would you love to take?
5. Which teacher would you love to go on an art retreat with?

6. Where do you create?
7. What inspires you?
8. What do you do when you’re in a creative funk?
9. What is your absolute favourite piece of art that you’ve created? (show a pic!)
10. What does this piece mean to you?

11. What is your favourite art book?
12. What is your favourite art supply?
13. Oils or acrylics?
14. Stamps or freehand?
15. Where do you love to go shopping for art supplies?

16. What subject do you like to paint?
17. What colour(s) do you always seem to use?
18. Do you like to paint big or small?
19. What is your favourite music to listen to while painting?
20. What does art mean to you?


1. Who is your favourite traditional/master artist?
Tough one! I don’t know if I can choose just one, and who I admire does change over time and as I go through different phases of interest. When I was younger I loved work by Miró and Dali. At the moment I’m loving the work of Tamara de Lempicka (her work is the influence for my lesson on Love Art Happy Life).

2. Who is your favourite online artist?
Again this is about who I love right now. I’ve been really captivated by the work of Ivy Newport recently (and super honoured to be teaching alongside her on not one, but two courses!!). Her work has such a soft quality and displays an immense amount of skill.

3. What is your favourite art course you’ve taken?
I absolutely love courses by Marieke Blokland. She’s a master at teaching you art techniques in a very straightforward way. Her videos are the most fun ever! Another course that goes from strength to strength each year is Life Book (hellooo universe, may I please teach on Life Book?), the teachers and lessons offer so much joy, instruction & encouragement. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Life Book.

4. What art course would you love to take?
I’ve put myself on an art course diet for a bit because I find I go crazy buying courses and then never DO them. What I really need is a local artsy friend to meet up with once every few weeks and do art courses with…. I digress. I’ve had my eye on Tracy Verdugo‘s short workshop ‘Pattern. Color. Texture’ and Robin Laws‘s recent storytelling & art course also REALLY tempted me.

5. Which teacher would you love to go on an art retreat with?
Hmmm. I’d love to go on one of Alena Hennessy‘s retreats. My other wish is to go to Portland OR and take Flora Bowley‘s Bloom True course in person.

6. Where do you create?
I have my studio in a small spare room in my house. It’s such a luxury to have. I found that when I used to have to clear things away after painting and set them up again beforehand it really inhibited me. Having a dedicated space means I can go there for 5 minutes or several hours. Also with 2 small kids it’s good to have a lock on the door to my art room haha!

7. What inspires you?
To a certain extent looking at other artists’ work, although it’s easy to gorge on that and get into compare-itis mode. So I try to look at others’ work to the point where I feel excited and brimming with ideas, and then I go paint. I also have noticed that in order to be inspired I need to cultivate a sense of quiet in my life (which, if you know my brain which is always ON, is something of a task!). Walking in nature is one of my favourite things to just quiet my mind and I’ve recently taken up meditating. Also music. The difference for me between painting with or without music is like day and night. I listen to classical radio when I’m painting (sometimes I forget and it just feels SO HARD – then I put music on and it’s like… wow, easy all of a sudden!).

8. What do you do when you’re in a creative funk?
I usually get in a funk when I’m trying too hard or comparing myself too much. At that point I really need to mentally take a step back and recognise I’m doing that. Then I try to let go of expectations and sit down to just play. I usually use my art journal for that. Playing with colours, textures, smooshing paint, maybe writing some words down of things that bother me. I usually feel better after a good art journaling session.

9. What is your absolute favourite piece of art that you’ve created?
At the moment it’s this one:
Can you believe that I didnt actually have any of my own art hanging in my house??!! Just hung this in the living room and feeling proud and pleased!  #mixedmedia #artist #decorativeart #londonartist #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou

10. What does this piece mean to you?
I’m really proud of this piece. It was the biggest I’d painted so far and in this painting I really dared to do what felt right to me, rather than try and emulate someone else’s style. It was the first piece that made me KNOW I had to hang it up. So I’ve finally hung a piece of art in my house!

11. What is your favourite art book?
See above about art course diet…. lol. One of the first books I bought when I started getting into mixed media was Claudine Hellmuth’s Collage Discovery Workshop. Although I’ve since discovered that collage is not my thing, it still has some awesome mixed media techniques in there.

12. What is your favourite art supply?
Noooo don’t make me pick just one!!! I couldn’t live without my Stabilo All pencil. It’s where it starts and ends for me. I’m also currently really enjoying soft pastels.

