The Different Styles of Art Prints – A Collector’s Guide

So…

You say you’re in the market for some art prints.

First of all, awesome. After all, art prints have great upsides. They’re an inexpensive alternative to buying original art. They’re typically smaller than big canvas paintings. They can be put into stylish frames. They’re easier to handle, and even replace, than larger, hard-to-ship art.

Sounds great, right?

But there’s just one question.

How do you know what type of art print is right for you?

Now, when we talk about the ‘type’ of art print, we’re not looking at the art style. That’s a entirely different conversation. Maybe you like kittens, or watercolors, or abstract art, or…if you’re looking at my work, crazy dark surrealism. It’s all good. But what we’re talking about today is the material of which your future art print will be made of. Be it photograph paper, inkjet lustre prints, velvet giclees, canvas prints, or mounted canvas, there are more styles of print than most people realize.

Many, many more.

Which is a good thing. It’s always nice to have options, right?

Let’s get straight to it.

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The Different Types of Art Prints


Style 1 – Photographic Prints

Photographic style prints are your entry-level art print. If you buy from most artists, this is the basic style they will offer. Photo-style prints are inexpensive, durable, and provide a quality that most art-lovers find very much acceptable.

What’s the scoop?

This type of print typically uses dyed inks on digital photograph paper. If you’ve ever held an actual photograph in your hand (I say this only because so many photos these days are strictly digital) then you have a general idea for the quality of a photo print. The paper stock used is thicker than standard printer paper. It’s durable stuff, and the colors of most paintings (especially line art or art with plenty of strong, bold colors) will look good. It’s easy to frame, easy to ship, and not particularly pricey. What’s more, this style of print can be made to be glossy, semi-glossy, matte, or even metallic, depending on the artist’s (or buyer’s) tastes.

In short, it’s versatile stuff. And in today’s ever-growing art market, it’s what you’ll see a ton of.

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Style 2 – Fine Giclee Prints

Suppose you want to step up your art print game. You want better color saturation. Better paper. Something longer lasting.

And more than anything, you want an art print that picks up every detail of the original artist’s work.

Giclee prints might be for you.

In today’s world, there are many styles of giclee prints. There’s deep matte, a printing process which carves out any hint of shine, leaving only the deep, dark details. There’s somerset velvet, a smooth, luxurious-feeling print, capturing the subtle color notes in a detailed piece of art. If you see words like Lexjet, Lexjet matte, Somerset velvet, or 100% cotton, then you’re dealing with a high-quality giclee.

In short, giclees are gallery-quality prints printed using pigmented inks (instead of dyed inks) on archival (typically cotton) paper. If the original is unavailable, and a buyer, gallery, or even the original artist wants an excellent reproduction, giclees are most likely what they’ll go for. The paper is much higher quality than photo paper, which allows excellent color saturation and detail. When framed properly, a good giclee will resemble the original painting in almost every way (unless it was a highly-textured original.)

The only drawback? With giclees, buyers should expect to pay two to four times more than the price of a standard photographic print.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

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Style 3 – Canvas Prints

Still further up the art print ladder, we find canvas prints.

Similar to giclees (and made using the same pigmented inks) canvas prints typically are excellent, top-notch reproductions of art. Whether created by traditional artists after their originals have sold or by digital artists who desire a physical copy of their work, canvas prints are a superb method of displaying art.

Firstly, they’re flexible. Printed on the thickest, most durable materials, canvas prints are bendy, tough to damage, and easy to trim/manipulate for framing. Even more than giclees, they’re a long-lasting print style, and can be varnished with protective coatings to last many decades (or possibly even centuries…given that the technology used to create them is still relatively new.)

If you’re a collector who wants the best possible reproduction of a piece of art, canvas prints are likely for you.

The good news? While pricier than inkjet or photo prints, canvas prints are typically only 10-25% more expensive than giclees.

The challenge? Canvas prints come loose and in need of (usually high-quality) framing.

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Style 4 – Mounted Canvas Prints

Mounted canvas prints are quite simple, really.

They’re the same as canvas prints, same material, same color quality, same durability.

But they’re stretched and mounted on a wooden frame, and are 100% ready to hang.

For collectors who don’t want to pick out custom frames, and for art-lovers who like to hang art just as it looked in the original artist’s studio, mounted canvasses are a great option. Like standard canvas prints, they can be varnished. The wooden frames (typically 1/2″ to 2″ thick) offer stability, ease of hanging, and true-to-life colors which often match the original work.

