Hand-painted Art Reproductions vs. Giclee Prints | Which is better?

Let’s say you have your heart set on a famous artwork and you go online to find a reproduction to enjoy that piece of art everyday from your very own sofa. You will find two options, hand-painted art reproductions on canvas and fine art prints on canvas, generally referred to as giclee prints. Which is better, the hand painted copy or the printed artwork on canvas? Let’s dig in and hash it out.

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

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Interpretation vs. Accuracy

Although many hand-painted reproduction companies claim that they are creating an exact copy, that is nearly impossible. The painting reproductions they sell are copied by hired artists from photos of the original works and are not created in the exact hand of the original artist. They may reference the original, but the brushstrokes are all their own, and quite often, that is evident in the final artwork.

On the contrary, giclee prints use very high quality digital files taken directly from the original works, either via professional photography or super-duper detailed scanning. The high resolution files are then printed directly to artist grade canvas. Thus, giclee canvas prints do not “reinvent the wheel,” but achieve accurate representation of the painting just as the artist intended.

A trip to the framers vs. Ready to hang

Most hand painted classic art companies only ship the canvases rolled in a tube. This is for two reasons: one, it is safer for the canvas if it’s shipped rolled; and two, because they are typically shipping from very far away…such as Xiamen, China…and the shipping cost would be astronomical if the art wasn’t rolled. Of course, receiving a rolled painted canvas means a trip to the framer to have the art stretched and framed, adding expense and costing you your very valuable time.

Our giclee prints can be ordered in a whole menagerie of ways, allowing you to participate in how the final product will be presented. We offer art that is ready to hang, either gallery wrapped and hung without a frame, or already framed, saving you the trip to the framer post delivery. Of course, if you are an international customer or would prefer your print shipped rolled, we can do that too. We want to save you any hassle after receiving your printed fine art, which is why we offer so many options, allowing you to decide how much work you have to do after unpacking your art: a trip to the framer with frame decisions & costs or putting a nail in the wall to hang your new art. We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

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Expensive vs. Economical

Let’s face it, when you’re ordering a hand painted oil of a famous painting, the price is going to be higher, and that is partially because you are paying an artist to make it for you (or at lease we hope they are paid well!). We can’t argue that supporting artists is important (we are artists ourselves after all), but you also need to factor in the shipping, the stretching and framing expenses, plus the hassle and time you spend running around getting the art ready to hang on your wall.

A fine art print is not only less expensive, but you have the freedom to decide how you will spend your budget and get the most bang for your buck with the least amount of work. You can order art gallery wrapped or framed from us, and even though it will likely be a little more expensive than a rolled, hand-painted reproduction, you will receive it complete, saving you cash at the framer and time in that busy schedule of yours.

Here’s the proof in the pudding:

Comparison of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace at Night,” 24×30″ rolled canvas prints

Canvas print prices compared to painted reproduction prices

The pricing across various art images and companies continues this way, making us wonder, which is the better option? We think the numbers speak for themselves.

3-5 Weeks vs. 3-10 Business Days

Hand painted art is going to take longer to produce. Period. Add in the shipping from the other side of the world, and you could be waiting almost 2 months for your art. Then take it to the framers, and you’re waiting another 2 to 4 weeks. Add it all up and in that time you could have taken art lessons, purchased supplies and created your own hand-painted art to hang (which we wholeheartedly support).

Depending on your chosen finishing options, our prints ship within 3-10 business days, and if you’re in the US, you should have your art in hand and on the wall in another 3-5 days. Bing, bang, BOOM.

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International conglomerate vs. Small American company

As the saying goes, “When you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream.” Many, but of course not all, hand-painted reproduction companies are very large. Large enough that they decide to use artists outside of the United States. Why? We can only speculate about that. The bottom line for us is that we prefer keeping things warm and cozy at home, and we’re pretty confident that you do too.

So which is the better option? We will let you decide on the one that’s better for you. Be sure to let us know what you think below. We would LOVE to hear from you!

 

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