How To Make Prints Of Original Watercolor Paintings
Many artists who sell their watercolor paintings only sell their originals.
Selling original paintings is an excellent way to earn extra money, but there is also an opportunity to make more money from every original watercolor painting.
Having several different income streams is how successful artists make a career from their art.
There is no question that watercolor paintings and cards are selling well online.
But offering fine art at a fair price for the time invested in creating original art and the cost of watercolors is too expensive for most art collectors.
Instead of waiting for an art collector willing to invest in an original piece of art, there is an opportunity to earn money, and that is by offering reproductions of the original.
It is possible to sell prints of your watercolor paintings to people who can not afford to purchase an original but would love to display your artwork in their homes. Artists can increase their income significantly by selling prints rather than just having watercolor paintings for sale.
But the challenge is capturing the value of the watercolor paintings when you scan the art or photograph the picture.
Creating prints from watercolors is similar to making prints of graphite drawings.
Remember that the quality of every product you sell, including original watercolor paintings and giclee prints, and greeting cards, reflects your business brand.
You will need to take a few more steps than just scanning your watercolor painting and sending it through your home printer.
There will always be a slight difference between an original painting and a print, but you want to make them as close as possible.
The print should accurately represent the original piece.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on an affiliate link, Nevue Fine Art Marketing may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, Skimlinks, SareASale and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
There are two options to choose from for printing watercolor prints.
The first option is to hire a reproduction service to photograph or scan your art and create the prints.
The pros of hiring a reproduction service are that you do not have to spend the time required to photograph the art, edit the digital image, and create the prints.
The con is that there is a substantial price for working with professional reproduction services, and many services require a print minimum.
The second option is doing the work yourself, which we will cover today.
How To Make Prints Of Watercolor Paintings Step By Step
There is a learning curve for making watercolor prints, and it will take some practice, but if you follow the steps outlined below, you can make prints your fans will want to buy.
Make A Digital Image Of The Watercolor Painting
As mentioned earlier, capturing the beauty of watercolor paintings is similar to obtaining the soft value changes of pencil drawings.
The difference is that scanning pencil drawings with a high-quality scanner captures the graphite’s soft value changes but does not capture the translucent nature of watercolors.
The best way to make a digital image of your original painting is with natural light and a DSLR camera.
To learn more about DSLR cameras, visit Best Digital Cameras For Photographing Art.
Sometimes you have finished an original painting and will be excited to take photographs of it, but if it is a rainy gray day, you will want to put it off until a sunny day or use a professional Softbox lighting kit.
Here is a video showing you how to photograph in natural light.
Here is a video that shows you how to photograph your art with a Softbox lighting kit.
Hire A Photographer
Another option is to hire a professional photographer or ask a friend to photograph your watercolor paintings.
Ask a friend or family member who enjoys photography if you do not have a DLSR camera or can’t afford one.
Offer a free print of your artwork to a friend helping you out, or tell them that you will do a free commission painting.
Photographing Watercolor Painting Tips
- Mount your art to an easel or wall using a level and ensure it is square to the camera.
- Mount your DSLR camera to a tripod and ensure your camera’s angle is perpendicular to the painting.
- Look in the viewfinder to ensure the art is square and on all sides.
- Use a grayscale in the frame and photograph the painting.
- If using lights, place the lights at a 45-degree angle, bouncing the light equally into the softboxes.
- Ensure the sunlight on your art is evenly distributed if you photograph your painting in natural daylight.
- Look at the digital images and repeat if necessary.
Editing The Digital Image
The next step in printing a watercolor painting is editing the digital image in Photoshop.
If you photograph your art in natural light or use a Softbox lighting kit, you will still need to adjust the colors of the digital image.
If you are not familiar with Photoshop, you will want to take some time to learn the software.
I found this video that will help get you started.
Making Prints Of Your Watercolor Paintings
Now that the hard work is done, you can decide how to make prints from watercolor paintings.
There are three options you can choose from for printing your artwork:
- Local Printing Service
- Online Printing Service
- Print them at home
Local Printing Service
The first option is to visit your local printing service.
You will have to save it on a USB to bring it to the shop.
Most of the time, you can spend quality time talking to a professional at a printing shop, who will guide you in the right direction.
Questions you should ask:
- What type of ink do they use?
- What would be the best paper for your prints?
- Do they offer giclee prints?
- What sizes art prints do they offer?
- What are the prices, and is it cheaper in bulk?
- Do They Offer Large Format Printing
Online Printing Services
Another option is to have your prints done by an online printing service.
You will not be able to talk to a professional in person, but most online printing services have customer service available by phone to ask the same questions as you would with a local shop.
You will not see a sample before ordering as you would at your local printing shop.
Top Online Printing Services:
- Finer Works
- Picture Salon
- American Frame
- Canvas Giclee Printing
- Prolab Digital
- Shutterfly – How To Make Your Photos Into Stunning Wall Art With Shutterly
Print At Home
The last option is to print your copies at home.
High-quality printers are becoming more affordable, but unless you purchase a giclee printer, you will not produce the same high quality as you would with a professional printing service that offers giclee printing.
To learn more about giclee prints, visit What Is A Giclee Print.
However, you can find a high-quality printer that produces some great prints.
For more information on printers, visit 5 Best Printers For Art Prints.
There are many POD services available.
I have been using Fine Art America for many years and have never had a problem with their prints’ quality.
Do Watercolor Prints On Canvas Sell Well
If you’re an artist considering selling your work as prints, you may wonder what types of prints are most popular among buyers.
While there’s no guarantee that any particular type of print will sell well, canvas prints are a good option. Canvas prints are created by printing an image onto canvas and then stretching the canvas around a frame. They have a sturdy, high-quality look that is popular among art buyers. In addition, canvas prints can be easily customized to any size or shape, making them a versatile option for buyers who want to find the perfect fit for their space. If you’re thinking about selling your work as prints, canvas prints are a good option to keep in mind.
Benefits Of Selling Square Prints
Regarding selling watercolor paintings, square prints are a popular option. There are a few reasons for this.
Square prints are easy to frame and mat, making them appealing to buyers who want to put their new purchase on display immediately.
They offer a clean, modern look that can easily integrate into any décor.
Because they are becoming a popular size, artists often have no trouble finding buyers for their square prints.
Whether you are starting in art sales or are a seasoned pro, selling square prints is a great way to profit from your watercolor paintings.
Final Thoughts On How To Make Prints Of Watercolor Paintings
There is no better feeling than selling original artwork, but you will want to find alternative ways to earn more money from your original work as a business person. To increase revenue, promote reproductions on fine art paper, merchandise, and your original watercolor paintings for sale.
The tips outlined in this post will help you to:
- Take better photographs of your watercolor paintings
- Edit your digital images to represent the original work
- Decide what the best printing solution is for your art business
Are you interested in selling your paintings online?
If you are, you will want to read How To Sell Paintings Online – Complete Guide.
This post covers everything you will need to know about selling art online from start to finish.