Personally, I’ve hung multiple mounted canvasses of my own work (after the originals are gone) and I can’t really tell the difference between them and the original paintings.

They’re that good.

The good part? Original-looking art which typically costs far less than original paintings.

The only drawback? The cost of stretching and mounting the canvas is significant, meaning these are usually the most expensive print option.

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Of course, there are other print options out there. Custom paper styles. Custom finishes. But in general, 95% of what collectors will see in the market today will fall under these four art prints styles.

I hope, for all you art-lovers and artists out there, this article proved helpful. If you have questions or want to chat about print styles, reach out to me at any of my social media links right here.

And of course, I invite you to take a look at my own selection of art prints. Click the pic below and fall into my surreal world.

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Until next time…

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J Edward Neill

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Cover Work by J Edward Neill

Hi there.

I’m J Edward.

Quite often, I get asked to do album covers, book covers, and other licensed products. It’s time I addressed it publicly.

A lot of artists have complex or difficult-to-understand rules regarding art rights, cover work, commissions, and exclusivity.

I do not.

My rules are simple:

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Album Covers, Book Covers, T-Shirts, & Other Licensed Products

  • If you purchase an original painting (not a print) you may use it for your book cover, album cover, t-shirt line, or any other licensed product. Simply let me know after the purchase is complete, and I will agree in writing not to ever give license for that piece to another person for the purpose of cover work.
  • If you live overseas and are unable to purchase an original (usually due to high shipping costs) and you want to use one of my images for cover work (either for business or personal use) I will accept a one-time payment of $75. For this, I will email you a high-resolution image and grant you non-exclusive rights (meaning someone else is permitted to use the image if they pay similarly) to the image.
  • If you’d like to use an image for your business, cover art, or album art, but the original painting has sold (but has not been licensed) I will accept a one-time payment for $75. This option is for non-exclusive licenses only (meaning someone else is permitted to use the image if they pay similarly) to the image.

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Digitally Downloaded Prints

  • If you’d like to use one of my images to make your own prints (for personal use only) but you live outside of North America, please click on my available art downloads here. Any digital images obtained this way are not to be used for cover work, sale, or commercial distribution. (I’m trusting you to be a good human. 🙂 )  Also, if the image you’d like doesn’t appear available for download, please reach out to me. I can add them very quickly.

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Tattoo Art

  • If you’d like to use one or several of my artworks for tattoos, I request only that you download the images (very inexpensive) using this link here.

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Commissions, Custom Work, Copyrights, A.I. Art & NFT’s

  • I do not do commissions or custom work. It’s nothing personal, of course. Commissions interfere with my process, and frankly, they pay poorly for my time investment.
  • I reserve the right to sell my prints until the end of time. Regardless of any image’s use as cover work.
  • None of my work is digital art or A.I. I keep it old school…always.
  • I do not do NFT’s. If you see an NFT with my artwork, be advised it is unauthorized and stolen. Proceed at your own risk.

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Want to discuss further? Find me via any of my social media links.

Want to view the originals and prints I have available? Go here.

Much love to everyone.

May the art live forever.


A Sample of Previous Cover Work (Albums & Books)


The Dreams & Incarnations Oracle Deck!

Now Available

The Dreams & Incarnations Oracle Deck

An All New Intuitive Card Deck by Heather and J Edward Neill


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The Dreams & Incarnations oracle deck contains 52 lushly-illustrated cards, featuring original artwork by J Edward Neill and card definitions by Heather Neill.

Ravens, moons, cats, crocodiles…skeletons, towers, and otherworldly landscapes… The theme of the deck: dream symbolism and powerful, personal self imagery.

As an intuitive deck (readers are encouraged to find their personal meaning using the artwork) the guidebook will be primarily online. A free downloadable PDF is here: Download. For those with e-readers, a guidebook will be available on Amazon Kindle. For those who prefer physical guidebooks, they’ll be available at Amazon (Prime w/ fast shipping) for just $5.99.

Dreams & Incarnations is available at Etsy – ShadowArtFinds. Individual decks, as well as discounted reseller bundles, will be available.

Also…a series of six special edition 8 x 10 prints is already available (including full oracle card text) to celebrate the deck. Available here.

