• Laura Kowalski

Home Decor Tutorial – Art Prints vs. Originals 101


Have big dreams for your home decorating goals but aren't sure how to get there? Get inspired by this how-to. Combining simple tips and tricks you are going to learn how to use prints and originals to transform your home decor from boring and dull to what truly reflects and delights you. But let's start at the beginning...


What is An Art Print?

It's a high definition image of an original painting captured and printed onto paper or canvas, usually digitally. A Giclee Print is a French term that refers to a print on canvas. Canvas prints can be printed all the way around the edges and do not need to be framed to be hung, although they can be. Prints on paper do need to be put behind glass and framed before hanging which adds to the cost if it's a custom size.


What Are the Benefits of Art Prints?

The low cost and high print quality is what most people love about art prints. Digital printing onto canvas, especially, makes for a sharp image and great accuracy in color while giving the impression of having a painting on the wall. If you are decorating on a smaller budget, decorating a rental or vacation home that is often unoccupied by yourself, or love a piece but want it in a smaller size, then you might love prints.


What Are the Drawbacks of Art Prints?

While prints do have good clarity and color, they are only as good as the photograph that was taken of the art... and art is notoriously difficult to photograph. Even the best photographs can't always capture every detail of the art. Also, even a high quality photograph cannot capture metallic paints or texture. Gold for example, looks like a yellow-y brown. Prints lack a third dimension to them, and often its the texture of a painting that makes artwork so juicy and delicious. So while the print can capture the image, it can't quite capture the energy, the movement, and power and fun of original art.


What is an Original Art Piece?

A painting! An original creation. I paint on canvas with acrylic paints.


What are the Benefits of Original Artwork?

The energy, movement, and power of an original piece of art are palpable. There's no other way to say it, even if it's hard to believe it, original art takes on its own power and personality. It simply feels different to be around original art.


My original artworks have a fair amount of texture to them: I paint with a palette knife and so the pieces have true depth to them. I also often use silver and gold in the artwork so light catches and plays. The unspoken goal and strength of art is about capturing light and movement. Many paintings and photographs of water and beaches feel stiff, like you're holding your breath, but my pieces avoid both.


What Are the Drawbacks of Original Artwork?

At first glance the price of original artwork can seem like a drawback. If prints and originals were the same, and it was only about the bottom line, it would be, but they're very different things. Artwork feels different and can transform a room simply and easily and makes a home truly sensational. No matter what size your home – room, apartment, or house – it can shine and truly reflect you. It's an investment certainly, but with pay over time options and the way art makes you feel, it's money well worth it.


How Can I Use Prints and Originals Together?

You can use small prints on canvas to make a small grouping or cluster of pieces on a wall that would be plain if empty or with just one piece on it. You can get the prints in a variety of shapes and sizes. For the most cost effective option, get prints on canvas and group together. Hallways, laundry rooms, bathrooms, or places that have strong sunlight or other weather or temperature issues are great places to hang prints.


Use an original piece as a centerpiece in a room. It will be a focal point for the eyes and set the tone for the whole room if not the whole home, so this is the place to make the investment. Across from the main seating area in the living room, the entry way wall, or the largest wall in the dining room are some ideal places for original art.


You Can Do It!

You can put your home together in a smart way while strategically using prints and originals together. If there are certain sizes of prints you need feel free to reach out for options and pricing whether or not the pieces are listed as available for prints on the site. If you need help choosing prints and originals to go together I can help with that, too. Just contact us through the site. But most importantly remember to HAVE FUN creating a home that's made for you.


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