Art History Lab

Unlocking the Power of Prints: A Guide to Making and Selling Art Prints

Art is a wonderful way to express yourself and your personality. When you create art, it’s like giving a piece of yourself to the world.

It’s no wonder that many artists choose to make prints of their artwork. Prints are a great way to make your artwork more accessible and affordable to a wider audience.

They also allow you to earn more money from your original artwork. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to make prints of paintings and the different types of art prints available.

We’ll also explore the benefits of selling art prints online.

The Benefits of Selling Art Prints Online

Selling art prints online is a great way to reach a wider audience. It also allows artists to earn more money from their original artwork.

When you sell your artwork as prints, you’re also making it more accessible and affordable to people who might not have been able to purchase the original piece. This can be especially beneficial for emerging artists who are still building their following.

Different Types of Art Prints

There are several types of art prints available, including traditional art prints, digital art prints, and limited edition prints. Traditional art prints are made using an offset printing process, which involves transferring ink from a plate to a rubber blanket, then onto the paper.

This process is best for reproducing artwork with a lot of detail. Digital art prints, on the other hand, are made using a digital printer.

This process is best for reproducing artwork with vibrant colors. Digital printers use four-color printing, which can create a wide range of colors.

Limited edition prints are printed in a specific quantity, which is usually determined by the artist. These prints are often signed and numbered, and they can be more valuable than other types of prints.

Reasons for Making Prints of Paintings

There are several reasons why an artist might choose to make prints of their paintings. For one, making prints allows the artist to earn more money from their original artwork.

Prints are also a great way to make artwork more accessible to a wider audience. By creating prints, artists can sell their artwork at a lower price point, which allows more people to own a piece of their work.

Steps to Make Prints of Paintings

Making prints of paintings involves several steps. Here’s an overview of the process:


Prepare The Artwork: Before you can make prints of a painting, you need to make sure the artwork is in the best condition possible. This involves cleaning the painting and making any necessary repairs.

2. Scanning or Photographing: Once the painting is in good condition, you can scan or photograph it.

If you’re scanning the painting, make sure to use a high-quality scanner and set the resolution to at least 300 dpi. If you’re photographing the painting, make sure to use a good camera and adequate lighting.

3. Editing and Post-Production: After scanning or photographing the painting, you’ll need to edit the image to make sure it looks as close to the original painting as possible.

This involves tweaking the color levels and making any necessary adjustments. 4.

Choosing a Printer and Paper: Once the image is edited and ready to print, you’ll need to choose a printer and paper. Make sure to choose a printer that can handle high-quality prints and a paper that is appropriate for the type of artwork you’re printing.

5. Signing and

Packaging: Once the prints are done, it’s important to sign and package them properly.

Signing the print adds value to it and helps to identify it as an authentic piece of artwork.

Packaging the print carefully helps to ensure that it arrives at its destination undamaged.


In conclusion, making prints of paintings can be a great way for artists to earn more money from their original artwork. It can also make their artwork more accessible and affordable to a wider audience.

Whether you’re an emerging artist or an established one, making prints of your artwork can be a smart business decision. Follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be well on your way to creating high-quality prints of your artwork.

Considerations for Making Prints of Your Art

Making prints of your artwork is a great way to increase your exposure and reach a larger audience. It can also be a smart business decision that can help you earn more money from your original artwork.

However, there are several important factors to consider before jumping into the world of printmaking.

Value Implications of Selling Prints

One of the main considerations when it comes to making prints of your artwork is the potential impact on the value of your original artwork. This is a delicate balance between exclusivity and accessibility.

Some collectors may feel that making prints of your artwork can diminish the value of the original piece. On the other hand, making your artwork accessible to a wider audience can help you build a following and increase the demand for your original pieces.

It’s important to strike a balance between the two, by limiting the number of prints available or creating limited edition prints. This not only creates a sense of exclusivity but can also help to maintain the value of your original artwork.

Offering prints at a lower price point can also be a smart business decision that can help you earn more money from your art.

Copyright and Risk Factors

Another important consideration when making prints of your artwork is the risk of copyright infringement. If you’re using images from other sources as part of your artwork, you need to make sure you have the appropriate permissions and licenses to use these images.

Otherwise, you could be faced with legal action and damages. To avoid this risk, it’s best to create your own original artwork or to obtain the necessary licenses for any images you use as part of your artwork.