Questions? Contact J Edward at his Facebook art page here.

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Coming soon…the Dreams & Incarnations guidebook…

 

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck – Now Available

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

by J Edward & Heather Neill


Welcome to Spirits & Shadows. This 52-card oracle deck includes original art by artist J Edward Neill and card concepts, keywords, & guidebook by Heather Neill.

This deck came into being after four long years of love, focus, and no small amount of hard work. Our focus with Spirits & Shadows is hope, the human spirit, self-improvement, overcoming obstacles, and resilience in the face of life’s many challenges. 

Herein you’ll find spirits of nature, images of hope and light, and even shadows which you, the reader, will master and overcome.

Spirits & Shadows is meant to be used intuitively. The keywords and meaning for each card are merely starting points. Please take the time to connect to each image in a meaningful way. This deck was made for you.

A full guidebook including card definitions appears below. 

For those who prefer a physical guidebook, they’re available on Amazon here

We wish you the best in your journey.


 

Get the Spirits & Shadows Oracle deck right here. Just click the pic!

 

The November Dark Art Sale

Hello there, dark art lovers.

I’ve just created an exclusive coupon for my social media followers and website visitors to enjoy.

25% off more than 90% of the art prints and original paintings in my shop – Shadow Art Finds.

The coupon is good through midnight on Sunday, November 8th.

To check it out, simply smash the image below. It’ll add the coupon to your cart automatically.

Happy art hunting!

Giving Meaning to my Art

Hi there, everyone.

It’s been one hell of a year so far.

I’m not talking about the ‘Rona, the fires, the hurricanes, the end of the world.

I’m sticking to art, with which I’ve been obsessed for many years, but none so much as this one. While the world has been busy destroying itself, I’ve been locked away in my house, making a mess of things.

So today I want to share with you five of my favorite pieces. And with each piece, I want to talk about how it came into being and what the painting means to me.

It’s true…for some of the things I create, I don’t assign any specific meaning or purpose. I paint them as experiments, as challenges, or sometimes simply to keep my brush busy as I wait for true inspiration to strike me.

But for these five I’m sharing today, I really felt them. To me, these five are anything but meaningless. They define the last year of my life.

So then…

Let’s begin…


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Painting # 1 – The Unheaven

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It was a dark and stormy night. No really, it was. I’d just finished a long week of painting huge, complex pieces, and frankly I was worn out. You know that place your mind goes when you’ve hit a creative wall? Or really, a wall of any kind? Yeah. That’s where I was at. I was tired. I was dead.

The plan?

To take a few days off, regroup, and come back to the canvas with a refreshed sense of inspiration.

But it’s funny how the universe works. Sometimes, while wandering the shadowed realm between exhaustion and furious self-examination, we stumble upon rare moments of insight. It happened to me that night. The windows and doors to my little house were wide-open, and the sounds of the night pouring in. My young son was fast asleep, and I, weary and wanting to rest, wandered blearily to my painting cabinet.

It was then a question struck me. What if…all our preconceptions set aside…the idea of Heaven isn’t what we think? What if Heaven is not what we want it to be? What if, instead of angels and sunshine, feasts and Valkyries, the afterlife is something else entirely?

Out came the reds, the bronzes, the blacks, the golds, and the muted ivories. Within a few hours, well past midnight, I’d manifested an alternate view of Heaven. It was a lonely place. A place of eternal waiting. A place in which the souls of the departed rested alone, longing for the Heaven they’d been promised in life.

It might be that you look at this piece and see nothing so deep. You might see just a tree, some curtains, a stony floor, and a horseshoe crab-looking moon thing. That’s fine by me.

But personally, I dreamed of a place in the afterlife none of us would ever dare anticipate.

And so it was – The Unheaven.

 


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Painting # 2 – Grove of Many Moons

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It was the opposite of a dark and stormy night… 🙂

Long after finishing The Unheaven, I awoke on a pleasant summertime Saturday. Again, the windows were open and the air flowing in, but this time the sunshine was glorious, and the rain entirely absent. It was the kind of morning everyone enjoys, even me, the dark Bob Ross. (Credit to Twitter for the cute nickname.)

