Help in pricing (how much would you charge?)



I’m about to take on my first project for a client. I was wondering if I could get some input as to how much would be a decent price for me to charge the client. My aim is to give the client a good price, specially since the delivery will take me time since it’s my first project (I’m guessing about 4 weeks), but not cut myself so short even in a “good price”.

How much would you charge (or would you suggest someone newer to charge) for a creature character portrait? The feel is a regal portrait, something like this:

But with a 3D feel, like this:

I was originally thinking charging the client $500 … my thinking being that a professional, experienced artist who had all the skill sets to deliver something like this would maybe take 3 full days to complete something like this (no basis for this thinking … I’m just assuming, so that may be too ambitious); and I’m thinking they’d charge, at the very! least, $35 an hour (and I’m sure in reality it’d be much higher). So for 3 days of full work, it’d be about $850.

It’s going to take me longer, and I’ll have parts of the workflow to figure out, so I was thinking maybe $500 would be an aggressive price for the client? But I’m worried that I might be cutting myself way short. Any insight will be valuable, appreciated, and help me in figuring out how to justify a price to the client.


$500 for that level of detail is extremely cheap. $35 per hour might be a rate for a full time generalist that grinds for a full time gig with benefits. However, a contractor would be between $50 - $100+

I’d say a established pro would be between $2500-$10,000 depending on the medium and exposure.

If you can live with $500 for all that work, then go for it. You might want to come in a bit higher so you’ve got room to negotiate though. Maybe ask for $900 or even $1200.


Actually, that makes sense and I’m not at all surprised. Thats exactly what I was afraid of and wondering, and it helps to have someone experienced verify and give me a ballpark of numbers. Thanks so much for that insight, XLNT-3d … that really helps me understand the scope much better, even moving forward in understanding pricing/detail of work involved for future projects. I will definitely start the price higher and feel comfortable asking for it now. Much appreciated!


And don’t forget the fur. Thats some serious grooms going on in your examples.
If you’ve never done it its another level of complexity say compared to a snake or some-such.
It doesn’t have to be turntable perfect I suppose but if you’ve never done it at all its a major step.


Go watch The Futur YouTube channel. It’s with Chris Do and his design company. Not everything is relevant to illustration, but many of the same principles will apply. It’s definitely with watching all the content, especially the stuff on business

Also, the top image looks like a nice painting/illustration. The bottom image looks like image compositing (although I could be completely wrong). If you find a fast way to do the work by using photos and doing a little bit of touch up work, then you might be able to charge lower fees. Also, you cost of living plays a big part. Just don’t sell yourself too short.


Its cool the MODs allowed this question. Folks need to talk a bit about wages.
You have some people who get upset about artists never charging enough and under cutting themselves but that happens because artists don’t get on the same page. If for example everyone got on board and said something like this cost 1200-2500 dollars and more and more artists shared that pricing then I believe more and more artists would get into those prices vs coming up with their own.

I’ve had folks bid work for me and got everything from $45-1500 for the same level and quality. It would be nice to have some ballparks and everyone get into doing the ballpark figure but the only way you can do that is actually talk about it.



it depends on 3 factors: how badly the artist needs money, experience, and demand for his work.
If a person has enough experience, he/she can estimate more precisely how much time it would take, and therefore, know the approximate price. But then he can more or less presume he will finish the product and deliver some level of quality, based on his experience.
An artist can raise the price, if he has enough demand for his product. If not, he should be lucky to get the average pricing.
There’s no way to get rid of low-pricing. People will try to sneak into the industry with low prices, and that’s normal way of getting there. Once they get some experience, they start to level them up.