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Trying to Decide Between Photographs as Art and Art on Canvas? How and Why You Don't Have to Choose?

Posted by Schmidt Fine Art Gallery on

For most art buyers, they are looking for a certain medium type. Some want just photographs while others want art painted or drawn on canvas. When you love photography, but you are torn between that and a painted or drawn piece of art, you end up stuck not making a choice or a purchase.


Or do you? Recent advances in technology and the art world have changed the way people choose and buy art. It doesn't have to be a hand-painted or drawn piece of art on canvas to be canvas art anymore. Art on canvas is a lot more than it used to be. Take a closer look at how and why you don't have to choose between photographs as art and other art media on canvas.


The Art Print


An art print is typically referred to as a giclee. They are created by uploading an image of an original work of art, usually a painting or drawing. It can, however, be a photo too. The print is made on a very large high resolution inkjet printer that rapidly applies its perfectly matched ink colors in very tiny amounts over the expanse of a printing material. The printing material is archival paper or photo paper made especially for the creation of prints.


The best thing about these prints is that the artist can choose to make one or make one thousand prints and sell each one accordingly. The more prints made, the higher the number assigned to the print until each has a number. As a collector, you would want a print with the lowest number possible out of the total number of prints made. The prints are often much less expensive than the original work of art created by the artist or photographer.


From Art Print to Canvas Print


After artists found that they could make decent money from prints, they tried to figure out how to put their prints to canvas. Many collectors wanted a copy of this or that piece of canvas art and just did not want to pay the original asking price. Still, collectors wanted an art on canvas print.


So, with a little ingenuity, some artists developed an inkjet printer that could print on real rolls of primed canvas. Now artists could mass produce their works in various sizes scaled to fit canvases of any size. Art buyers and art collectors were thrilled.


Unfortunately, there wasn't quite an equal for the photography print on canvas. That is relatively new in terms of a process, but now any photo can be reproduced onto a piece of canvas just as easily as drawn or painted media. What this means for photography artists is that they can reproduce any of their best photos by using a canvas and inkjet printer.


The Photograph to the Canvas


In much the same way that the image of a painted or drawn piece of art is uploaded to the special printer, so too is the chosen photograph. Once the photograph is uploaded and the canvas roll is loaded and ready for printing, the photographer instructs the printer to print that photo at the dimensions requested. The result is an incredibly realistic photo on canvas that doesn't look like it's on canvas at all.


Sometimes it looks like a very meticulously painted art on canvas piece where the artist used oil paints and dozens of brushes to get everything perfect. Because the resolution of these machines is so refined to the point of perfection, and every tiny dot of color laid down perfectly, it is nearly impossible to tell if it is a photograph versus a painting. Hence, you never have to choose between these art media forms again when you want art on canvas.


Choosing the Photo You Want Turned into an Art on Canvas Piece


Most artists have the photos up on their websites from which you can choose. Pick the photo you most like and most want to turn into art on canvas. Next, select the size. How big do you want to go? Keep in mind that some artists will not print certain sizes of their photo art because certain sizes begin detracting from the beauty of the photos. Stretching a vertical image into a horizontal image (and vice versa) is not something artists will do either because it generally does not transfer well or print well to canvas.


If there is a vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape) image that you really like but you wish it had a different orientation, contact the artist. He or she may have other similar pictures in his/her photography files that could be used to create art on canvas prints in the orientation and photo you desire. It may cost a little more because it might be considered a custom piece, but artists generally want to make their buyers and collectors content by providing the buyers and collectors with works of art on canvas that they really want.


Art Is About Mood-Choose Carefully


Art of any kind appeals to people because it affects mood. Something gruesome evokes feelings of fear and disgust. Something somber or sad makes you feel blue (as anyone who has ever seen something from Picasso's Blue Period will attest). Vibrant colors can make you feel happy. Neutral colors can make you feel reflective. With photographs printed on canvas, moments captured in life can evoke many different feelings. Pick the work you like based on the mood you want to put into a room and a mood you want to feel each time you look at the work. It should speak to you personally every time you see it.


Framing the Photograph Turned "Painting" on Canvas


You might be wondering if you can still frame a photograph once it has become art on canvas. You can. The gallery-wrapped edges of these pieces are usually painted a dark color or the photo wraps around the edges. However, you can buy special gallery art frames to secure around the edges of the canvas. They are the same frames usually used to frame paintings for art museums and they work very well for your canvas-printed photograph art.


Float frames give your art on canvas a finished look without having a front frame edge interfere too much with the image. Traditional frames may block off some of the imagery that may be part of the picture you most like. You will have to choose a frame carefully and/or discuss it with a professional framer if you want to frame any printed photo or art on canvas.


As for hanging these unique prints, hanging hardware is usually and already installed on the backs of every printed photo on canvas. If you want the back of the canvas covered with brown artist's backing paper, you can either request that, or have a framing shop finish the back and close it up this way. Otherwise a lot of buyers tend to just leave it open as no one really sees the back unless you take the piece down off the wall and reveal the open back of the canvas.


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