For Grove of Many Moons, I created a background of greens and blacks, empty but for a few distant trees. The process took several hours, many of which were me waiting for the acrylic layers to dry in the sun. While soaking up the warm air wafting into my kitchen, I started thinking about the many phases of life, the many places we go not physically, but in our minds. And I pondered how, even though we may wander far and wide of where we intended to go, we always tend to return home. Home being our personal center, our individual sanctuary of thought and imagination.

We move in phases, we humans. We roam in our dreams. We change even as we remain the same. Our roots are our bodies, but our minds are as free as the wind, as limitless as the night sky.

In a way, we’re like the moon.

I finished this one late at night the next Sunday, but the weather never changed. It stayed warm and glorious until I was done. And then the rain arrived.


 

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Painting # 3 – Furnace of the Fallen

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Now let’s get dark again.

People who know me know I’m not a political or religious human. At all. What goes on in the larger world largely generally doesn’t concern me. If we as a people are going to thrive, destroy ourselves, or something in-between, it’s ultimately not up to me (or any one person.) That’s not to say I don’t care, just that I acknowledge my smallness. Like Carl Sagan said of humanity on Earth, the pale blue dot… ‘That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives … on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.’

But…

That said…

Not being involved doesn’t mean I don’t notice things. And naturally, how I express and process the workings of the larger world is done on canvas. With paints. Usually dark colors.

And so arrived Furnace of the Fallen. This piece is how, for at least the space of one weekend, I imagined our future. The great dark towers of our vast, powerful cities, hollowed out and left to decay in shadow. The fumes of our manufactured world, choking out the sun. The blues and greens of nature, muted and turned to metal.

You get the point.

I’m not always a nihilist, but when I am, I paint it.

🙂


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Painting # 4 – Moonbringer 

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What if we could close our eyes and go anywhere? Not just in our minds, but literally.

Where would you go?

What would you do?

Moonbringer came to life one evening when I was completely alone. My son was away, the music was softly playing (no midnight death metal-a-thon this time) and the ideas flowed like wine. I tried to think of a place I’d want to go, and of a means to get there. The idea of a portal and a fantastical forest immediately came to mind.

From the start, this large piece felt utterly fantastical. The color scheme, the twisty trees, the totems with runic writing…it all felt otherworldly. And on that night, otherworldly was exactly what I wanted.

Where would I go? Probably another planet.

What would I do? Probably wander the forest and look for food.

Of all the paintings from this year, Moonbringer was probably the one during whose creation I had the most fun. I really let my brush do as it willed. No rules. No structured plan. I really imagined myself leaping through the portal and into a world that hasn’t yet been discovered.


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Painting # 5 – Seizing Heaven

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What if every plant, tree, and blade of grass on earth reached not for the sun, but for something much higher?

This was the question I asked myself while creating one of my biggest ever pieces, Seizing Heaven. My state of mind on the morning I began work on it was focused. Typically, I’ll let the brush do what it wants, but with this painting I hunkered over the canvas for endless hours, obsessing over every detail, every pinprick of light, every shadow.

These trees aren’t just reaching for the light. They want to conquer it. Earthbound for millennia, they’re grasping skyward with glorious aim. They’re impeded by the wind, the clouds, and the sheer magnitude of the vast power for which they hunger.

But no matter. They, like so many living, breathing people, have a desire that is unquenchable.

The trees are us.

The great light in the sky? It’s the thing for which we all reach, whether a goal, a place, or a state of thought. It’s different for every one of us.

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Hopefully you enjoyed this sliver of insight. I don’t always feel deeper meaning when I touch brush to canvas, but sometimes I do…and it overtakes me until I finish.

Until next time…

J Edward Neill

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Original Surreal Art – A New Deal

Hi everyone.

I’m J Edward.

Lately I’ve been as busy as ever in my life, creating new original canvasses. I’ve got trees, swords, towers, ships, and bones…so many bones. The amount of new art I’ve got quite literally covers my walls.

Typically I sell my original paintings right here, via Etsy.

But today I’m expanding. I realize not everyone likes Etsy. Moreover, Etsy takes a hefty cut out of every sale.

So…

Starting today…

I’m offering a 10% discount (off any price listed on Etsy) to anyone who wishes to buy directly from me using either Paypal or Venmo.

That’s 10% off original canvas art (not prints.)

Domestic shipping is still free.

Interested art collectors should reach out to me using any of the social media links right here.

This offer is good…pretty much forever.

As ever, I love you guys.

-J