In the realm of fine art photography, there are various mediums available for printing, including acrylic, metal, fine art archival papers, and canvas. When I initially ventured into photography, I was keen on printing some of my images, but the cost of framing was prohibitive. Therefore, I opted for canvas wall art prints, which are relatively inexpensive compared to other mediums. If you're interested, you can check out https://www.canvasdiscount.com. However, bear in mind that quality comes at a price. A discounted print shop is unlikely to offer high-quality wall art prints.
When it comes to print finishes, canvas wall prints offer a matte look. The purpose of a matte finish is to diffuse light as much as possible, which comes at the cost of the color not being as vibrant as a glossy finish. For instance, if you consider a photograph of the Milky Way and a mountain from my Mountains and Night Sky gallery, an aluminum metal or acrylic print would showcase all the intricate details of the stars and mountains. On the other hand, a matte finish would lack the dramatic flair and would appear quite dull in comparison. In fact, it might even put me to sleep. While it's true that matte finishes eliminate glare, they also compromise on the overall detail and impact of the print.
The textured nature of gallery wrapped canvas often results in the loss of small details and sharpness, ultimately leading to lower quality prints. When investing in high-quality photo wall art, low quality is simply not an option. While texture may have its place in fine art prints, losing out on the details is not desirable. I have several of my own images on display, and the canvas wall art fails to give me the look I desire. There's something about the texture and matte finish that doesn't seem to work. However, I must admit that when I first started printing, I didn't know any better.
Out of Style
The debate over canvas art prints has been ongoing for quite some time among fine art photographers. Many believe that custom canvas prints have become outdated and out of style when compared to backlit acrylic or aluminum metal prints. In fact, if you've seen a family portrait printed on canvas, it probably reminds you of the 1980s. While canvas has a place in painting and drawing, it doesn't give photos a modern look. Of course, trends in art come and go, so it's possible that canvas prints may regain popularity in the future. Only time will tell.
One problem that can arise with photo canvas prints over time is sagging. Horizontal sagging is the most common type of sagging, which occurs across the weave. If the print shop staples the print around the internal frame (stretcher bars), it will sag over time. To prevent sagging, the staples should be placed across the long sides first, then the short sides, to spread the tension evenly. However, humidity is another factor that can contribute to sagging. For example, if the print shop is located in Utah and the customer lives on the humid East Coast, the canvas print may arrive already sagging due to the difference in humidity levels. Additionally, the canvas may be tight during the winter but sag during the summer. If tightened during the summer, the canvas may warp the stretcher bars during the winter when the air is drier. This is one of the reasons why I don't offer large canvas wall art, as this issue doesn't occur with other print mediums.
When it comes to finding an online shop that specializes in canvas prints, there are countless options available. However, as the saying goes, "you get what you pay for." While websites like Greatbigcanvas.com and Easycanvasprints.com may offer cheaper prints due to high volume, the quality of their products can often be lacking. In fact, I once used easycanvasprints.com for a few prints, and two of them arrived damaged due to poor packaging. Additionally, some of these online shops sell their wall art to big box stores like Target and Home Depot. If you're looking for high-quality custom canvas prints, it's better to use a well-established company like Bayphoto.com. Bay Photo doesn't mass-produce their wall art; instead, you upload your own file and they print it for you. After uploading the file and selecting the size of the wall art, the website will inform you if the file is too small, and suggest that you resize it.
In my experience, prints from easycanvasprints.com arrived in a cardboard box with no padding and wrapped in plastic, resulting in damage during shipping. While the company was willing to remake the prints for free, I would have preferred to pay extra for proper packaging to ensure the prints arrived undamaged. Discount canvas prints may be suitable for chain hotels or other businesses, but they are not appropriate for collectors or fine art photography. As an artist who values quality and craftsmanship, I will not use discount print shops for my limited edition fine art prints.
Investing in high-quality fine art prints is important as it can leave a lasting impression on the viewer. While canvas prints may have been popular in the past, they can now look dated and cheap compared to modern options like metal and acrylic prints. When attending art shows, these new types of prints tend to impress viewers with their vibrant, clean, and sharp qualities. In contrast, canvas prints can appear lackluster and not have the same impact. While cheap art may be suitable for chain hotels, it is not a good choice for your home if you want to display fine art.
As an artist who sells photographic prints, I don't believe canvas is a great option for home galleries. While it may be suitable for large office buildings where tenants want affordable art to hang on walls, it doesn't offer the same representation and detail as other mediums. If you prefer canvas prints, I would recommend BayPhoto.com as they offer high-quality prints. However, personally, I prefer the vibrant colors and details of acrylic, archival paper, or metal prints over large framed canvas prints. You can check out my Prints and Framing page to see what I offer for fine art prints. But ultimately, everyone has different tastes, and it's up to personal preference.