What are the best techniques to reproduce famous paintings?
It has happened to all of us. We we fell in love with a special painting and we want it at home.
However, reality often clashes with illusion. First, because it is not always easy to find good painters, and many of us end up choosing to order cheap prints of paintings that bear some resemblance to the original works but no quality. Prints are easy to come by, but in print posters the spirit and charm of the original oil canvas is lost.
The result is an art lover who ends up regretting the purchase and still chooses to hang the obscene thing on his or her wall as a way of recouping the "investment." If you are in that group, you may end up discovering for yourself the old adage that "cheap is expensive."
But it's not all bad news. Who can we go to, when we want to order a good replica of an oil painting? And what decisions are less risky when it comes to looking for a supplier that is dedicated to making quality reproductions of paintings?
In this article, we take an extensive look at the different reproduction techniques for masterworks: oil paintings, screen printing, giclee prints, and other popular methods.
We also explore the top 3 vendors that offer famous painting replicas and custom portraits for sale, for example oil family portraits.
The market for reproductions of famous paintings and personalized paintings is undoubtedly a flourishing industry that has gone through different stages. Today you can find different alternatives for the purchase of art replicas, but what are the painting reproduction techniques with the best price benefit and what advantages does each one entail?
Here is a detailed look at the most commonly used Painting Replication techniques in the painting reproduction industry:
No. 1 Reproductions of famous oil paintings, 100% hand painted
Reproductions of famous oil paintings, such as those made by Kuadros , are replicas of hand-painted artworks or copies of an original painting. For example, if Cafe Terrace at Night is your favorite painting, you could order such oil reproduction and it will be hand-painted by a professional artist. Fine art oil reproductions are not prints, although some companies first print a work on canvas and then manually paint or embellish the print.
An authentic replica of a painting will always be hand-painted by an artist skilled in making this type of copy. The final result will always go according to the quality of the artist. Art replicas therefore, usually have various levels of quality, which the industry has detailed in descending order as "Museum Quality", "High Quality", and "Commercial Quality" (which can be seen in stores and hotels for example).
It is important to note that even in the best art reproductions, small differences in color and brush stroke from the original work can be seen in the replicas, and this is something that many buyers do not expect when making their first purchase. since they have an expectation of receiving an exact copy.
In Kuadros we follow a systematized process of making oil art replicas, which we detail pictorially step by step below:
Step A. A good process in the reproduction of a painting begins with an excellent drawing
All Kuadros artists are expert draftsmen, since a good drawing is the fundamental basis of a good replica.
If the artist is not a good draftsman, the end result will likely be of poor quality and leave the customer unsatisfied.
Although many companies that offer reproductions of paintings use highly talented self-taught artists, at KUADROS we only employ the exclusive service of artists who have graduated from fine arts schools. We use this filter to guarantee quality to the public, but it can lead us to increase the cost of certain paints depending on the complexity of the artwork.
Whether you go for a cheap reproduction or something of higher quality, both options may be valid at a certain time. The final choice depends on your pocket and by the quality standards of the company that offers the art reproduction service and the price offered to the end customer.
Step B. The first details are added to the replicas of the painting
Depending on the painting, our artists choose the brush that best suits the detail and texture of it.
The skillful handling of the tools is always something fundamental in the final result of the replica: the mixture of colors and their quality, the blade, the brushes and the canvas, all are part of the final result and ultimately influence the client who will love or despise the painting replica.
Step C. It's time to bring the figures of the painting to life
The first strokes of the face begin to be applied keeping the proportions appropriate to the human figure.
The sense of proportionality and perspective are key in painting reproduction techniques. Replicas of paintings with distortions or geometric errors damage the illusion with which the client initially enters into the replica service. This is a process that is not cheap, since depending on the work, the value of a good replica of a painting it can be between 300 USD and 1,000 USD.
Regarding costs, these are generally influenced by 3 factors:
- The number of figures in the painting
- The total size of the replica in square centimeters
- The complexity and detail of it
- The artist. More experienced artists who can reproduce a Mona Lisa charge much more.
We expand on this cost topic later.
Take a look at this actual replica of the Mona Lisa sitting on our desk as we write this note. The level of detail of our artist is impressive, being a job that is not easy to do, since emulating the great Leonardo Da Vinci is a task that few plastic artists achieve effectively.
(You can purchase an oil painting replica of the Mona Lisa here)
Step D. Every detail in a replica painting counts
For a reproduction of a famous painting to be worthy of the original work, the artist will take care of every detail of the work as the original master intended.
Sometimes the artists choose to omit certain details to concentrate on the most visible or notorious points of the work, since ultimately it is not about making an exact oil photocopy.
