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Modern artists have extended the practice of painting considerably to include, as one example, collage, which began with Cubism and is not painting in the strict sense. Some modern painters incorporate different materials such as metal, plastic, sand, cement, straw, leaves or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Jean Dubuffet and Anselm Kiefer. There is a growing community of artists who use computers to "paint" color onto a digital "canvas" using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, and many others. These images can be printed onto traditional canvas if required.
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Watercolor is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood and canvas. In East Asia, watercolor painting with inks is referred to as brush painting or scroll painting. In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese painting it has been the dominant medium, often in monochrome black or browns. India, Ethiopia and other countries also have long traditions. Finger-painting with watercolor paints originated in China. There are various types of watercolors used by artists. Some examples are pan watercolors, liquid watercolors, watercolor brush pens, and watercolor pencils. Watercolor pencils (water-soluble color pencils) may be used either wet or dry.
Pastel is a painting medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation. The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process. Because the surface of a pastel painting is fragile and easily smudged, its preservation requires protective measures such as framing under glass; it may also be sprayed with a fixative. Nonetheless, when made with permanent pigments and properly cared for, a pastel painting may endure unchanged for centuries. Pastels are not susceptible, as are paintings made with a fluid medium, to the cracking and discoloration that result from changes in the color, opacity, or dimensions of the medium as it dries.
Digital painting is a method of creating an art object (painting) digitally or a technique for making digital art on the computer. As a method of creating an art object, it adapts traditional painting medium such as acrylic paint, oils, ink, watercolor, etc. and applies the pigment to traditional carriers, such as woven canvas cloth, paper, polyester, etc. by means of software driving industrial robotic or office machinery (printers). As a technique, it refers to a computer graphics software program that uses a virtual canvas and virtual painting box of brushes, colors, and other supplies. The virtual box contains many instruments that do not exist outside the computer, and which give a digital artwork a different look and feel from an artwork that is made the traditional way. Furthermore, digital painting is not 'computer-generated' art as the computer does not automatically create images on the screen using some mathematical calculations. On the other hand, the artist uses his own painting technique to create a particular piece of work on the computer.
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We understand that having the right surface for your work can have a profound effect on the character and longevity of your work. Whether you are working on an arts and crafts project or creating your next masterpiece, our selection of papers is sure to have what you need. Our decorative papers and construction papers are available in a variety of options. The Riverside True-Ray Construction Paper is able to handle scoring, folding, and curling without cracking or tearing. We carry bark, embossed, lace, marble, and many other decorative papers to help you create any aesthetic you want. These decorative papers will help you create custom invitations, book arts, mixed media, and other projects. For your printing needs, you can find digital art and inkjet papers from brands like Strathmore, Fredrix, Jacquard, and many more. If you are looking for an alternative to stretched canvas, our wood and hardboard panels offer more control over your brushwork and fine details.
As inkjet canvas continues to gain popularity in the fine art and photographic digital printing industry, the multitude of available brands and varieties will persist and eventually flood the market in an attempt to take advantage of this increasingly desirable consumable. Current market research shows that inkjet canvas is selling three times more than inkjet paper, which historically, has never been the case. This swing in market trends suggests that art consumers are impressed by the aesthetic appeal and novelty of digitally printed inkjet canvas as it is a relatively new, yet logical medium for fine art reproduction. As an entrepreneur running a printmaking business, selecting an inkjet canvas that will be the foundation for your reputation and long-term success amid the array of possibilities, can be a daunting if not impossible undertaking. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the printmaker to understand and test inkjet canvas to source the highest quality to ensure sustainable-revenue and the integrity for their business. Therefore the purpose of this article is to provide printmakers with the proper tools to evaluate inkjet canvas based upon empirical data and measurable attributes; in an attempt to produce higher-quality, more-archival, and ultimately more sellable fine art inkjet canvas prints. In order to properly evaluate inkjet canvas for your printmaking business, several criteria must be evaluated and considered. This criterion can be broken down into four primary categories: aesthetic appeal, longevity, production/business practicality, and brand association. Testing multiple brands and types of inkjet canvas is the best thing you can do for your business, your customers, and the fine art industry as a whole. That being said, the first thing you will need to do to get started is purchase sample material from several leading inkjet canvas manufacturers. Let this article be the guide or checklist to walk you though the important evaluation process.Aesthetic AppealThis category has been listed above all others because it is the single most important factor for evaluating your primary, house inkjet canvas. The fact is that this is the fine art industry and whether you are the