It’s also a good idea to trademark your artwork or to use a watermark to make it more difficult for others to reproduce or steal your images. How to Get Your Art Printed: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve decided to make prints of your artwork, there are several important steps to follow to ensure that the final product is of high quality.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Preparation for Scanning or Photographing

Before you can start scanning or photographing your artwork, you need to make sure that it’s properly prepared. This involves cleaning the artwork and making any necessary repairs.

You should also make sure that the artwork is properly lit and free from any glare or reflections.

Scanning Your Art

When it comes to scanning your artwork, there are several options available. For fine art scanning, a drum scanner is a great option as it provides high-quality, high-resolution scans.

A flatbed scanner can also work for smaller pieces of art. When scanning, make sure to set the resolution to at least 300 dpi to ensure that the final print is of high quality.

Photographing Your Art

If you choose to photograph your artwork, it’s important to use a high-quality camera and to set up the artwork properly. Use a tripod to keep the camera steady and make sure that the artwork is evenly lit without any shadows or glare.

It’s best to use a professional photographer who has experience in photographing artwork.

Printing Preparation

After you’ve scanned or photographed your artwork, the final step is to prepare it for printing. This involves digital editing to ensure that the colors are balanced and that the image is properly sized and cropped.

It’s important to test print the image before printing in bulk to ensure that the colors and quality are correct.


Making prints of your artwork can be a great way to increase your exposure and build your business as an artist. However, it’s important to consider the potential impact on the value of your original artwork and to take steps to protect your artwork from copyright infringement.

By following the steps outlined above, you can create high-quality prints of your artwork that are sure to impress.

Choosing a Printer and Paper

When it comes to making prints of your artwork, choosing the right printer and paper is crucial. The quality of your prints will depend on these choices, so it’s important to understand the options available and how they can affect your final product.

Choosing a Printer

There are several options available when it comes to choosing a printer for making prints of your artwork. Fine art printers are a great choice, as they are designed specifically for printing high-quality images.

These printers use pigment-based inks, which are more resistant to fading and offer a wider color gamut. Another option is print-on-demand services, which allow you to upload your artwork and have it printed and shipped to your customers.

This can be a great option for artists who don’t want to invest in their own printer or who want to offer a wide range of print sizes and options. When choosing a printer, it’s important to consider the types of ink used, the maximum print size, and the level of detail that the printer can handle.

Look for a printer with a high resolution and color accuracy, as well as the ability to handle a wide range of paper types and weights.

Paper Choices

The type of paper you choose for your prints can have a significant impact on the final product. When selecting a paper, consider factors such as weight, texture, and finish.

Paper weight refers to the thickness of the paper and is measured in pounds per ream. A heavier weight paper will feel more substantial and will be less likely to curl or wrinkle.

However, it can also be more expensive and may require a stronger printer to handle. Texture is another important factor to consider when selecting a paper.

Smooth papers will produce sharper, more detailed images, but may not offer the same level of depth and texture as papers with a more pronounced texture. Finally, the finish of the paper can range from matte to glossy.

Matte papers have a flat finish and are great for reproducing artwork that has a lot of detail. Glossy papers have a shiny finish and are great for reproducing colorful images and photographs.

Creating a Professional Finish

Once you’ve made your prints, it’s important to ensure that they are presented in a professional manner. This includes packaging, cropping, and other finishing touches.


Packaging your prints properly is important to protect them during shipping and to present them in a professional manner to your customers. This can involve using sturdy cardboard or tube packaging, as well as protective sleeves or tissue paper to prevent damage.

Including a certificate of authenticity with your prints can also add value and make your customers feel more confident in their purchase.


Cropping your artwork can be an important consideration for presenting your prints in a professional manner. This can involve choosing a crop that highlights the most interesting or visually appealing parts of your artwork.

Additionally, adding a white border to your print can give it a more refined and professional appearance. When cropping your artwork, it’s important to consider the overall composition of the image and to balance the need for artistic presentation with the practical requirements of printing.


When it comes to making prints of your artwork, choosing the right printer, paper, and finishing options is crucial to ensuring a high-quality final product. By taking the time to consider these factors and select the right options, you can create prints that showcase your artwork in the best possible way and help you build a successful business as an artist.

