What Is a Fine Art Print?

What Is a Fine Art Print?

Today, most people think that fine art prints are copies (reproductions) of an original artwork. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Fine art prints are original artwork while reproductions are copies of an original work of art.

To really understand the difference between the two, let’s take a closer look at what reproductions and fine art prints are.

What Are Reproductions?

Reproductions are copies of original works of art. There is no creative process involved from the artist when reproductions are made.

Examples of reproductions are prints that can be mass-produced like posters, art prints, and canvas prints.

You can see images of reproductions by visiting iCanvas.

What Are Fine Art Prints?

A fine art print is a print that’s also an original work of art. In other words, fine art prints are handmade by the artist and often have original marks from the printer used.

Examples of fine art prints are those found on Etsy, including etchings, lithographs, and serigraphs.

How Are Fine Art Prints Made?

Fine art prints are printed using different techniques and using different materials but they all have one thing in common; all fine art prints are considered handmade by the artist and they’re considered original works of art.

Basically, to make a fine art print, the artist must first draw, paint, or carve a printing surface. The printing surface can be a multitude of different materials, like stone (lithographs), screens (serigraphs, also knows as screenprints), and metal plates (etchings). When the ink or paint is transferred from that surface to a sheet of paper (or whatever material the artist chooses), the final product is called a fine art print.

Check out the links below for more details on how different types of fine art prints are made:

What Does Art Print Mean?

The term art print should not be confused with the term fine art print.

While a fine art print is considered original artwork, an art print is a commonly used term used to describe a type of reproduction (a copy of an original work of art).

Art prints can be easily mass-produced without the aid of the artist who created the original artwork and they’re typically printed on white, premium, cotton paper with high-quality inks. Usually, the paper used for an art print is matte and can be smooth or lightly textured.

If you go to popular art sites such as Society6 or Redbubble, you’ll quickly notice that what they call art print is artwork printed on medium-weight, cotton paper with a white border. It’s common for art prints to come with a white border around the artwork for framing, but it’s not a requirement.

An example of what most people call art print is in Society6’s product video (below).

Product Video: Society6 Art Prints

Cheapest Places To Buy Top-Quality Fine Art Prints

Here are my favorite places to get the cheapest, high-quality fine art prints.

If I’m looking for more super inexpensive fine art prints, I’ll usually browse through Etsy and Amazon and read the reviews until I find something I like with a 4 or 5-star rating.

If I’m looking to buy fine art prints as an investment, Saatchi Art is where I go! These fine art prints are usually limited editions, they’re curated by a team of professionals, and are usually more valuable (but a little more expensive) than the fine art prints from the sites mentioned above.

If you’re not completely sure you want to buy fine art prints, you might want to check out my article: Best Places to Buy Art Online. In that article, you’ll find the top-10 art sites that I keep going to (over and over again) because they have top-quality art and amazing customer service!

So, go ahead and buy art, support independent artists, and HAVE FUN shopping!