artist, a gallery owner, a publisher, or a printmaker, the ultimate universal goal is to sell art. Art is predominantly sold as a result of its aesthetic appeal and the emotional derivative of the image presentation. In other words, the better your prints look, the more your artists will sell, which will naturally result in more printing business. If the artists that you print for are confident that you are reproducing their work in the most visually appealing manner and this is reflected in their print sales, you can be sure they will continue to employ your services. On the other hand, if the artist decides to shop around or happens to come in contact with an alternative printmaker who is obviously producing superior inkjet canvas prints, the artist will be gone in an instant. The only way to be certain that you are producing the most visually appealing inkjet canvas prints, is to test several different inkjet canvases for color gamut, Dmax (optical density), resolution, texture, and weight. Let us carefully consider each of these attributes individually. Color Gamut In this increasingly competitive industry simply offering great color reproduction is not enough. You need to offer the best color reproduction. Although precise color gamut measurement tools, such as a Colorimeter or spectrophotometer can and should be used if available, the naked eye is usually enough to distinguish a superior inkjet canvas. Print a color target, which consists of several individual color patches, on each inkjet canvas that you are evaluating. Use these targets to compare each individual color to determine which inkjet canvas produces the best color gamut. It is also recommended to print the same, colorful image on each inkjet canvas and see which produces the most vibrant colors. Dmax - Dmax is a measure of maximum density of an images color but more specifically its black density. Again, the most precise measurements can be taken with a densitometer, but the naked eye will suffice if this equipment is not available to you. When discussing paper and inks, Dmax is commonly defined as the blackest black possible. Black density is arguably the most discernable characteristic in evaluating the quality of ink, paper, inkjet canvas, and even printmakers themselves. Therefore achieving the blackest black possible should be the most critical concern for every fine art printmaker. In this increasingly competitive industry, as with color gamut, offering great blacks is simply not enough. You need to offer the blackest blacks possible. Resolution - This refers to the smallest discernable dots or pixels, commonly measured as dpi or dots per inch. In relation to fine art reproduction, it is a measurement of the fineness of detail in a printed image. Resolution is a crucially important attribute because without fineness and detail, image quality is compromised. No matter how accurate your colors are or how dense your black may be if the image appears blurry up close instead of clean and crisp, you will have significantly decreased your chances of selling that print as it will negatively affect its overall perceived value. This will inhibit the artist from obtaining true market-value for his/her work, which will cause you the printmaker to lose business to a competitor who uses a inkjet canvas with superior resolution. It should be noted that inkjet canvases with excessive texture can also compromise resolution and should be avoided. The drastic peaks and valleys in the inkjet canvas texture can cause ink to bleed, or run, which will blur minute aspects of a printed image. Texture The optimal texture of inkjet canvas is one that will exude a natural inkjet canvas look, without compromising resolution or reducing the amount of viewable angels in which the art can be appreciated. The latter is caused by any type of glossy finish on a highly textured inkjet canvas. The result is a sparkling affect caused by light reflecting off of the glossy peaks and valleys of the textured inkjet canvas. Sparkling inkjet canvas prints no longer take on the qualities of an original painting which causes art consumers to perceive them as cheap reproductions. In an industry driven by quality and aesthetic appeal, cheap reproductions won't sell and will be detrimental to a printmakers reputation. All in all, even if a inkjet canvas is a clear leader in color gamut, dmax, and resolution, it may have excessive texture which alone can compromise quality. Therefore, printmakers should test for excessive texture. This can be accomplished in two ways. First, print images with extreme detail and look for a lack of image cleanliness and crispness up close. Second, use a semi-glossy or glossy post-print protective coating and look for sparkling when light reflects off the coated surface. It is important to keep in mind that texture is primarily a subjective attribute of which everyone will have a differing opinion. As a printmaker, it is wise to advise your clients to make a texture decision based upon objective information that will improve the sale-ability of their prints rather than attempt to source unique inkjet canvas textures to appeal to every artist's personal preference. Thickness & Weight - These are completely subjective attributes that do not contribute to the visual appeal or the sale-ability of any inkjet canvas print. For their own reasons, usually related to their artist/customers, some printmakers have a tendency to place value on how a inkjet canvas feels. To the artist or printmaker (not the art consumer) perceived value can be associated with a heavier weight and thicker inkjet canvas. The fact is that it costs more to manufacture a inkjet canvas with a heavier weight and thickness, but neither weight nor thickness has any contribution to the visual appeal or longevity of a inkjet canvas print. The higher cost is simply not justified. Once stretched, framed, and hanging on the wall in an art gallery nobody is touching or feeling the finished inkjet canvas print. These consumers have absolutely no way of determining the initial weight, thickness, or feel of the inkjet canvas. Therefore, these attributes are totally worthless unless of course they somehow affect your production process. For example, an excessively thin inkjet canvas might tear when stretching over frames. An excessively thick inkjet canvas might not