How to print your own art prints at home

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I know that buying and owning a printer is a big step and risk for any artist out there.

And if you want to eventually sell your own art prints, you need to think about the different possibilities, and what will work the best for you. First you need to decide, if you'd rather print your art at home or order prints from online companies.

What do we need to know before printing art prints at home:

1.Buying the right printer for you

I did a whole research before buying the printer, and the things you need to look for are:

  • ability to print on thicker paper

  • how much cartridges are going to cost you

  • printing resolution (I recommend at least 4800dpi)

  • borderless printing (important!)

  • printing size: bonus if it prints A3

The printers I recommend (the ones I was actually looking at while buying a printer for myself):

2. Paper

Paper is so important! I have bad luck, because I can't get a paper I want in Slovenia (Epson Velvet fine Art Paper), and if I want to buy it on Ebay or Amazon - the shipping is very expensive or they don't even ship to Slovenia. So I need to use what we have around here.

The choice of the paper really depends on what do you like the most - matt, gloss, high-gloss etc.

Papers I recommend:

  • Photo Paper Pro Premium Matte, 210 gsm

  • Canon A4 Semi-Gloss, 260 gsm

  • Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper, 260 gsm

  • Canon Fine Art Smooth, 310 gsm

  • Hahnemuhle German Etching, 310gsm

3. Always print on normal paper first

This is so important! Always print your illustrations on the normal paper first, because sometimes the mistakes (if you're drawing digitally) are not visible on the computer screen. With printing the illustration on the normal paper first, you won't throw away your good paper if there are any mistakes on your art.

4. How to prepare your file for printing

1. Step: I always prepare my files in Photoshop - go to File - New. I already have an A4 option available, but if you don't set the width and height (210x297mm) and resolution to 300 pixels/inch - you can do the same for A3, only change the width and height(297x420mm).

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2. Step The blank/white document will open. Now let's search for the illustration you want to print - open the illustration and drag it to the white document (A4). When you're positioning the illustration on the document, it's important that both these lines are visible - that means that you're image is in centre.

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3.Step Open your printers software - (I am using Canon Pixma) - the software is called Canon Quick Menu - left click on the icon and select Start My Image Garden.

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Select the illustration you want to print - and in the last window select the properties (look at the image to see which properties work best for me) - and then click print. And this is it!

Buying a printer is a risk, but so it is ordering prints from online companies. You never know if you'll actually sell all these prints you bought from the company on the internet - but if you have your own printer, you can print you illustration on demand.

Alja Horvat