However, a good company and a good artist will always choose to correct the specific details requested by their clients.
For example, in this replica of the Lady of Shalott, the Mexican client did not accept the initial level of detail in the mantle that the artist had produced. This was the final reply that our client welcomed:
(You can purchase an oil painting replica of the Lady of Shalott here)
Step E. For Kuadros, the finish on a reproduction of a painting really matters
Kuadros monitors the finish of each oil replica until it is to the satisfaction of our quality specialists.
Sending paintings with errors to clients means a very expensive process for any company that makes this type of replicas, since it generates expenses for both parties and, worst of all, the final desilusion from the client. For this reason, good companies that reproduce paintings always spend time retouching and correcting errors or omissions before the paintings are sent to their final destination.
That is, the process of approval of the replica of a work occurs before it is packed and sent by secure mail to the client. When the client approves his painting, it is packed rolled up and sent to the expectant buyer.
Step F. Your painting replica is ready!
The final result of a good oil replica is exquisite, but you as a buyer must agree!
The process of making replicas of paintings, and in particular replicas of famous paintings, is always concluded with two fundamental aspects:
The post-sale guarantee and a conversation with the client to receive their final approval.
Can you guess which is the original painting and which is the oil reproduction in this image?
If you estimated that the painting on the left is the original work, you were right!
The differences in the previous example are marked by the time elapsed, the type of pigment used, the skill of the artist who copies the work and the canvas used. However, you may be surprised by a curious fact: experienced buyers accept these small differences and even many customers prefer the striking colors of the reproductions to the dull details of the originals!
Only in unique art forgeries it is difficult to distinguish between an original painting and a reproduction, since special techniques are used to age the artworks. But that's another story.
No. 2 Reproductions of famous paintings using the technique of printing on canvas
This kind of niche in famous painting prints is on the rise as traditional canvases, mainly cotton, are used with ink prints made by large format printers such as Epson. Within this category there are Giclee canvas prints, with traditional dyes or long-lasting or "archival" pigments.
The word “archival” simply means that pigments are designed to last a very long time and are less prone to deterioration from environmental factors such as light.
Also in this category are embellished fabric prints. The technique is simple, a painting is printed on cotton or synthetic canvas and once it is dry, an artist adds oil on the surface, embellishing the painting and adding the final texture to the replica.
There is a marked difference in texture between replica paintings that are massively printed on canvas (Canvas Prints) and prints made with Glicee, see the chart below:
In the image on the left, the painting is printed with normal ink. On the right, the painting is printed using the Giclee technique .
In both Canvas Print and Giclee, resolution matters! Any image you plan to use to print fine art prints should be at least 300 DPI relative to the physical size you expect to print.
Used interchangeably in the printing world, the term DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and relates to the number of physical dots that are printed within a given square inch.
That said, the look of a high-quality art replica depends a lot on the quality of the original digital image and its resolution. But beware! We know that images with that kind of high resolution are very rare and hard to come by. A simple search on Google for an image that you want to reproduce is not enough as the end result is likely to be very poor and will make the buyer regret the purchase.
No. 3 Reproductions of paintings printed on paper or plates (posters)
When printed offset, an image is divided into four "color channels" known as CMYK. This stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
These prints, also called offset prints, are also subject to the quality of the source image (the resolution), the printer used, the inks and the paper. There is always a risk here that the source image will be of low resolution and therefore the final product will also be of low quality. Although there are photographs of famous paintings in free use on the internet, very few can actually be found with the necessary resolution to make a worthy impression of the work. The only way to do this is by scanning the works on specialized scanners. Of course with this painting reproduction technique there is zero texture, and therefore the “cheap paint” appearance is a characteristic of this type of reproduction. This is not the path for those who want a high-quality print of a painting that will impress visitors to their home or office.
Offset printing is one of the oldest and most widely used printing styles and has been around since the 1870s, but it is not highly recommended for fine art reproductions.
Generally the result is not good and disappoints the buyer. Here it is well worth announcing, without wishing to be burlesque: cheap is expensive!
No. 4 Replicas of paintings authorized by the artist
Reproductions of oil paintings in the visual arts date back to the 16th century, when it was common practice for art students to copy their former masters in order to learn how to paint. The process of copying a masterpiece allowed them to practice a skillful painting style while developing their own style. This allowed ordinary people to hold onto reproductions of oil paintings worth thousands of dollars.
Also the copy of paintings was used in the learning of art. For example, the great Leonardo Da Vinci first learned to paint in the style of his teacher before following his own approach.
By copying, the student learns the artist's method; his way of approaching, the mixture and graduations of color; perspective and line.
