Photographers - Stretching Canvas Prints Leads to Greater Profits

Published: 16th October 2009
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Many of the large format, professional quality printers on the market today are capable of printing directly onto canvas. Along with that recent development a growing number of photographers and artists have discovered that printing their photographs and other works of digital art onto canvas adds a sense of novelty - along with a considerable amount of profitability. The fact of the matter is that there are much large profit margins to be had when you choose to print onto canvas as opposed to fine art or other photo papers. There are several reasons for this, but the most prominent is that you can create an equivalent sized stretched and sealed and framed museum-quality canvas print for a lower cost than a framed traditional photo print with mat and glass.

As a photographer and artist with years of experience both perfecting and promoting my art, it has been my experience that canvas prints are worlds more profitable than their traditional counterparts. That begs the question: Why doesn't everyone jump on board this new but growing trend? In my experience the reason why so many photographers choose not to print onto canvas is quite simply because they don't have the skill or expertise to stretch the canvas on their own, and a typical framing shop will charge a hefty fee for this simple service. On the other hand, it does not take any real specialized skill to purchase a mat, glass, and frame kit and produce a final product in an basic garage or office. I maintain, though, that if a digital artist or photographer only knew how to stretch their own canvas they would be able to produce a beautiful finished product for a much lower cost than a traditionally printed and framed piece.

That isn't the end of it, though. A digital artist or photographer can further reduce their overhead by opting out of framing canvas. If you do a gallery wrapping on your canvas then once stretched it is already considered a finished piece. The edges of canvas where it wraps around the stretcher bar are all part of the art of it, and in many cases can add an almost three dimensional effect to the piece.Yes, you will be able to sell your canvas print without any costly framing for a comparable price as framed paper print, but at a much lower cost to yourself.

The main considerations when it comes to creating such fine art canvas prints is the materials you choose to craft them with. The primary materials for canvas prints are the canvas itself, the sealer, and the canvas stretcher bar. When you go to select a canvas you will use for printing you need to be certain that its imaging properties are exceptional. In my professional experience matte canvas is preferred to gloss or semi gloss. If you do choose matte canvas you need to also use a matte black ink in the printer. When you stretch the canvas over the stretcher bar, a high quality canvas will not show any cracking along the edges.

The sealer you use is the key component in preserving and protecting the printed image, and is every bit as important as the canvas you print onto. When the sealer adheres to the print, it should make the canvas much more pliable. You should be sure to select a sealer that also offers a high level of dirt and moisture resistance as well. Using a quality canvas with an exceptional sealer will help ensure that there is absolutely no edge or corner cracking. The stretcher bar is important as well. It should have a raised lip so as to prevent any ghosting behind the image, and also needs to be exceedingly sturdy.

Entering the world of printing and stretching your own canvas is certainly a learning curve. Fortunately for you, though, you don't have to work through the trial and error process alone. At you can find a very helpful pictorial demonstration of the canvas stretching process along with helpful text instructions. This site provides plenty of resources for anyone seeking to get into the world of canvas printing, or improve and refine their process. If you are considering fine art canvas printing then I can assure you that the payoff greatly outweighs the investment.

Be a part of the photos on canvas buzz. To learn more, click canvas prints.

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