13. Oils or acrylics?
Acrylics all the way at the moment. I’ve tried oils once during a workshop and didn’t enjoy them, but it might have been the horrible brushes we were given to work with. I will want to give them another try sometime, but for now acrylics are my one true love.

14. Stamps or freehand?
It depends. I love stamps for backgrounds and creating texture or interest. I don’t like figurative stamps, in that case I’d prefer to draw something myself.

15. Where do you love to go shopping for art supplies?
I have several art shops within walking distance, lucky me! (my wallet doesn’t feel so lucky though) Cornelissen is my favourite because its interior is like a 19th century shop. They also stock a lot of quality supplies. I got all my Schmincke watercolours from them, as well as quite a few single Sennelier oil pastels and they stock the legendary Robserson’s journals. I also order online a bit more these days (because I actually know what I need now, how boring! lol) for which I really like Jackson’s Art Supplies. Reasonable prices and they always package everything with the utmost care.

16. What subject do you like to paint?
Faces!!! Always faces. They just interest me like nothing else does. I’m currently trying to practice slightly more realistic features. I still want to paint stylised/whimsical faces, but with more realism in the features and especially shading.

17. What colour(s) do you always seem to use?
Turquoise, dark blue, hot/fluorescent pink and sometimes a bit of yellow.

18. Do you like to paint big or small?
I can really enjoy working in my A5 journal, any smaller is too fiddly, but I also enjoy going bigger. The biggest I’ve painted is about A2 size. I love working in broad strokes and working big allows me a lot of freedom and means I don’t get caught up in too much fiddly detail.

19. What is your favourite music to listen to while painting?
Classical. I tend to listen to Classical KDFC (commercial free, woohoo!). I always do my best paintings when listening to awesome music.

20. What does art mean to you?
Art is my life. I’m always thinking about it, dreaming about it. If I go quiet in the middle of a conversation I’m probably dreaming up colour schemes =p

I Can’t Draw

i-cant-draw

If I had a penny for every time I heard someone say “I can’t draw” or “I can’t even draw a stick figure”…. I’d have a fair amount of pennies.

I can’t draw either. Or couldn’t. I don’t know. At some point I couldn’t draw. And now I’m at a different stage of ‘can’t draw’. And in a few years’ time I will be further progressed on my journey of ‘can’t draw’. I don’t suppose I will ever get to a point where I exclaim: By golly! I can draw!

I think it’s like that with any skill that has a lot of levels of proficiency. You’re always learning, but you’re never ‘there’, because as soon as you’re ‘there’, there’s another level to achieve. Deep, no?

So. ‘Not being able to draw’ is no excuse not to draw. By all means, don’t draw if you don’t want to or don’t like to. But don’t lament ‘oooooh I can’t draw…….’ as if other people who do draw are somehow born with some magical talent that makes them able to draw. Or as if you’re only allowed to draw if you’re somehow already good at it before having even practiced.

We all can’t draw. We all can draw. I don’t know. Go draw! Draw me a stick figure and go share it with me on Facebook or Instagram =p

PS here are some pictures of me practicing my drawing skills and a bonus picture of a flamingo I drew over 10 years ago. You’re welcome.

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2005-05-27flamingo

Instagram Mashup – December 2015 & January 2016

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I’ve not made as much art recently as usual, which I think is partly to do with being completely exhausted after creating daily for NaNoJouMo and is also to do with me picking up playing World of Warcraft again. Playing/not playing is a bit of a complex issue for me, but in any case I’ve noticed that I’m feeling much happier generally. When I do sit down (or stand up really, as I create at my easel more and more these days) I’ve been experiencing more joy in creating. I think previously I’d been putting some kind of ‘must’ on myself. Where I felt like I needed to spend any free moment creating art (because otherwise I was ‘not an artist‘), and in doing so I stifled myself and made it into an obligation. What I needed was a plain old hobby!

So reconnecting with my old hobby has also led to a reconnection with art. I’ve had a few sessions recently where I was just SOO in the zone, I couldn’t stop creating. It’s wonderful!

I’ll excuse you if you completely don’t understand the link between a computer game and painting and you think I’m prattling on! Just keep scrolling haha!

Below are some of the things I’ve been working on these past couple of months.

