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Pricing and Sketches

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Pricing and Sketches

Post by BendyBrush on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:17 am

Hello! I've recently started a business mostly focused on belly painting. I did some free ones for my portfolio and have begun charging. I indicate that my prices start at $40 and can go up. My first belly is a where the wild things are theme and just doing research on it, the art style and characters and such, has taken me an hour. As well as doing a preliminary sketch the client shot down. So now I'm starting over. I'm beginning to see why belly painters charge so much. I'm moving my price up to $60 after this belly. I was thinking of having a few default designs I could do for $40-$60. Maybe personalize with name and gender so I don't need to spend time making new designs for those who want something simple. Also I think creating a questionnaire would help in getting a design nailed down prior to spending so much time sketching out something. Any other time saving techniques you painters use?


Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2015-05-21

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Re: Pricing and Sketches

Post by Forest-Fairy on Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:03 am

For my belly paintings I charge a min of $100.

There is the consultation. the design, and sketching, and planning out the art. Then there is the photography usually I can get the client to pay for the photographer I use, but if they don't I just get my 'friend' to do it, which is the same guy lol, and I slip him some cash. Because I want good photos too for my port.

When explaining to the client about pricing, I put it in simple terms. "A Painting is like a pizza. How many toppings you want determines the price."
If they just want some roses, a tree and a few butterflies then to me that's pretty simple and would only charge my min $100.

But if they want a magical unicorn walking through a forest, meeting an old wizard sitting in a tree, in front of a pond filled with fish under the water and the entire thing ringed with roses.... well suffice it to say that's a lot of toppings on that pizza and the price goes up.


I tend to ask a lot of questions over the phone to get a good idea of what they want. Then I might show them some reference through email, or get them to send me some photos of what they have in mind. From that I make a sketch, and some times a color chart. (this is ALL done AFTER the deposit of course)

Some times the mom has NO idea what they want, so I send her to a pinterest board full of belly paintings and also inspiration photos to get the idea's flowing. I ask them to pick 3-5 images they really like and i narrow it down from there, to concepts. One lady picked all 'tree themed' designs, other picked ones with her favorite colors in cool tones. Etc. Look for what the designs have in common. One time I couldn't figure out what any of the designs all had in common, then it dawned on me it was all simply 'high contrast' art.

Being the artist it's your job to help the client figure out what they want if they don't already know.

Some times they have no idea, and couldn't care less, they just want 'something'. So I ask them to give me one word to work with, like "pretty", "cool", "girly" etc, and I work off that. Smile

They unicorn was one of these. the word given was 'Enchanting" and she said she had a $250 budget and to go wild. So I did. She LOVED it. Very Happy and so did I.

My biggest advice is to not sell yourself short. Belly painting is a high skilled technical art. It requires more time and prep then face painting, and can be more stressful and back breaking too. 

Think of all the time and effort put into just doing ONE belly painting, and then charge like the professional you are. Very Happy

Number of posts : 1672
Age : 30
Location : BC. Canada
Registration date : 2014-03-13


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Re: Pricing and Sketches

Post by dizzyizzyfaces on Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:53 am

Wow - that's amazingly beautiful. You can see how much talent and work has gone into it. What sort of reasons do the mums give for wanting their belly painting ? Do they intend going to a party or something ?


Number of posts : 15
Location : Yorkshire UK
Registration date : 2016-09-06

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Re: Pricing and Sketches

Post by MissWyssa on Sat May 06, 2017 11:58 am

That's a reminder I need constantly. I short change myself quite frequently. I think I'm afraid if I charge my first instinct I won't get the gig, but I know I'm worth it and always end up kicking myself. Drives my husband crazy. lol

Number of posts : 9
Age : 39
Location : Virginia Beach, VA
Registration date : 2017-04-18

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