If you’re an artist, you know damn well how much time and hard work goes into creating a piece of art. That’s why it can be hard to part with a piece, even for the right price. Of course, that’s not even mentioning those instances when you don’t get your painting’s worth.
Accordingly, art prints have become a great way for artists to make a profit and preserve their artwork. However, finding someone to get the art prints just right can be difficult. That’s exactly why many resort to doing it on their own, in their own homes.
So, if you’ve decided it’s time to dabble in fine art prints, you first have to know what tools you need to get started. You also need to know how to go about it. So, keep reading, and we’ll tell you all the tips and tricks for making art prints at home.
The Short Answer
To make art prints at home, all you need is a decent camera/scanner, image editing software, and a pigment-ink printer. If you have all that, then simply upload your artwork onto your computer. Then, edit it in the proper software, and bam!!! Your art print is just a click away.
Things You Need to Make Art Prints at Home
A Work of Art
Well, duh. If you want to make an art print, then you need to have an actual artwork that you can work off. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. It also doesn’t matter whether it’s an oil painting on a canvas or a charcoal sketch.
All that really matters is that your art speaks for your personality and unique style. This is what’ll make others want to buy your art prints and display them in their home.
As much as it hurts me to say it, yes, you do need a good quality camera or scanner to make art prints. And no, your phone camera won’t do no matter how much you want it to.
Typically, if your paintings are on the smaller side, then a scanner will be just fine. However, not any scanner will do. For art prints, you need a scanner that can provide a high-resolution digital image (around 6400 x 9600 dpi) and pick up any color you throw at it.
Meanwhile, if your artworks are larger than your typical scanner, then you’re better off using a camera. Yes, technically, you can scan your painting a piece at a time and then put those pieces together on your editing software. However, the process will take considerable time and attention to detail.
That’s precisely why cameras are perfect for large artworks, as they can capture the whole of your painting in one shot.
Still, to make fine art prints, your camera needs to capture around 300 dpi. Some people make do with 72 dpi, but they’ll spend more time on the editing software fixing and modifying the image. So, don’t skimp out on your camera and choose one that’ll provide you with what you want.
Read also: What Do I Need to Print T-Shirts at Home?
It goes without saying, but you need a good computer to make print arts. It should at the very least have an up to par graphics card as well as plenty of RAM to support your photo editing software. A 1440p or 4k monitor having a wide color gamut is also essential for making your prints as life-like as possible, which ultimately helps you prevent any printing issues.
Photo Editing Software
Yup. Editing the digital image before printing is essential for any print art. Brightness, color saturation, contrast, and a gazillion other things will first need adjustment before you can click that golden print button.
So, you need to get familiar with the editing software you’ll be using, whether it’s Corel, Photoshop, Krita, Luminar, or another.
While acid-free papers aren’t a must for art prints, they’re still a good thing to have. That’s because this type of paper has the best resistance to sunlight. This means that your art prints won’t fade or turn yellow with acid-free paper, especially archival-quality paper.
Pigment-Based Inkjet Printer
As for printers, you need to look for two main things. One; is that the printer uses pigment-based inks, and two, that it can handle archival paper.
You can use a printer that uses dye-based inks. However, these inks tend to fade away after about a decade, and sometimes even less, once sunlight and oxygen hit them.
On the other hand, pigment-based inks can last for 100 whole years if preserved in optimal conditions. So, in short, pigment beats dye any day of the week.
You should also consider the quality, size, and speed of a printer before getting it to make art prints. Is it big enough for your desired art print dimensions? Will it take forever to print a couple of images? And most importantly, will you be able to fit it in your home? These are all things you need to ask yourself before deciding on a printer.
The last thing on our list is a backing board, preferably an acid-free one.
This handy little tool allows your fine prints to dry completely, ensuring minimal to no blurs or smudges. It’ll also keep your prints as crisp as can be until you come to display or package them up to send to their prospective owner.
When choosing the ideal paper for art prints, keep two factors in mind: the paper or other surface on which you created the original artwork and the paper on which you print it.
See also: The 5 Best Printers for Art Prints
You’re probably already generating artwork on a scannable surface if you’re a graphic designer or draw with pencil or pen, but if you’re a painter or multi-media artist, you might not be. If you know you’ll want to scan the original artwork and turn it into a print later, canvas paper is a fantastic choice because it’s flat and easy to scan. Stretched canvases can be scanned as well, but they’re a little more difficult to get right. When learning how to make art prints, start with the simplest technique feasible until you’ve mastered the procedure.
The finest material for printing is archival, acid-free paper. Even if your artwork is framed and collecting dust and light, this paper will survive longer and maintain it appearing as it should.
It’s entirely up to you and the artwork’s requirements whether you use matte or gloss paper. Because matte paper absorbs and diffuses pigments more than gloss paper, you might prefer the final look on gloss if you’re printing artwork with fine details. You don’t have to get super-shiny gloss paper; you may instead choose semi-gloss.
How to Make Good-Quality Art Prints?
So, now that you know what you need, it’s time to start making some art prints.
First things first, choose your artwork and make sure it’s completely dry before going further.
Next, whip out your camera or plug in your scanner in order to upload your painting onto your computer.
Remember to properly align your painting and make sure your scanner is working at 300 dpi or more. Also, select the auto-exposure tool and the proper file type for your prints. This is all to ensure you have the best image quality possible.
Once the photo is uploaded, open it in your editing software and crop any extra spaces. Then, create a new document for your art print and choose the format you want.
Following this, start adjusting the contrast, brightness, and color saturation, until the image looks as natural as possible. It may take you a few tries before you get it right, but once you get used to the process, it’ll become as easy as breathing.
Finally, save your file in a PDF or JPG format, then add your paper to the printer, and press print.
It’s really not that hard making art prints at home. However, it’ll put a considerable dent in your account due to the various tools and equipment you need for the process.
Still, if you think of it as an investment in your art, you won’t regret buying the proper, albeit expensive, tools. So, don’t be afraid of the price tag that comes with making art prints at home, and start your art-print journey right now.
I am a bilingual, meticulous, and hardworking professional. As a high-energy professional, and printing specialist who offers high-quality printing services I possess excellent oral and written communication skills coupled with an ability to establish and maintain strong rapport with clients. I am able to prioritize workloads and handle multiple projects simultaneously and efficiently. My work experiences have made me accustomed to working in fast-paced environments with the ability to think quickly and successfully handle difficult situations.