Art Prints On A Budget From Artmil

Art Prints On A Budget From Artmil

The dream of most artists is to turn their passion for creativity into something they can share with others—and potentially earn some income from as well. But producing high-end art reproductions for sale in fine art galleries is a complicated and expensive process involving many steps and quality assurance checks, most economically done in larger quantities. But what if you’re just a weekend painter or hobbyist who wants a few nice prints made for sale or as gifts for friends and family? While the process isn’t quite as simple or cheap as placing your art on the copier glass and running a 50¢ color copy, Artmil can help you make high-quality reproductions of your artwork on a budget.

Quality Starts at the Source

The number one key to a quality art reproduction is starting with a good high-resolution source file. This can be done through photography or scanning.

Photography is the traditional method that is still used today, but it has drawbacks. The camera must be capable of capturing enough resolution for printing, and if the artwork is large, only very high-end cameras may be capable of this. The lighting must be set up just right to evenly light the work without glare and maintain true colors. The lens must be sharply focused so that even small details are sharp and clear on close inspection, and even then, the optics of camera lenses cause distortions that need to be compensated for. All of this can be done, but not without the specialized setup, equipment, and know-how that most of us lack.

At Artmil, our preferred method is scanning. Our Epson Expression 11000XL flatbed scanner can capture fine detail clearly and sharply without distortion and with more than enough resolution to even enlarge your piece multiple times with no loss of quality. Artwork under 12” x 17” can be scanned in one piece at up to 2400 dpi resolution (only 300 dpi is necessary for a high-quality print), and larger artwork can be scanned in sections and pieced together digitally with no trace of the seams.

Our scanning also includes a baseline color adjustment. We’ll scan your artwork alongside a professional grade grayscale strip. This allows us to adjust the color balance and brightness to known values. In most cases, this results in satisfactory color reproduction for most clients. (More about color in a future post).

So, while the quality of the source file is the most important factor in art reproduction, it’s also often the biggest expense in making art prints. The cost of the scan depends on the size of the original. For example, an 8” x 10” is around $40 to scan; a 16” x 20” around $50; and an 18” x 24” around $70. The good news is that this is just a one-time cost. Once the artwork has been scanned, it doesn’t need to be scanned again for later reprints, and the finished file is yours to keep.