Small Prints


Over the past few weeks I’ve been working out the details for doing my own prints, hence the slow progress of my current drawing “Dahlia”. In the past I have ordered a few prints of some old works from a few printers and really didn’t like the quality. Plus I just like to be involved in every step of the process of my work. In other words, I’m really a DIYer. So keeping that in mind I decided to take the plunge and do the prints myself. At the moment I don’t have $500 lying around all willy nilly to just up an buy one of those wide format Epson printers that are often praised by artists who do their own prints, so I’m just working with my Canon Pixma.

Making good quality prints can get a bit involved. There’s the issue of paper quality, ink quality and preservation of the print after it has been processed. I’ve learned that for the best quality you want a printer that uses pigmented ink rather than dyed ink. Pigmented ink apparently are longer lasting compared to dyed inks, are of archival quality and have better color stability. Unfortunately my printer uses dye ink along with most office printers. At first I was discouraged but then I got to thinking, maybe there’s something I can put on a print to protect it from things like UV rays from sunlight, moisture and dust which is what pigmented inks are suppose to do. Luckily there is, it’s archival varnish spray. I don’t currently have any but I just ordered some. Lastly I need a good quality paper to print on, preferably archival paper which is acid free and lignin free. I already have a pack of Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Matte Paper that I’ve been testing out. So far the prints have been turning out pretty good. I don’t know if the paper is archival though. I did some research and learned that it used to be called “archival matte”, then it was switched to “enhanced matte”. Now it’s called presentation matte. No where on the packaging does it say that it’s archival so I’m going to assume it isn’t but it still yields a really good print, which you can see in comparison to the actually drawing below. Anyhoo, I’m now on the hunt for some quality printing paper for my art. My plan is to start out with a small limited edition of 4×6 or 5×7 reproduction prints. If everything works out, I should have everything worked out, with my drawing finished and prints ready to go by the end of this month. Wish me luck. 🙏😊

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Pen and ink artist inspired by Nature, Beauty, Spirit and Song.

3 thoughts on “Small Prints”

  1. Good luck, I know this problem only too well. I also use Epson Matte paper (or rather, card) but didn’t like their archival as, for my purposes, it’s not bright-white enough. My husband now uses it for the photos he sends to his family. I’ve got one of the A3 printers, but mine is a Canon Pixma! It a mix of dye and pigment inks – the 2nd black is pigment. It was expensive at the time but not four figures. It’s best to test the waters first before shelling out that much and I’ve never made enough to be able to afford a large printer that only uses pigment inks… aside from anything else the inks themselves are expensive!

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    1. The ink is definitely the most expensive thing about printing. Over time the ink becomes more expensive than the actual printer. And like you said, it’s best to test the waters first before shelling out that kind of money. I have to see how print sells go first before I go out and buy all the top of the line expensive equipment to make prints. But who knows, with the way they keep innovating with technology we may eventually be able to do high quality archival prints without having to break the bank, well, at least that’s what I’m hoping for. There was a time only the rich could by flat screen tvs, now they’re affordable for everyone, that’s if you’re into that kind of thing. But maybe the same will happen with printer technology.

      Liked by 1 person

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