'Emerge' - 12x12" mixed media on wood panel  Emerge is my word of the year that I've chosen to accompany me on my journey during 2016. Really loving how right it feels for me at this time.  Emerging is painful, a slow process. I imagine it kind of like a child being born (from the point of view of the child) or a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. It's also beautiful and meaningful.  2016 is going to be an interesting year for sure.  #intentions #wordoftheyear #mixedmedia #paintingonwood #beabitmoreyou #irisimpressionsart ‘Emerge’ – 12×12″ mixed media on wood panel

I’ve picked ’emerge’ as my word of the year for 2016. Picking a word for the past few years has been so beneficial to me. It feels like emerging is painful, a slow process. I imagine it kind of like a child being born (from the point of view of the child) or a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. It’s also beautiful and meaningful. I’m feeling really excited about this word and concept. I can’t wait to see how this will help me and show up in the coming year.

WIP for owl challenge in my A3 journal  #wip #artjournal #owl #acrylics #mixedmedia #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou Still doing the painting challenges and this one was for the subject ‘owl’. It’s in my A3 journal, nice to work so big. I felt a lot of enthusiasm for this initially but then lost touch with it.

Quick WoW inspired sketch.  #artjournal #sketch #worldofwarcraft #nightelf #irisimpressionsart Quick WoW inspired sketch. I think it’s a night elf from one of the loading screens.

Art time while the husb took the kids out. Loosely inspired by Tamara De Lempicka.  #artjournal #mixedmedia #arteveryday #instaartists #portrait #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou Still getting inspired by Tamara De Lempicka in preparation for my Love Art Happy Life class! (You can still sign up!)

A fun mess!  #rawjournaling #artjournal #mixedmedia #messyart #whimsical #schmincke #artstagram #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou Continuing with raw journaling. This is the type of journaling that currently brings me most joy and clarity. I’m brewing some ideas about a class on this.

Watching Brave on TV (until the kids made us switch channel because it was too scary ) #brave #princess #mixedmedia #artjournaling #painting #irisimpressionsart A bit of couch journaling while watching TV. Inspired by the Disney film Brave.

These #sennelier soft pastels! I'm in love! Best Christmas present ever! #softpastel #mixedmedia #artjournal #portrait #irisimpressionsart I received Sennelier soft pastels for Christmas. They’re SO AMAZING. Such a joy to work with.

Still in progress. Soft pastels, acrylics and tissue paper on wood.  #mixedmedia #portrait #whimsical #ethereal #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou #artoninstagram Soft pastels, acrylics and tissue paper on wood. Still continuing my journey to finding and developing my own style.

De Lempicka inspired work in my #artjournal it's good to be #painting.  #mixedmedia #tamaradelempicka #artinspiration #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou De Lempicka inspired work in my art journal

Start of a new painting.  #mixedmedia #portrait #whimsical #angel #artinspiration #irisimpressionsart #beabitmoreyou I had a funny experience with this one. Initially I was trying to do a study of a da Vinci painting but I just couldn’t get the sketch to look anything like it. It just kept looking SUPER weird and I was getting more and more frustrated. Then I decided to keep the overall shape of the figure, but one by one erase the features (eyes, mouth, nose) and put the features back in an ‘Iris way’ (i.e. my go-to way of drawing those features). WOOHOO!!! All of a sudden I loved where it was going. It’s not finished yet and I’m looking forward to working on this again.

So loving this face. The slight translucency of the oil bars / oil pastels is just yummy. #mixedmedia #oilpastels #portrait #whimsical #irisimpressionsart #artoninstagram So loving this face. The slight translucency of the oil bars / oil pastels is just yummy.

Giving Up?

Ever Feel Like Giving Up On Your Art?

Do you ever get so frustrated with your art that you just want to throw in the towel? Bin it? Give up?

I’m currently teaching in several places (Let’s Face It & Love Art Happy Life) and apart from the wonderful work that is being posted, people also sometimes express their frustration. Their annoyance at not getting it right or not drawing what they see in their mind’s eye. I read about people throwing their art in the bin or ripping it up.

My heart feels heavy when I see people being so hard on themselves!

I really understand that feeling, that annoyance and disgust at what was supporsed to be wonderful, but ended up severely lacking. I’ve never binned my art, but in a way I binned my creativity for years: by simply not creating for fear of creating something disappointing (again).

