Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Canvas Print Wall Art
Canvas print wall art can be a great way to bring style and personality to the interior design of any room. When choosing the right canvas print wall art to achieve the desired aesthetic of a space, it is important to realize that there are many factors involved other than selecting the right artwork and artist.
For instance, canvas print wall art can be made from different materials, use different printing processes, and come in a variety of finishing options. Each factor impacts the quality and price of the artwork, as well as the desired aesthetic.
In this article, we will discuss some of the different attributes that impact the quality, price, and aesthetic of canvas print wall art.
What are canvas prints?
Canvas print wall art represents a reproduced image of an original artwork that has been printed on canvas. The canvas print can be a reproduction of an original painting, drawing, or photograph. Canvas prints are great because they offer art buyers an affordable alternative to purchasing high-priced original art by their favorite artists. They also simultaneously allow artists to share their art with the public on a wider scale than could be done through only selling original artwork.
Selecting Canvas Material
The material the canvas is made from can impact the appearance and quality of the art. Canvas can be made from linen, cotton, polyester, or a combination thereof, depending on the intended purpose.
- Polyester-Cotton Canvas – The most popular material used in high-quality canvas print wall art is polyester-cotton blend canvas. Sometimes shortened to just poly-cotton blend. This is the material we use at Lisa Monas. Poly-cotton blend canvas is made from a combination of cotton and polyester and combines the beneficial properties of each (described below). High-quality polyester-cotton blend canvas gives the printed artwork a more “painted” effect and is designed to be scratch, crack, and fade-resistant.
- Cotton Canvas - Cotton canvas, considered high quality, is available for original artwork and prints. Cotton canvas is especially suitable for original art. The natural fibers in cotton provide a soft absorbent surface to paint on and help create a beautiful deep textured finish. However, these same qualities make it challenging to use for canvas prints. Specifically, the absorbent fibers make cotton a difficult material to print images on to consistently.
- Polyester Canvas - Polyester canvas is made of synthetic plastic. Polyester canvas has a smooth surface and is easier to print to than cotton canvas. Polyester yields very bold and colorful prints. The drawback of using polyester canvas on its own is that the finish is often shiny and lacks texture, making it look and feel less like a painting and more like a photograph. For these reasons, 100% polyester canvas is usually only used for reproduced photographs or lower end canvas print wall art.
- Linen – Linen canvas is made from flax plant, considered very high quality, and is used almost exclusively for original oil paintings.
Printing And Finishing Method
The printing and finishing method used to create a canvas print can impact the aesthetic, color accuracy, longevity, and quality of the canvas print. The most common types of canvas finishes are matte, semi-gloss, and glossy.
- Matte – Matte finish canvas creates a low glare finish that most closely resembles the look and feel of an original painting.
- Semi-Gloss – Semi-gloss finish canvas produces a slightly reflective finish that is meant to simulate an oil painting finish.
- Glossy – Glossy finish canvas enhances the depth and tone of an image and most closely creates the look and feel of a photograph.
At Lisa Monas, all of our canvases feature a matte or semi-gloss finish to better give the canvas print the look and feel of an original painting and/or to better accentuate the detail of an image. In addition, our canvases use state of the art printing and post-printing coating techniques to create high-quality canvas prints that will not fade or yellow over time.
Selecting Canvas Edge
Canvas print wall art is made by stretching, wrapping, and mounting an image printed on canvas over a wooden frame, called a stretcher bar. The stretcher bar is what gives the canvas panel its third dimension (depth or thickness). The wood the canvas is wrapped on, and how the canvas is wrapped, both impact the appearance and quality of the finished canvas print wall art.
- Wood Stretcher Bars – Canvas print wall art is generally stretched and mounted over a wooden frame, called a stretcher bar (see pictures above). Stretcher bars come in a variety of materials and thicknesses. At Lisa Monas, we use stretcher bar made from FSC certified forests. Such high-quality wood is knot and sap free, kiln-dried, and will not warp or bow over time like other lower-end materials such as pressed cardboard or particle board. In addition, our stretcher bar is 1.25 inches thick which provides substantial canvas depth to tastefully accent the art piece. Thickness generally ranges from 0.75-inch to 2-inch thick and is largely a matter of preference.
Canvas print wall art comes in two primary wrap and border styles: gallery wrap and solid color border. Gallery wrapped images are great for canvases that will be hung without a frame, while solid color border canvases are primarily used from framed canvases.
- Gallery Wrap Border – Gallery wrap refers to an image that appears on the sides of the frame as well as the front. There are two gallery wrap types. An image wrap canvas is where the main image continues over the sides of the canvas. A mirror wrap occurs when the main image is reflected or ‘mirrored” over the sides of the canvas. A mirror wrap is generally recommended when there are details in the image near the edge of the canvas that you don’t want stretched over the sides. Gallery wrap is a very popular way to display canvas art that will not be framed.
- Solid Border Wrap – Solid border wrapped canvases display the main image on the front of the canvas while leaving the side of the canvas either blank or painted a solid color. Non-gallery wrapped images are predominately used when a canvas print is intended to be framed.
Framed or Unframed Canvas
Canvas print wall art can be hung on the wall with or without a frame. Unframed canvases are less expensive than framed canvases which can make an affordable choice to fit within a décor budget. An unframed canvas also lends itself to a sleek, modern look, that works well with virtually all interior styles. Canvases that will be framed use what is called a “floater frame.” Floating frames feature a small gap between the canvas and the frame to create a visual effect as if the artwork were floating inside the frame. Floating frames and can give a canvas print a more complete and upscale look. Framed prints can also tie into the general décor of a room by connecting the color scheme with the frame. At Lisa Monas, all of our canvas floater frames are made from 100% real pine wood and handcrafted to ensure the highest quality.
The above factors are just some of the important aspects to consider when choosing the right canvas print wall art. Other intangible factors also impact the perceived quality and value of a canvas print, including the reputation of the artist and to a lesser extent, the number of prints created. And it goes without saying, that finding an art piece you absolutely love may be the most important factor of all!