How to Sell Prints of Your Art

Once you have made prints of your artwork, the next step is to find the right avenues to sell them. There are various options available, both online and offline, that can help you reach a wider audience and maximize your sales potential.

In addition to traditional prints, you can also explore merchandise ideas to add value to your prints and appeal to a broader customer base.

Online Sale Ideas

Selling prints online is a popular and convenient way for artists to reach a global audience. There are numerous online platforms dedicated to selling art prints, such as Etsy, Society6, Redbubble, and Fine Art America.

These platforms provide artists with a ready-made marketplace and handle various aspects of the sales process, including printing, packaging, shipping, and even marketing. To increase your chances of success when selling prints online, it’s important to optimize your listings with high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and relevant tags and keywords.

Make sure to showcase the unique features of your prints and highlight any special techniques or materials used. Engaging with your audience through social media and participating in online art communities can also help attract potential buyers.

Offline Sale Ideas

In addition to online sales, there are also offline opportunities to sell your prints and connect with art enthusiasts. Consider approaching local art galleries or artist hubs to showcase and sell your prints.

Inquire about the submission process and any specific requirements they may have. Participating in art fairs, festivals, and artist markets can also be a great way to directly interact with potential customers and build relationships.

When exploring offline sale opportunities, make sure to have a strong portfolio of prints ready for display and make your booth or space visually inviting. Offer ample information about your artwork and be prepared to discuss your creative process to engage visitors.

Building relationships with gallery owners, fellow artists, and art collectors can lead to further opportunities and exposure in the art world.

Merchandise Ideas

In addition to selling traditional prints, you can consider expanding your product range and offering merchandise that incorporates your art prints. This can include items like art calendars, postcards, notebooks, tote bags, phone cases, and even home decor items like pillows or mugs.

By diversifying your offerings, you appeal to a broader customer base and provide options for art enthusiasts at different price points. Integrating your artwork into merchandise allows fans to engage with your art in various ways, making it more accessible and appealing.

Collaborating with local businesses or artisans to create unique, limited-edition products can further enhance the exclusivity and value of your merchandise. You can sell these items alongside your traditional prints or even set up an online store dedicated to merchandise.

Frequently Asked Questions

As an artist, you may encounter several questions from customers or fellow artists regarding the process of making and selling prints, pricing, and concerns about the value of the original artwork. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you navigate these topics:

How to Make and Sell Prints of Your Art?

To make and sell prints of your art, follow the steps outlined earlier in this article. Prepare your artwork for scanning or photographing, choose a high-quality printer and paper, and make sure to edit the digital image for optimal results.

Decide on the best online and/or offline sales platforms and create an engaging online presence to attract customers. Continuously promote your artwork and engage with your audience to increase visibility and sales.

How Do I Price Prints of My Art? Pricing art prints can be a somewhat subjective process, depending on factors such as the demand for your artwork, the costs associated with printing and selling, your experience and reputation as an artist, and the exclusivity of your prints.

Consider factors such as the size and edition of the print, the complexity of the artwork, and your target market’s purchasing power. Research other artists who produce similar work and evaluate their pricing strategies as a reference point.

Will Making Prints of My Paintings Compromise the Value of the Originals? The impact of making prints on the value of your original artwork can be a valid concern.

However, when done strategically and in limited quantities, prints can actually enhance the value of originals. Limited edition prints with a smaller print run and proper documentation, such as certificates of authenticity, can help maintain exclusivity.

It’s important to communicate the unique nature of your originals and create a sense of distinction between the two markets. Many collectors appreciate the accessibility of prints and still seek out original pieces for investment or collection purposes.

In conclusion, selling prints of your artwork involves careful consideration of online and offline sales avenues, merchandise options, pricing strategies, and the potential impact on the value of your original artwork. By leveraging these various channels and answering frequently asked questions, you can successfully sell prints while maintaining your artistic integrity and building a loyal customer base.

In conclusion, the process of making and selling prints of your artwork is an important consideration for artists looking to expand their reach and generate additional income. Whether online or offline, carefully choosing the right avenues and platforms, as well as selecting the appropriate printer and paper, is crucial to ensure high-quality prints that capture the essence of your original artwork.

Furthermore, merchandise options can add value and broaden your customer base. Take into account pricing strategies and address concerns about the impact on the value of original artwork.

By understanding these factors and making informed decisions, artists can successfully share their creations with the world while maintaining their artistic integrity and building a thriving business.

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