For me I want art to be something joyful, even if I recognise that it is sometimes a struggle (believe me, I struggle). Getting the balance right is actually a really big part of my wish for self-care and self-respect. Shooting yourself down actually adds another layer of suffering on top of the already existing disappointment of not liking something or something not working out right.

I feel so sad thinking about the fact that so many of you experience this, I want to share my tips for allowing art to be a more joyful experience.

1. Struggle. First of all, let’s just sit with the fact that we sometimes struggle. Life can be a struggle, art can be a struggle. And that is OK. Struggle is not something to be avoided at all cost or a marker of not doing it right. It just happens. Sometimes we struggle with something physical (e.g. art techniques) or emotional (e.g. confidence). If we interact with the struggle and face it it can help us actually get further on our journey. It helps us grow.

2. Letting Go Of The Outcome. I know I harp on a lot about letting go of the outcome *grins* but it’s just so relevant! The art you create simply is. It is not good, it is not bad, it just is. WHY do we want to throw it in the bin, or annihilate ourselves or rip it up? It’s about attaching an importance to it being something ELSE. As long as we’re focussed on wanting it to be anything other than what it is, we’re creating disappointment and suffering for ourselves.

3. Noticing. Being able to think critically and assess our work is a strength and can help us improve, but there is a difference between observing and criticising/annihilation. When you notice instead of judge, you’re simply observing what is. You can then absorb that knowledge in a positive way, rather than a judgy feel-bad-about-yourself-way. It’s the difference between “The eyes are all wrong! It’s ruined!” and noticing “The left eye is smaller than the right eye. I don’t enjoy the look that creates, next time I will try to pay more attention to getting the eyes the same size”.

4. Be Where You Are At. It’s so tough in this online world not to compare ourselves. I don’t know about you but my Facebook feed is filled with wonderful art from amazing artists all over the world. Everyone is doing their own thing and everyone is on their own path. Consuming dozens or hundreds of pictures of what other people are doing can really affect my confidence about what I am doing myself. I start comparing myself and wishing my art was ‘a little more like this’ or ‘a little less like that’. When I compare myself to others I’m treating myself so unfairly, because really I can’t compare myself to anyone other than myself! I’m Iris, I’ve been painting on and off since 2008 and consistently since 2013. I paint a few times a week. I tend to choose expression and play over technical skill and practice. I’ve not been to art school. I’ve followed some online classes. I love trying different materials. Etc etc etc (everyone has their own unique story). The art I’m making is a beautiful reflection of who I am at this point in time, and I am exactly where I need to be.

Say it with me now:

The art I’m making is a beautiful reflection of who I am at this point in time, and I am exactly where I need to be

I really hope that the above will give you some of the tools that have helped me get out of the critical judging way of approaching art and into a more accepting and joyful way of doing art.

If you have any tips I’d love to hear them, please leave a comment below!

GIVEAWAY! Love Art Happy Life eCouse

Lovearthappylife_lola02

UPDATE Giveaway winner is Donna Williams! Congratulations Donna. Thank you to everyone for participating and sharing your happy art thoughts with me.


I need art for a happy life, how about you?

That’s exactly what Love Art Happy Life is about. An ecourse on how to get inspired by art, make your own art and feel happier in life.

The course has already started and the work that is being posted is SO MUCH FUN! The first lesson is all about being inspired by Picasso and creating our own simple quirky portraits.

Get Happy!

Watching this short intro video makes me happy!

My Lesson

In my lesson I am inspired by Tamara de Lempicka. Her art is a combination of roaring 20s, decadence, strong feminine, art deco style. I’m SO in love with it! Here is a study of her work that I’ve done. In the first part of my lesson I’m going to show you how to do a study and in the second part of the lesson I will show you how to use this to inform your more personal work and style.

Tamara-DeLempicka-study

Enter To Win

Now is your chance to WIN a free spot on Love Art Happy Life!

All you have to do is:

1. ensure you are signed up to my newsletter
2. leave a comment below telling me how art makes you happy

Good luck! Can’t wait to read your answers!

A winner will be picked & contacted by 21 January. If the winner has already purchased the course they will be able to receive a refund or gift their spot to a friend.

Must Read Articles From 2015

must-read-articles-2015

Inspirational

Do It For Fun, Do It For You

I think a lot of us feel held back by the thought that whatever we do (and especially whatever we share) needs to be somehow GOOD or MEANINGFUL. We think it has to be WORTHY. And then we attach a load of restrictions on ourselves in terms of what fulfills those criteria. [Read more…]

Are You Scared of Making Art?

