How To Print Artwork

In the days of yore, creating a piece of art would mean spending endless hours over a canvas or a piece of thick paper and obsessing over every single detail.

Using the wrong color or smudging your painting could mean your artwork can be ruined, which is why many artists went to great lengths to improve their skills and prevent mistakes that can cost them time. (As well as money, if you’re working with expensive colors and canvases.)

In this article, we will talk about how to print artwork and how you can achieve excellent results with a little bit of careful planning. As you will see, once you get the hang of the whole printing process, you will be able to quickly turn your precious digital artwork into a real-life deal, so to speak.

Without further ado, here’s the deal.

How To Print Artwork

Nowadays, however, thanks to the improvements in technology, a crafty artist can get away with murder in terms of experimenting on a ‘digital’ canvas, so to speak.

Making a mistake while drawing and coloring using one of those drawing tablets is as easy as clicking the ‘undo’ button.

What this effectively means is that modern-day artists who make their visual art using a drawing tablet and some sort of art software have a considerably more stress-free working setup, so to speak.

Now, while this is great news when it comes to the creative process itself, it’s also true that sometimes it is necessary to print the artwork you made to have a real-life representation of it.

Whether this is because you want to hang your artwork on the wall or you’re selling it online or offline, printing your artwork is a process that’s not that difficult. Still, it requires you to do some preparatory work to avoid wasting good canvas and printer toner.

Setting up the File for Print Artwork

setting a artwork on wall

1. Adjust the color

Once you’ve determined what sort of colors you want to use for your print, it’s always a good idea to write down their code so that you always type it back into the color wheel (if you’re using Photoshop or a similar program that has a color wheel or a similar mechanic) in case the colors get slightly changed during the setup.

This can happen if you change the resolution of the image.

For example, if you want to achieve more detail for your image, setting the detail level to 300dpi rather than the standard 72dpi will make the print look clearer and sharper.

It is here that the colors might change slightly, so make sure to change them back to their original ‘values after you change the resolution.

2. Consider using software plugins

… if you’re making large images from an originally smaller print.

For example, if you want to make a large poster out of a 500×500 pixel image, doing so successfully can be challenging because you’ll have to straighten out any imperfections manually.

This is where resizing plugins can come in useful.

Plugins such as ‘Blow up’ and ‘Perfect Resize,’ for example, are two of the most popular options currently on the market.

3. Fine-tune the contrast & brightness

When it comes to changing the contrast of your artwork, with most drawing programs, the deal is fairly straightforward.

Typically, there is some sort of slider that you can move easily to get the value you need for this purpose.

Another thing you may want to improve before you hit the print button would be sharpness.

That said, you should only use the sharpness setting on your digital print sparingly, as using it too much can make the lines of the drawing come across as too pronounced and unpleasant to look at.

When done well, on the other hand, sharpness will make the shapes of different objects or people in your digital piece of art easier to distinguish, which will accentuate their contours.

4. Save artwork in a suitable format

In terms of finalizing your piece of digital art, the important thing to remember is that you have many formats at your disposal when it comes to saving the finished image.

Now, while you can choose any format that will allow you to print the image in a printer, it may be a good idea to save your image as either a JPEG or TIF file.

These two file formats offer the best visual quality of the end image, and they are supported by virtually any color printer.

A quick note: If you’re saving with JPEG, make sure to save the image only once you’ve made all the changes you wanted. Saving and changing settings later on only to save again can slightly decrease the quality of the print.

With TIF format, on the other hand, this problem doesn’t exist, so you can save however many times you want with no worries.

Choose the Paper and Colors

painting instruments

As far as the colors you’ll be using are in question, you have two broad ‘roads’ you can go down, so to speak.

If you want your images to look sharp with vivid colors, you might want to use ink-based colors.

On the other hand, the problem with ink-based colors is that they tend to fade after a couple of years.

On the other hand, if you want your print to look less vivid but be much more durable, using pigments instead of inks can be a great idea. (By the way, the difference in vividness is not that great, so it’s not like you’d be losing too much of the aesthetic appeal if you go with the pigments instead of inks.)


All in all, printing a piece of art you’ve created using a digital program such as Photoshop or Medibang, or something similar, is a fairly simple process as long as you make sure to make all the preparatory work in advance.

If you’ve picked high-quality colors, made sure to optimize the brightness and sharpness levels of the image, you can rest assured that the result won’t disappoint, either.

We hope you found how to print artwork; this article helped you learn more about how to print your artwork, and we wish you plenty of success creating beautiful real-life pieces of art.

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