Just a quick announcement that we're having a print sale! From now until Mother's Day (May 11th) we are offering a 20% savings on all limited edition giclÃ©e prints. These signed and numbered reproductions offered on both canvas and paper. They have meticulously color matched against the originals and the quality is amazing. Click here to shop and save. * Note: I had a glitch in the shopping cart system but have corrected this. Everything *should* be working fine now. If you notice any difficulties, feel free to contact me.
Thanks to my niece Molly, a talented artist in her own right, for inspiring this blog post: So you have a nice little painting you've just completed, but none the photographs you took do it justice. How can you get decent photos for your website? I am certainly no expert photographer, but I will share what I do for my own website to produce decent reproductions of flat art for online display.
Photographing artworkÂ is definitely a little tricky. If the artwork has any sheen at all, any flash or angled light can cause glare on the surface, which will distract or obscure the true nature of the picture. These days, I use a digital camera for all of my photographyÂ and tend to do a fair amount of color correction in Photoshop.Â ButÂ I used the same method of photography I will describe below, even in the pre-digital age when I made slides of my work.Â
The best conditions I've found for photographing artwork is outside on a bright but cloudy day. This gives consistent diffused light and the least amount of glare. If photographing on a sunny day, try to set your painting up at the edge of a shaded area so that enough light reaches the painting without shining directly on it. Tree shade isn't good because of the dappling. It needs to be even light, so maybe an overhang on the side of a building or something.
If you are shooting film or are otherwise not able to correct the camera angle after the fact, you'll need to make sure your canvas is as perpendicular to the camera as possible. You can either set it up on an easel or hang it on a wall on the side of a building if the overhang isn't too large.Â To avoidÂ the fish-eye effect that can occur because of a wide-angle lens curve, you should set your cameraÂ up on a tripodÂ far enough awayÂ from the painting and zoom all the way in on yourÂ painting to fill the lens as best you can with the picture. This will minimize that fish-eye distortion. (Thanks to artists David Darrow, James Abbott and others in the Daily Painters Discussion group for this and other technical tips!)Â Â
When photographing, I use my camera's manual setting so that I can set the white balance and bracket the exposures, just in case what I'm seeing in the viewfinder isn't what I get on my computer screen. Then I'll examine all of these images in Photoshop, and with the painting sitting next to me, I'll make adjustments to the chosen image in brightness, contrast, color, etc. Photoshop is great also for correcting the picture if the painting doesn't look exactly square. But Photoshop is also $$$ so if you don't already have it, you might look for a cheaper image editing software program that can do most of these basic corrections.
For the web, I will overlay my copyright info andÂ save my images asÂ 72 dpi JPEGs. For archiving, though, I save the image at the largest size my camera setting will allow, and save it as a TIFF. JPEGs are fine for web stuff, but not great for archiving because it is a "lossy" image format. This means that every time the JPEG is opened it looses a bit of information, even if it is a large file. For any kind of high quality reproduction (such as giclee prints), the best option is to have the paintingÂ professionally scanned or photographed at a very high resolution.
This painting sold last night at my gallery exhibition preview, but it's still on view tonight for the First Fridays downtown art walk.Â It isÂ a companion to another Tuscany painting I blogged about a couple of days ago:
"Lingering Light, Tuscany II" Oil on linen, about 3.5" x 7.75"
If you're doing the downtown art walk tonight in Richmond, come by Jennifer Young Studio & Gallery and see all of the "Small Stuff" -- miniature paintings and prints --on display for the holiday season. The gallery is located at 16 East Main Street between 1st and Foushee.
If you're not in Richmond, I am continually uploading new paintings to my web gallery, or you can see them offered first here, on the blog. I'm also offering free shipping (with some restrictions) until the end of the year, for holiday shopping convenience.
If you subscribe to my email newsletter, you may already know about theÂ charming new mini prints I'm offering.Â But if you're exclusively a blog reader, you may or may not have noticed that they'reÂ also newly linked here on the blog (scroll down to the end of my sidebar on the right side of the screen.)
These new prints are made on acid free fine art paper with archival inks, and sizes range from very mini 2.5" x 3.5" (such asÂ the one pictured, matted to 5x7") on up to 8" x 10".Â All are signed and make great holiday gifts. I'm offering these prints viaÂ my new Etsy shop for online shopping convenience.
As an added bonus, right now shipping is free one-way in the Continental U.S. for all purchasesÂ of $30 USD and over. Customers outside of the continental U.S.A.: You will receive a shipping creditÂ (based onÂ my listed shipping charges) towards your actual shipping costs! (Contact me for a custom shipping quote prior to placing your order.)
It has been a busy week tending to other things, so not much blogging. Above is a little watercolor vignette of one of my favorite subjects--the Provincial countryside! I may go back and add a little detail to the lavender rows...not sure. This is a small piece, a 4x6" image on 5x7" paper, so I kind of like the simplicity and freshess right now.
I've decided to change the "Art Sketches" categoryÂ of my website to "Vignettes". The above image details and the change to the site are not yet live, but that's part of what I am working on this week. I think Vignettes is more appropriate and encompases both watercolors and other media in small format. I will be doing a lot more of these in the coming weeks as I prepare for my next opening in early December, entitled "Small Stuff".
Speaking of small stuff, here's the other thing I've been working on: I'll be releasing a series of mini-prints soon. These are archival prints of a selection of images in mini format, sizes ranging from 2.5" x 3.5", to 8 x 10". They'll be offered matted with acid-free materials, and they are soooo cute! I've been color correcting and proofing all week, sometimes tearing my hair out, but I expect to launch this line by the beginning of next week. Let's hope I'm not completely bald by then!
According to Wikipedia,
"Squidoo is a network of user-generated lenses --single pages that highlights one person's point of view, recommendations, or expertise."
According to me, it's pretty addictive! I've really been enjoying surfing it, and I've also createdÂ a couple of lenses of my own. My most recent lens is: Hanging Artwork and Caring for Your Art Collection. While I've blogged some of this information before, I've included new content on my lens that I hope will be of interest to art lovers and art collectors. I've also just updated my other lens on landscape painting with new content, so check them out! And if you enjoy my lenses, please consider leaving a star rating for them at the top of the screen.
I have written about some of the pitfalls with hangingÂ art on canvasÂ in the bathroom before, but that doesn't mean you can't hang other forms of artwork. Here is my response to a recent email inquiry, which I hope will offer some additional clarification: Q: Could you please advise me what sort of artwork could I hang in my bathroom?Â I would like to hang a painting or one of those photographs printed (screen-printed?) on canvas-type material (I am not too sure of the material).Â Please advise.Â Best regards, S.L.
A: Hi S.L.- Art for the bathroom has some challenges but it is certainly not an impossible dream. If the bathroom has a tub or shower I would stay away from hanging art on canvas or wood panel. Over time, the moisture from the bath or shower steam could cause the canvas stretchers or wood panels to expand and contract, warping the support.
I think artwork on paper, such asÂ my giclee prints, is better suited for bathroom. Your best bet is to have the art framed professionally with mat, glass, and backing paper to seal the art in the framing. That will help to prevent moisture from getting in under the glass.
On the other hand, if you are talking about a half bath without tub or shower, I would think you could feel reasonably secure hanging most any type of art. You may also wish to ask the opinions of a professional picture framer or art conservator in your local area. I am not an art conservator, but offer my opinion based on my own experience with the materials. I hope this helps!