This is for you if you’re feeling scared or intimidated about making art. If you’re having trouble getting started. If you get so deep into the not-good-enough-itis that creating seems impossible. If you need some gentle loving encouragement. [Read more…]

Art Journaling, There Are No Rules

Do you feel held back by the ‘rules of art journaling’? [Read more…]

Tips & How Tos

5 Reasons You’re Not Happy With Your Art

Do you feel unhappy with your art but don’t know why? These tips will help you understand yourself and hopefully find ways to feel better! [Read more…]

5 Tips to Develop Your Own Unique Art Style

Finding your own style is the holy grail of any artist. These 5 tips will help you get there. [Read more…]

How To Price Your Art?

How to price your art (at a level you feel good about) and how to avoid common pitfalls when pricing your art. [Read more…]

Art Supplies & Artists

9 Artists I Want To Go On An Art Date With

These 9 amazing artists inspire me so much. Check them out & let me know who your favourites are. [Read more…]

My Art Supply Bag

Curious what I have in my art journal bag? These are some of my favourite supplies both when I’m in my studio and when I go on holiday. [Read more…]

Art Journal Reviews

A series in which I review all the different art journals I have used. [Read more…]

Sharing More Emotional Art

raw-journaling

Lately I’ve been doing something that my friend Marieke calls ‘raw art journaling’. So now you’ll probably ask:

What Is Raw Journaling?

To me raw journaling is where you journal with the intention of feeling, processing and expressing your emotions. You avoid trying to decide up front what you’re going to make (i.e. you don’t plan out a composition or particular subject), but instead you let yourself be led by your inner voice and intuition. For me an important aspect of this is letting go of the need to make something pretty or coherent.

Raw journaling #artjournal #intuitiveart #rawjournaling #emotion #mixedmedia #strathmore #irisimpressionsart

Colours

I usually start out by grabbing a few colours (adhering loosely to colour theory and colour relationships – I will be going into this more in my bonus lesson on Let’s Face It) so I don’t get overwhelmed. In my journals I like to use matte acrylics (like Americana or Blick matte acrylics) because they don’t make the pages stick together the way glossy acrylics might. Then while I’m working I’ll let my intuition guide me in terms of picking further colours.

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Text

I find that when I try this type of art journaling things tend to look a lot more unfinished. I also use a lot more words in haphazard ways across the pages. With a ‘normal’ art journal page I have a tendency to create a face and then in the empty space a word or phrase. With raw journaling it’s much more ‘all over the place’. I pay less attention to composition and more attention to what I want to express. Almost everything that goes through my head will come out in text, either in layers or illegible scribbles or as visible text on the final layer.

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Sharing

The most surprising and unsurprising thing has been that I’ve found this type of art harder to share. I usually share everything (pretty, ugly, it doesn’t really matter to me who sees it), but I think that in a lot of my work the emotions are more hidden (e.g. the process has been cathartic but the page itself doesn’t really express specific emotions on the surface). In this work the emotion is totally on the surface. It’s very raw, very real and it makes me feel really vulnerable to share it.

So maybe it’s not such a surprise that I’ve found it hard, but I will keep sharing, because I absolutely love this type of art. Both to look at and to make. It’s not necessarily ‘pretty’, but to me it expresses something deep and it touches me in a way that a lot of other art doesn’t. It makes me feel exhilarated, a bit scared and it makes my heart beat faster.

If you’d like to check out some other people who do raw journaling, these are artists whose work I enjoy:
Marieke Blokland
Anne-Marie van Eck
Erin Faith Allen
Roxanne Coble

How to set up your art space for mixed media and art journaling

Art-Space-Set-Up-How-To

My top 5 tips for organizing your art space and having a great setup. Watch the short video below or read the transcript underneath.

Tip 1. A Tidy Start

Clutter kills creativity. OK maybe not, but a clutter of art supplies when I start makes me feel overwhelmed with too many choices. A clean desk means I can start with a sense of calm and go from there.

Tip 2. Workspace Aplenty

I’m sure lots of you can relate to having only a small space to work in. It’s important to have more surface than just what you need for your journal or substrate. That way you can have the materials you’re working with around you. Set up a foldable table if possible.

Tip 3. Get Organized

Everything should have its own place. It will help you find this quickly and also makes tidying up much easier.