In the late 19th century, Degas was diligently copying masterpieces by his favorite artist, Ingres . The artist famous for his series of dancing girls , also made a large-scale careful copy of Poussin 's The Rape of the Sabine Women , which is now in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. The list of famous artists who copied the old masters is endless; Landseer to Rubens ; John Singer Sargent to Velasquez ; Henri Fantin Latour to Titian and Veronese , Géricault to Caravaggio ; Watteau to Titian, Van Dyck to Tintoretto, Matsys to Raphael , to name but a few.
This practice has been so marked that even Picasso himself made famous the phrase, "Good artists copy, great artists steal."
About this famous phrase by Picasso. We would love to make replicas of Picasso paintings, who wouldn't? But the copyright is still with his family and it is at least two decades before the public can enjoy his wonderful work.
The copyright of a painting is maintained an average of 70 to 80 years after the death of the artist, depending on the country.
No. 5 Silkscreen Art Reproductions
The technique of reproducing paintings by serigraphy has existed for more than 100 years.
It is a medium that has been used to amazing effect by artists such as Andy Warhol, Romero Britto, LeRoy Neiman and many others. But what exactly is a screen print? Screen printing is a term that comes from "seri", which means "silk" in Latin, and "graphos", which means "writing" in ancient Greek. The word was coined early in the last century to distinguish the artistic use of the medium from its more common commercial purpose.
Screen printing is familiar to us in countless ways. It is used from t-shirt logos to posters.
The roots of screen printing lie deep in history. The medium was used especially in the Far Eastern countries of China and Japan as a technique for stenciling fabrics and screens. Screen printing is allied with woodblock printing, which first emerged in those countries for similar purposes.
Night of Fantasy, silkscreen by Itzchak Tarkay
The silkscreen technique of reproducing paintings was adopted by European artists and craftsmen in the 15th century and further developed for a wide variety of decorative and artistic applications.
At its most basic level, screen printing involves covering portions of silk or a similar material with a layer. First, the silk is stretched over a frame hinged to a plinth. Then the picture window is masked with masking tape, and a layer of shellac or glue is applied. Any part of the silk that is left exposed becomes the design, through which the paint ink is pressed, using a squeegee or brush.
Actually, this simplified description of screen printing to the extreme hardly does justice to the flexible technique and artistic versatility of the medium.
No. 6 Reproductions of paintings on photographic paper
Good reproductions of paintings on photographic paper are made on archival matte paper. This is the best fine art paper as it is an inexpensive paper for painting reproductions and photographic prints. The reproduction of the painting is done on a smooth surface of heavy paper (230g), neutral white and matte. This paper is designed for accurate color reproduction providing high contrast and high resolution output.
Acid-free paper is preferred for these types of reproductions, making it the perfect choice for both photographs and painting reproductions.
It should be noted that this type of painting reproduction is also subject to the quality of the paper and the resolution of the original image, as is the case with all art reproductions by printing.
How to distinguish the quality in the reproductions of paintings?
When it comes to "quality," even within these categories above there are big differences in price, size, and color fidelity.
At Kuadros we specifically serve a type of demanding clientele that is looking for the reproduction of high-quality oil paintings. Our copies of paintings are made with extreme skill, in which expert artists in the replica of paintings try to get as close as possible to the original intention of the author.
To achieve this, we have the help of more than 60 teachers graduated from schools of plastic arts. These professional Kuadros artists are scattered throughout different parts of the world, from Venezuela to Haiti in the Americas, passing through China, South Korea and Japan, in the Asian continent.
Who commands the stall in the Reproduction of Oil Paintings trade?
There are currently two schools of high-volume reproduction of paintings, one that uses European artists and one that uses art copying in the Chinese market. Companies that use European artists to make copies charge much more for their paintings than companies that use Chinese painters.
But is the abysmal difference in price justified? Let's see below.
What is the difference in quality between these two schools of art reproduction?
It may surprise you that in practice there is no difference in quality marked by the geography of the painter who reproduces the work. Contrary to many of the Chinese products that have a dubious reputation for quality (often a deserved label), Chinese art reproductions are usually equal to or superior to those of European artists. The reason? The Chinese artist has a considerable advantage over the European in experience, since painting reproduction schools located in China have been mass reproducing paintings for at least 3 decades.
It is worth knowing a little about this story. In 1989, a Hong Kong businessman and artist named Huang Jiang visiting Shenzhen City set out to transform the dilapidated Dafen Village into an oil painting reproduction workshop.
Renting several houses and recruiting a dozen apprentices, Huang created a business that functioned like an assembly line, efficiently churning out Van Goghs , Da Vincis , and Rembrandts and selling them around the world. By the late 1990s, Jiang's business had grown to include more than 2,000 workers. Many apprentice artists eventually broke away and formed their own art reproduction projects.
