What Is a Canvas Print? (A Look at Types of Canvas Prints & the Benefits of Printing Art on Canvas)

How Are Canvas Prints Made?

Canvas prints (iCanvas) are created by printing images onto canvas material. The canvas fabric is usually made from cotton, polyester, or linen (flax). But, some specialty fibers, such as hemp and jute, are also used for the fabric.

The canvas fabric is usually stretched over a wooden frame, called stretcher bars (Amazon), and sealed with a coat of protective sealant. This creates durable and long-lasting wall art that can be displayed in any room in your home or office.

What Does a Canvas Print Look Like?

Canvas prints look similar to oil and acrylic canvas paintings because their surface has the same texture.

An example of what a stretched canvas typically looks like is in Society6‘s product video (below).

Product Video: Society6 Canvas Prints
Different Types of Canvas Prints

There are several different types of canvas prints available, each with its own unique benefits.

Here are just a few of the most popular types:

Stretched Canvas Prints

The term stretched canvas means that the canvas has been pulled tightly over a wooden frame, called stretcher bars. The staples that hold the canvas to the stretcher bars will preferably be on the back of the wooden frame (but sometimes the staples can be found on the sides).

Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Prints

When you see a canvas print online or in stores, you’re most likely looking at a gallery-wrapped canvas print.

A gallery-wrapped canvas print is a type of stretched canvas print that has been wrapped around the sides of the wooden frame (called stretcher bars), with the staples or tacks hidden on the back.

Before gallery-wrapped canvases became popular, the staples could be seen on the sides of the stretched canvases.

Examples of some of the most popular gallery-wrapped canvas prints can be seen on iCanvas. You’ll notice that iCanvas’ gallery-wrapped prints have the image wrapping around the sides of the stretcher bars, while Society6 and Redbubble’s gallery-wrapped canvas prints have the printed image wrapped approximately 1/4 inch (6mm) over the edges of the stretcher bars and the rest of the sides are left white.

Rolled Canvas Prints

A rolled canvas print is simply a canvas print that has not been stretched over stretcher bars. It can be rolled for easier storage or transportation and is less susceptible to damage.

Typically, you want to have a canvas print stretched over stretcher bars before displaying it because it will look more impressive.

Photo Canvas Prints

Photo canvas prints are also very popular today. This is where a photo is printed onto a canvas and, typically, stretched over stretcher bars.

When it comes to photography, especially close-ups of people or animals (e.g. the best-selling Portrait Of a Highland Cow – iCanvas), the popular opinion seems to be that a framed print on paper (fine art paper, photographic paper, etc) is the best choice.

And I have to admit that, for some reason, just the thought of a family portrait printed on a canvas makes me cringe. Family photos look best on photographic paper with a frame.

Canvas Panel Prints

Canvas panels offer a more affordable alternative to stretched canvas prints. Usually made from primed cotton canvas that’s mounted onto a rigid board (see examples of canvas panels on Amazon), these lightweight panels are great for prints.

Some companies offer canvas panel prints under different names, like Redbubble and their canvas mounted prints.

Giclee Canvas Prints

There’s another type of printmaking that is growing in popularity among artists and collectors – giclee prints on canvas.

A traditional canvas print is made by printing an image onto artist-grade canvases with a solvent or dye-based ink. This type of ink is not waterproof and will eventually fade and discolor over time. Giclee prints are made using archival ink that is water resistant and will not fade or yellow over time.

In addition, giclee canvas prints offer more durability than traditional prints because of their archival canvas fabric, making them a better choice for high-traffic areas or for items that will be handled frequently.

Although the obvious choice seems to be to choose a giclee canvas print over a traditional canvas print, keep in mind that giclee prints are more expensive. This is because the inks used in a giclee print are more costly than the inks used in a traditional print. Giclee canvas prints also require a higher quality inkjet printer and archival canvas material, which also contributes to the increased cost.

However, even the most expensive giclee pieces are still much less expensive than many original pieces. And giclee printing results in a high-quality image with incredible detail and color accuracy.

If you’re interested in buying affordable giclee prints, check out the canvas prints by iCanvas (giclee, gallery-wrapped canvas prints), Redbubble, and Society6 (giclee, stretched canvas prints).

What Are the Benefits of Canvas Prints?

Canvas prints are one of the most popular types of prints that are available today. They offer a number of benefits that other types of prints do not, which is why they continue to be so popular.

Some of the benefits of canvas prints include:

  • Canvas prints are often much more affordable than other types of wall art. This makes them a great option for people on a budget.
  • High-quality canvas prints can look just as great as an original piece of artwork.
  • Canvas prints are durable and long-lasting. They can last for many years without showing any signs of wear or tear.
  • Many artists and online companies who sell prints can customize canvas prints to fit any space or décor.
  • Since they are lightweight, canvas prints can be hung without the worry of damage to the walls. Just hang it on a nail or two, or use Command Strips (Amazon). They can also be displayed on a shelf with little effort.
  • Most of us don’t have millions of dollars to buy famous paintings from well-known artists, so canvas prints of famous paintings (iCanvas) are a great alternative.
What Are Canvas Prints Best For?

Canvas prints are best when the printed image is of a handmade piece of art like a painting, a sketch, or a digital illustration (iCanvas). The texture of the canvas will make the print look much more like an original piece of art compared to paper prints.

Overall, I think it’s a good rule of thumb that photographs, especially those that focus on people or animals, are best when printed on high-quality paper and framed. Usually, these types of photos were meant to have most of their details and some of their sharpness shared with the viewer.

The texture of a canvas usually won’t show the finer details and sharpness of an image compared to a paper print.

On the other hand, I think that an artistic photograph of a landscape, a building, or nature can look great on canvas. For example, a canvas photo print of the Eiffel tower, an aerial view of a beach (iCanvas), or flowers can be a beautiful addition to your home or office. In most of these cases, the finer details do not seem to be missed at all.

Do Canvas Prints Need To Be Framed?

When it comes to canvas prints, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to framing them. Some people prefer to frame their prints in order to protect them, while others think that the natural look of the canvas is best left unframed. It ultimately comes down to personal taste.

Some people believe that framing a canvas print adds a level of sophistication and class, while others think that it takes away from the natural look of the print. In the end, it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not they want to frame their print.

There are a few things to consider when making this decision. First, you need to think about the environment where the print will be displayed. If it’s in a place where it will be subject to dust and dirt, then you may want to consider framing it for protection.

Canvas prints are a popular way to display art. They’re typically made by printing an image onto canvas and then stretching the canvas over a wooden frame. This gives the image a 3-dimensional look that is different from traditional paper prints and photographs.

In closing, canvas prints are a great way to show off your favorite artwork. They’re also a great way to decorate your home or office. If you’re looking for a unique gift, canvas prints are a great option.

Thanks for reading!