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We've been accustomed to traditional paintings made with acrylics or oils, but did you know that many collectors and art lovers seek out digital print versions too? Here we discuss fine art prints (not to be confused with lithography and screen printing) and explore if this digital alternative is worth hanging on our walls.

This article is brought to you by Provenance Art Gallery

Printmaking is as meticulous a task as any other forms of art. It takes precision, creativity, the right tools and mediums, and definitely a little dose of ingenuity. Widely recognised printing methods like woodblock printing, lithography (printing from stone or metal plates), screen printing (which uses stencils), and more, have all given us some of the most important and covetable artworks. Likewise, digital printing has not only elevated this technique to a different level of technology but it has also helped artists immortalise their masterpieces.

Prints of fine art are digital copies of original paintings or photographs which often come in limited runs and are signed by the artist his or herself. 

The Process

For artists, to get an excellent print of their works they must rely on imaging experts and photographers. Accuracy of colours, hues, light balance, saturation and paper quality must be taken into consideration. Under carefully controlled lighting conditions, the artwork gets photographed using high-resolution digital cameras. The photo then gets post-processed to achieve the optimal output. Retouches and adjustments by the artist may be also made if necessary to further enhance the piece. 

The Value Of Prints

Joanna Preysler Francisco, co-founder of Provenance Art Gallery, shares that prints are an extension of artistic expression. "As a whole, art aficionados still have to grow in their appreciation and understanding of prints and photographs as alternative forms of art," she explains. Joanna continues by clarifying that artists are hands on in every step of the printing process, thus, prints are very much a part of their hearts and souls.

"People still ask us, 'Will it fade?', 'Will it increase in value?'," she shares. "You know, even oil on canvas paintings will fade without proper care. Nowadays, with technology and all the research, high quality prints on archival paper are framed with protective non-glare glass—preserving its longevity." With the passing of time, each masterpiece is in danger of deterioration, to which Joanna says: "Imagine if the generations to come are robbed of seeing these masterpieces simply because of the 'snobbery' of not wanting to preserve or immortalise them via digital prints?"

This medium has made art collecting, and art as a whole, more attainable and less intimidating, says the gallery co-founder, adding that prints are not lesser art forms. "In fact, in a well-curated collection, prints and photographs find their own place and are wonderful additions for the serious or new collector alike" Joanna says. To her, prints are indeed wonderful additions to one's personal collection.

Joanna explains that often, oil on canvas works for example can be quite pricey and may be prohibitive to some, thus emphasising how prints allow artists to embrace wider audiences. They act as a great entrant to the art world; art lovers should not let a price tag prevent them from having beautiful works around their homes. She expounds by saying that for as long as a gallery remains true to the original painting through the printing process and run the prints according to the artist's specifications, with him or her being involved in every step of the way, a print will be extremely special. 

Start your collection and journey with art appreciation now.

In December, Provenance Art Gallery will launch prints of two specially chosen artworks by one of their most coveted artists: Andres Barrioquinto. Each print is signed, numbered, and available in limited quantities. Available only at Provenance!

Visit Provenance Art Gallery at Shangri-La At The Fort, Manila.