Several of the masters working with Kuadros today come from Master Huang Jiang's original litter of those early artists, collectively having hundreds of years of experience in the replica painting industry.
But not all China reproductions are the same. Today you can buy cheap reproductions of paintings on Chinese portals such as Aliexpress. Many of these replicas are of poor quality, although buyers who don't know the difference can usually be satisfied.
Chinese artists specializing in replica paintings charge quite high to produce their works, as the average production time for a 60x90 painting is at least 2-3 weeks.
What influences the price of a reproduction of an oil painting?
We had already briefly touched on some of the factors that influence replica frame prices. Here we expand the topic with a little more depth.
The price of reproductions of famous paintings is determined by several factors:
- The artist who paints the painting. Good artists and experienced masters are paid higher than apprentices or artists new to the art of reproduction
- The size of the painting. Here it is worth saying that size matters. It is not the same to reproduce a 60x90 painting than a 120x200 canvas, since of course more canvas, more paint and above all, time is needed . In many cases the artist who reproduces paintings charges more for his time than for the materials.
- the cloth Synthetic canvases are cheaper than cotton and cotton cheaper than linen.
- The pigments . Cheap pigments tend to form cracks over time, or lose their original hue. High-quality pigments, on the other hand, are made from fine components designed to last hundreds of years, as in the case of the paintings of the great masters.
- The number of figures in the painting. This factor is obvious, since each face will require a higher effort in the reproduction of detail.
- The level of detail and complexity of the work.
Are reproductions of paintings worth anything?
In general, art reproductions have a low value compared to originals, which are often auctioned in the millions. Replicas of fine art paintings are not normally considered an investment like original art.
On the other hand, there is also no guarantee that an original piece of art will go up in value. Of course, there are exceptions to fine art reproductions, especially oil painting reproductions. For example, if Banksy painted a reproduction of Klimt's The Kiss , then this reproduction would be worth a lot of money, since it would be painted by a famous artist. But in general, art reproductions are worth what someone is going to pay for them in the original store where they are purchased.
Because most copies of paintings have long been undervalued, their authorship was rarely recorded, so today they most often reach us as anonymous works. And yet we make an effort to understand the influence of truly great works on younger or later artists and students who made copies.
Reproductions of famous oil paintings are usually fantastically cheap.
Acquiring a copy of a famous painting would put you in good company: King Charles I, England's most famous and sophisticated art collector, owned a large number of replica paintings (approximately 70), including numerous copies of paintings whose originals had already they were in his power. In addition to purchasing these paintings himself, Charles also received copies of paintings as gifts from members of the court.
As in the example of King Charles, it is evident that the satisfaction in owning a replica of a painting does not lie in its commercial value, but rather in being able to admire a bit of that vision that the artist wanted to capture on his original work.
Some advice before buying a reproduction of an oil painting:
In the painting industry, you really do get what you pay for. If you opt for a print reproduction, don't expect too much.
Always compare the replica to the original so you can see the differences and judge for yourselves how good or bad a reproduction is.
It is almost impossible to reproduce an oil painting with 100% accuracy. Don't be fooled by misleading claims. Here it is worth the exceptionof art forgeries .
You should also examine the warranty provided by the provider.
Be realistic about how long you should wait for your painting to play. Unless it's a printed painting, oil paintings take several weeks to be painted, dried, carefully packaged so they don't get damaged, and shipped to their final destination.
The average for a buyer to receive that desired painting is at least 4-6 weeks, but in some cases this time can be extended to 8 or 10 weeks, depending on the complexity of the work of art.
About Reproductions of Famous Oil Paintings by Kuadros
Our museum-quality reproductions of paintings are 100% hand-painted by professional artists with years of experience creating replica oil paintings on canvas.
All of our paintings come directly from the artist's studio. This means that we do not work with intermediaries, nor do we have galleries or showrooms.
The hallmark of Kuadros's paintings is quality in relation to its price, since each work, in addition to being painted by an expert artist, is periodically reviewed by masters specifically in charge of quality control.
The result of a replica painting made by a professional Kuadros artist is a work of exceptional beauty just for you.
We include for transparency, the 3 best online companies that offer the painting replica service, according to the ranking that we establish for the cost-benefit ratio:
Sale of replicas of famous paintings: top 3 companies
In any of these 3 places you can buy a good replica of a painting, whether it is a famous painting that you have fallen in love with (for example, Waterhouse's Pandora ), or that family portrait that you have wanted for years to hang on the wall. from your home.
In the end, you as the buyer have the last word. Good luck in your final decision, and may you enjoy that painting that you long for in your heart!
Kuadros, a famous painting on his wall.