feed through your printer. An excessively heavy inkjet canvas might senselessly raise your costs, lower your profit margins and in turn decrease your market competitiveness as a printmaker. Therefore, using a inkjet canvas because you like how it feels or how heavy it is, is just a disorganization of business priorities. Unless your customer requires a specific inkjet canvas weight or thickness, these two attributes should be considered your lowest priority. Generally it is a plus to have a heavier, thicker inkjet canvas but should not influence your inkjet canvas evaluation. Longevity Longevity refers to how long a inkjet canvas print will last before it begins to noticeably deteriorate. This is an absolutely critical element in determining which inkjet canvas to use for your business. In order to appropriately label yourself a fine art printmaker, you must produce fine art prints. By definition, fine art prints are expected to maintain their constitution for several decades. Fine art prints that deteriorate in the short-term maintain almost no value and were in fact, never fine art prints to begin with. Thus, longevity must be taken into consideration in every printmaker's long-term business strategy as selling deteriorating prints will no doubt contribute to the inevitable demise of your future business in the fine art industry. Unfortunately, unbiased, objective longevity testing information about each inkjet canvas is not readily available. Therefore, the only real way to be confident that this longevity component is fulfilled is by choosing a reputable manufacturer with a worldwide recognized brand. These manufacturers have proven their ability to deliver and support fine art quality products to the masses. They also guarantee their products. Rest assured that if any problem does arise, most of them will be right there to fix the problem and/or reimburse you. A reputable printmaking business must have this guarantee where the manufacturer holds the risk. Printmakers should use these worldwide brands to their advantage by communicating their stability benefits to their own customer base. Nevertheless, it is important to understand exactly what characteristics affect the longevity of your inkjet canvas prints. Acidity - One primary determinant of longevity is the acidic content within a inkjet canvas. The introduction of acid to a inkjet canvas print will cause it to quickly yellow and deteriorate. Finding a inkjet canvas that is completely acid-free and ph-neutral is extremely important in preserving the longevity of your prints. Most inkjet canvas suppliers will boast an acid-free product but in actuality they are referring only to the raw inkjet canvas material, conveniently leaving out the acidic content of the inkjet receptive coating applied on top, which completely negate the initial claim. In order to maximize and ensure longevity, printmakers should therefore make sure that a inkjet canvas has both an acid-free raw inkjet canvas base and an acid-free inkjet receptive coating. Optical Brightener Additives (OBAs) - These are artificial brightening agents commonly used in many inkjet substrates to make them appear brighter or whiter than they actually are. According to the most recognized inkjet print permanence testing organization, the Wilhelm Research Institute, OBAs should be avoided because they compromise the longevity of fine art prints by causing yellowing, and by causing the colors of a print appear different under differing lighting conditions. Color management guru David Coons of Artscans explains the difficulties in using OBA's: Our main problems with OBAs are with reproducing original art with bright or pastel yellows. Since typical OBA coated media doesn't reflect warmer wavelengths as strongly as conventional natural white watercolor papers, it's often impossible to accurately reproduce many warm pastel colors such as light yellow. Optical brighteners create an appearance of 'brightness' by inducing blue fluorescence in the presence of UV-rich light sources such as sunlight, metal halide, and fluorescent lamps. Papers coated with these brighteners tend to fight yellow inks in particular because of their bluish cast. Color management systems can help preserve relative color differences, but will never be able to overcome these physical limitations. In June 2005 worldwide inkjet canvas manufacturer Breathing Color, Inc. out of Orange, California (www.breathingcolor.com) released the first ever optical-brightener free inkjet canvas and since, the product segment has grown in popularity at a very fast pace within the USA and is spreading to other regions of the world. Printmakers using this product are taking advantage of the credibility and competitive positioning it offers. Water-Resistance - History has proven that inkjet canvases without sufficient water-resistance are fragile and increasingly susceptible to damage by humans and the environment (humidity). Although they can be protected and enhanced with solvent-based coatings, generally it is best to avoid them simply because they are more of a liability and increase longevity risk. Solvent-based coatings, which are mandatory with non-water-resistant inkjet canvases, also have a tendency to chip, crack, and flake over time and/or during the stretching process. Some manufacturers who have not yet been able to develop a truly water-resistant inkjet canvas have resorted to marketing semi-water-resistant inkjet canvases as water-resistant. Beware of these. Although there is no documented industry standard for water-resistance, printmakers can easily test this on their own. Run a print and allow it 24 hours to dry. Once the ink has completely dried simply poor a glass of water over the print. If a inkjet canvas is not water-resistant, the ink will run and smear immediately. Some highly water-resistant inkjet canvases can withstand this test even immediately after printing. Printmakers using truly water-resistant inkjet canvases also enjoy the added benefit of the ability to use a water-based post-print coating, which in most cases is much more durable than the solvent-based alternatives. Post-Print Protective Coatings - Commonly sold in gloss, semi-gloss, and matte options, these post-print protective coatings are most commonly used to preserve and protect inkjet canvas prints from abrasion and harmful