Your livelihood depends on digital files, so you’d best be…
by Marilyn Sholin, M.Photog.CR.CPP, Corel Painter Master, Golden Artist Educator
There are some amazing art prints on the internet and there is a trend I’m noticing that can lead to disastrous results. The more I look at what photographers and fine art digital artists are presenting online, the more I worry about them taking their virtual art to reality.
It’s fun to add textures and canvas effects to your digital paintings and photographs, but the danger is believing that what you are seeing will print properly as a final live and in-person, touchable piece of art. I have seen some amazing pieces of art recently online, especially in groups on Facebook. They are truly beautiful, but beware if the maker has not printed it and finished it.
Adding too much to their digital file can self-destruct when printed on canvas, watercolor, fine art papers and photographic papers. Too much canvas texture in a digital print will pretty much turn to mush when printed out on real canvas. Think of it as putting it on the same canvas twice.
The other consideration is file size. Did this piece of art begin as one that was intended for large-format printing or was it created solely to be viewed online at lower resolution? If they are selling their work on a website that does fulfillment, usually the website pre-screens the pieces of art that are uploaded to tell the artist what sizes will print properly. My personal favorite website for selling online is Fine Art America. They screen every file automatically and won’t let you sell a size that won’t print well.
My personal link there is:
If you are enjoying the varied digital art effects from a creator and are looking to emulate their work, be sure you decide first if you are going to only be putting it online or if you are going to actually print it and possibly even embellish it with additional paints and textures on the final print.
I start every piece of art as one that will possibly be for sale later meaning it has to be a size that can be enlarged properly without loss of quality and it needs to be started at an adequate size. If I need to enlarge it later, my favorite software is Alienskin Blow Up. I like it so much I wrote an article about it with detailed photos to show the difference. You can view this article HERE.
It’s a good rule to work on original sizes and not on small files so you will not be disappointed when you create a masterpiece that can’t be printed.
If you would like more information on this topic and also about how to actually paint on your finished files please join my online workshop at the Digital Art Academy. Painting On Your Digitally Printed Canvas:
30×40 Canvas: Waiting for the Sale
Before and After Asheville Downtown 20×24