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Finding the Perfect Substrate

Image of wood panel and canvas sheet

Everything you need to know to make long-lasting works of art!

When it comes to finding an acid free surface there are 4 different categories to consider:

  1. Acid-Free: Acid-Free materials are going to be top of the line, gallery-ready materials. When making fine art, you will always want to look for these materials first. These can be quite expensive, so selecting the cheaper non-acid fee surfaces will be tempting. In this situation, remember that you get what you pay for. If you are making work intended to be sold at a gallery or to a collector, you will want to be sure you are using the best materials. 
  2. Acid Neutral: While these are still good quality, they contain acid and buffers to fight against it. For this reason, these kinds of papers are great for testing prints but not necessarily selling in a gallery. Acid Neutral paper is quite a bit less expensive so we recommend this for test prints. 
  3. Not stated: In some cases, the material won’t state whether it is acid-free or not. In this case, you can assume it is not acid-free. You can still use these but it is not good practice to submit to galleries or sell to collectors. 
  4. Specialty Surfaces: Sometimes, you will come across a material that is not guaranteed to be acid-free in any form. In this case, there are tools you can use to test the PH level of the material. These surfaces can be differentiated from Category 3 because there might be a reason you might need to use these materials. For example, you may want to transfer your image to an aluminum substrate. This is an aesthetic that can not be created using paper. While the acidic qualities are a bit unknown, it doesn’t mean that the metal will deteriorate quickly.

Archival Substrate Examples:
Acid-Free Watercolor Paper
Stretched Canvas with Archival Quality Gesso

Do you have the perfect substrate picked out? To use any of the tutorials available on our site, your images must be printed onto DASS Transfer Film using an Inkjet Printer. Through our company, Kirkpatrick & Co. Specialty Printing, we can print your images to this film for you. Order your print today

We are here to answer any questions you have along the way. Follow us on Instagram to see what others in our community are making and join in on the conversation!

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One of a Kind Fine Art Prints For Digital Artists

One of a Kind Prints For Digital Artists

As an artist, we guarantee that you have spent hours contemplating how many limited edition prints you should run of your piece. Is the amount I am printing too many? Will running so many prints devalue my work overtime? This is especially problematic for digital artists since their work’s “original” is trapped behind a computer screen. The artwork is not physically in existence to be sold until it has been printed. That being said, what makes the print of any value once it is printed if there is a file that can be reproduced at ease?

Gateways- Perspective by Kerry Kirkpatrick [Limited Edition Print on Archival Paper]

For digital artists, this is where running limited edition prints come into play. Limited edition prints are created using archival inks and papers and are suitable for sale in galleries. Now, it is certainly possible to mass-produce these images with lower quality ink and paper and sell them at a much lower price point. These can be mass-produced since there is no promise of them being a limited edition print and they will not last over time. You can think of these as a poster rather than a fine art print.

Now, what if we could take those limited edition prints a step further? If you made them your one of a kind print they would be considered an original much like you would consider an acrylic painting to be an original. Using DASS Transfer Film, this is now a possibility with digital art. Because of the unpredictability of the image transfer process, there will always be variations in how the final print turns out. For example, looking at two separate transfers of the same image, you will notice differences in how the image is transferred. You can see how this might be the case by looking at this digital image versus the image once it has been transferred to metal.

Another benefit of using image transfers in your fine art process is it helps you fight against illegal reproductions of your work. In the digital age, it has become very easy for people to download images and then re-upload them to be printed and sold illegally. The aesthetic feel of image transfers rarely translates through scans or photographs. However, this is highly dependant on the substrate or surface the artist has chosen to transfer their image on. On rare occasions, reproductions could be possible but that is very rare. More often than not, photographs won’t do a piece justice compared to viewing it in person with all of its unique characteristics.

Inkjet Prints Transferred to Aluminum
Inkjet Prints Transferred to Aluminum

Now that you know the benefits of image transferring, perhaps you will consider using it in your artistic practice. If you are already using these methods, you should now know that your prints are quite valuable and unique. Don’t forget to keep this in mind when pricing your prints. Your artwork is very unique and should be priced as such. Let us know what you think about digital art and limited edition prints. How do you avoid theft and illegal reproductions?

To perform transfers like these, your images must be printed onto DASS Transfer Film using an Inkjet Printer. Through our company, Kirkpatrick & Co. Specialty Printing, we can print your images to this film for you. Order your print today.

Be the first to find out about new deals & tutorials by signing up for our newsletter! We are here to answer any questions you have along the way. Follow us on Instagram to see what others in our community are making and join in on the conversation!