Tip 4. Quick Access

When it’s hidden away, I don’t use it and forget I have it. All my favourite art supplies are within arms reach and visible. That way I can quickly grab what I need without having to get up. It really helps me stay in the creative flow.

Tip 5. Get Rid Of It!

If you don’t use it, lose it! It clutters up your art space and makes you feel like you ‘should’ use it. If you don’t use or enjoy certain supplies, get rid of them (Freecycle, charity shop, arty friends) and make space for things you DO like.

How To Price Your Art?

How To Price Your Art? | article with tips & advice | iris-impressions.com

It’s a simple question, but there seems to be no clean cut answer. Let’s face it, pricing your art is difficult, it’s an emotional subject, it might trigger lots of doubts & insecurities and all the opinions out there might not actually help you come to a conclusion or more importantly: your price.

When figuring out the price of your work there are two considerations: practical pricing aspects & emotional pricing aspects. I’ve also included a bonus section on how not to price your art.

Practical Pricing Aspects

There are a few techniques you can use and things to consider when trying to work out a price.

Your Materials what are the costs of the things you used up in making the art? Think of all materials including paints/other media, embellishments/objects, varnish, substrate, framing if applicable.

Your Time is there a minimum charge per hour that you want/need to get paid? Almost any job has an hourly rate. Having a think about what yours is will help you not undervalue your painting. e.g. if you spend 6 hours on a painting and charge £$€50 (whatever your currency is), you will be getting paid £$€8.33 per hour. Is that enough, or not?

Price For Size a handy starting point to arrive at a figure for differently sized work is working out a price per square inch. Start with £$€1. That means a 12×12″ work is £$€144. Work backwards thinking of your materials & your time. Is it enough or does it need adjusting? Try increasing it by 0.5 increments. As the popularity, collectability and skill of your work increases you might increase the overall price.

Consistency it is helpful if you price your work with some semblance of consistency. Pricing one piece at £$€50 and another similarly sized one for £$€500 doesn’t make sense and may affect your integrity.

Emotional Pricing Aspects

Uncomfortable the right price usually makes you slightly uncomfortable. It can trigger your feelings of not feeling good or worthy. But better to price at a level where you feel appreciated, than a price where you feel comfortable but then when you sell you feel resentful. I have found that letting go of a piece of art is always hard, but when the price is right it’s easier because it feels like a beautiful exchange rather than the feeling of ‘losing’ something.

Your Wish what is the amount you would LOVE to get paid for this? Not the amount you ‘think people will pay’. Not the amount you ‘think it is worth’. What is the amount you need to feel completely and utterly valued? That’s your price.

Fear Of What Other People Think what if people laugh? What if people think ‘who does s/he think s/he is’? What if they think it’s insanely expensive? Or cheap and therefore rubbish? That says something about them, not about you. It is not your job to predetermine what other people will think. It is only your job to put your art out into the world. You can’t know in advance whether other people find a price worth it, or expensive, or cheap. Chances are all these opinions will exist, but they are not your client, your client is the one who wants your art and is happy to pay your price (or save up for it, or buy a print instead).

Your Audience people don’t tend to buy art the way they buy a microwave or jeans (e.g. I need a new microwave/jeans, this is my budget and now I’m going to shop around until I find the thing that best suits my needs). No one buys art because they need it, they buy it because they want it. When someone buys your art it’s usually because they want your art. You build up a connection with your audience, your collectors, your tribe. Those are the people who will buy from you. By building up this group of people you will also ensure they value your work.

How NOT To Price Your Art

Common pitfalls and ways in which we tend to undervalue or mis-price our art.

Charging what someone else charges you’re comparing apples with pears. Trying to deduce the value of your art by looking at other people’s prices will never give you the answer.

Undercutting pricing slightly cheaper than others in order to sell your product might work for TVs or pints of milk, but if you do it with your art you’re undervaluing it and misunderstanding its place in the world

Competing with mass production this comes back to the point above about building up your audience so people want and buy your art because it’s yours. People will never value your art if you see it as something that has to compete with a mass produced canvas from IKEA.

Asking a friend/family member what they’d pay this one is so tempting!! But they are not your audience! Avoid this one if you want to keep your sanity and loving relationships.


I hope that has given you some things to think about in order to price your art confidently! I’d love to know what you thought and if you have any tips, let me know in the comments below!