Best Painting Practices for Fine Art Reproduction.

Here at Art Ink Print we take great care to reproduce our clients original artworks as faithfully as possible.

Creating a high quality digital image is the foundation for every print job, a low resolution or poorly lit photograph results in distorted printed images with potential colour casts and shadows.

Our camera and studio set-up gives us great flexibility, we have polarized lighting to omit any glare or reflection from metallic paints or gloss varnish and a top of the range camera for stunning quality images. We take color calibration very seriously, as we understand the importance of faithfully matching your original painting in print format.

Our clients often ask us about any possible technical difficulties in reproducing certain paint finishes and mediums, if you are considering producing prints of your art-work, please read on for our top tips!

The importance of under-painting.

It’s always a good idea to paint a ground or under-coat which is close in colour (or tone) to the paint you are planning to use on the surface…. or even a contrasting colour for a more striking effect. One of the biggest challenges we face is photographing paintings on canvas where the subject matter has been painted directly onto the white gesso. The reason being, is that small pin pricks of white show through the surface paint, even if unnoticeable to the eye; these reflect light when photographed and show up dramatically in the image file. Whilst these can be meticulously edited out prior to proofing, it is a very time consuming process…. So it’s a good idea to consider painting a ground coat, or underpainting to save time and cost for image capture!

Avoid Metallic and Pearlescent Paints.

Now who doesn’t like a little sparkle and bling now and then? Unfortunately metallic paints do not register the same way in a digital image file, as they do to the human eye. Our camera studio set-up eliminates and reflection of light or glare on the surface of a painting, to avoid any ‘hot spots’ of light, and to give a flat evenly lit appearance, perfect clarity for print reproduction. For this reason gold’s appear as ochre, silvers look more grey, and so on…. and as yet metallic inks are not available for use in archival printing. We recommend hand embellishing your archival prints if you wish to add metallic or pearlescent paints, for a one-of-a-kind art piece!

Paint now, varnish later.

We have the capability to photograph paintings finished with varnish, however high gloss or built up layers of varnish can be tricky to work with. Such reflective surfaces appear different depending on the lighting in their environment, which is impossible to replicate in print format. Another consideration is that our eyes can read a varnished surface to be different from a non-varnished area of the same colour; again due to the reflection or light. For example a mat black painted surface, finished in certain areas with gloss varnish will appear as two distinct different tones in real life… yet when photographed they appear the same tone, due to the elimination of reflected light.

We always advise our clients when taking in work for image capture if we can see any potential complexities in reproducing their work, as experts in our field we are happy to guide artists through our print process ensuring the best possible reproduction! Visit our ORDER page for pricing calculators and more details.