Art prints are a relatively easy and profitable way of making your artwork more accessible. Not everyone feels committed enough to purchase an original painting, and making prints of your work allows you to sell numerous copies at a more inexpensive cost. Here’s the breakdown of how I turn my original artwork into art prints:
1. Scan or Photograph
I have the Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner. The upfront cost is about $300, so it is definitely an investment. However, I find it totally worth it. The scanner can only fit artwork up to 11 x 8.5 inches, so if you typically work bigger than it might not make as much sense. For me, I am constantly drawing in a small sketchbook and these sketches and drawings transfer vibrantly and crisply to a digital file using the scanner.
I make prints of my larger scale oil paintings using photography instead of scanning. I usually hang my painting on the wall at about eye-level, and use my iPhone 12 camera to photograph the painting. It typically helps to have a window open with natural light coming in rather than using overhead light fixtures. Indirect sunlight is preferable over direct sunlight. Then I crop the image on my phone to the edges of the canvas, cutting out the wall behind the painting. I use OneDrive to “send” the photo to myself so I can open up the file on my laptop. Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive are all great for keeping art files and moving your photos easily from between your phone and computer. I then open the photo up on my laptop using Photoshop and tweak the brightness and contrast using the adjustments editor.
Before printing, I create a PDF file of my artwork using Photoshop and make sure the image size is correct. I have created prints that range from 5x7 inches to 13x19 inches. You want your print to be the same dimensions as your original artwork, but you can scale it depending on what size print you’d like. For example, a 16x20 inch painting easily scales into 8x10 inch prints. Once you determine the size of your prints, create a PDF file to match.
I use and love the Canon Pixma Pro 200. You can print directly from Photoshop, or open your file using Adobe Acrobat and print from there. It’s important to make sure your print settings match the paper you are using AND that your paper is compatible with your printer. I recommend using Red River Paper Company to purchase compatible papers based on your needs. Their website details the different options and tells you which papers are best for art prints, greeting cards, photography, etc. They also tell you which printer settings your printer needs to be on based on which paper you are using! In my opinion, Red River Paper Company makes this process super simple. If you choose to get paper elsewhere just remember to research what paper setting is needed and be sure the paper is ink-jet compatible if you are using the Pixma Pro printer.
I tend to print 8x10 prints on 8.5x11 inch paper. After my print is made, I use a paper cutter to trim the edges. And then voila!
The last detail I want to mention is about packaging. I found this company called Clear Bags a few months ago, and they’re worth mentioning because they create an eco-friendly cellophane sleeve that is plant-based and compostable. Most of the cellophane options that exist out there are plastic, so this company is truly a gem! Sleeves for your art prints are a must to avoid fingerprints or unwanted markings ending up on your image. I recommend searching Clear Bags first for the sleeve sizes you need, and seeing if you can find a compostable version.
There are so many different ways to make art prints, but above is an overview of the steps involved in my in-house way of creating prints! Feel welcome to drop any other questions that might have come up through reading this blog. I'm here to help! And make sure you follow me on Instagram @quirky_burp so I can see all of the cute art prints you make! :)