Prices for paper vs canvas and panel

Artyczar

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Isn't interesting that prices for works on paper are traditionally less expensive than wok on canvas and panels? I understand the materials can frequently cost much, much less, but what about the time that can go into the process? I was just wondering what people think about this.

I too price my work on paper at about half the cost as my oil paintings. Sometimes I think about it is all because a lot of the work I do on paper takes me just as long and sometimes longer, but people would never expect to pay the same amounts. So, I would never price them up.

but, I was thinking...what about artists that only work on paper. I was thinking about artists like SLG. And many other artists I know--they work solely on paper/with paper. It's an interesting, subjective, and for some, an arbitrary viewpoint.
 

Maybenartist

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It is strange that the support matters so much when one sees watercolours and drawings on paper that have aged better than many oils.

I love painting on oil paper, the paint glides on very easily, it doesn't seep through the paper and it's far easier to store and transport than a fixed canvas and if one puts it on a backing I can't tell the difference. Not sure i should post this in your thread Arty, but below is a relatively quick study of Millet's - The Gleaners on oil paper, I doubt there is such a discernable difference.
20200820_002841.jpg
 

E.J.H.

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And also, good quality 100% cotton watercolor papers do not come cheap...
 

stlukesguild

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Yes. My one studio partner used to always suggest that I spent almost nothing on my drawings/paintings. He had no idea how expensive good paper can be... or gold leaf... even artificial gold leaf... to say nothing about pastels! A single small stick of Rembrandt can run over $4.00 while Sennelier or Schmincke may cost upwards of $7.00. This doesn't even touch upon framing.
 

E.J.H.

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And in any case I think the price of the materials in painting/drawing is generally a tiny part of the price of the art work. In most cases probably neglectible.
When not you are seriously underpaying your own time and effort.
I am not a professional artist, but looking at some works I've shown here, about a4 size, nothing too fancy, they take maybe one or two hours.
Even when using top notch materials and taking a modest hourly rate, materialcost is not really a factor.
If that is the case with such pretty quick watercolors it certainly goes for those elaborate works you have shown, that take many days to complete.
 

Artyczar

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I love the Gleaners. One of my favorites.

I have purchased a few oil painting papers but have not yet used them. They are a bit expensive, and yes, framing is a lot more expensive than canvas, especially the way I personally prefer to frame my work on paper.

I also like to prime my canvases with a clear acrylic polymer to take a lot of the tooth out of the canvas so it acts a little bit more like paper. I sometimes wish canvas came in a hot press the way paper comes. I don't like the roughness so much and prefer the glide of the paint, which is why I also like gessoboard and panel.

I feel I can "justify" asking higher prices, or rather equal prices to oil paintings that are on gessoboard and panel. It's so weird, isn't it? It never made much sense to me. But that's what collectors expect, so there's not much I can do. I think the only way around it is when an artist works exclusively on paper. I think about watercolor artists like Kim McCarty and artists of this caliber/type.
 
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