Printing Advice for Snap Art

General Tips
Make sure you resize your image to the final image dimensions before you run Snap Art. This will give you the clearest details. You can use Photoshop’s crop tool or Alien Skin Blow Up to do your resizing.

You will get the most detailed results if your image is 300 dpi. You can go down to 180 dpi without losing much detail, especially when you print on canvas or thick fine art paper. We don’t recommend going below 180 dpi.

Printing on Canvas
APC has graciously given us promo code ALIENSKIN0900 for 10% off of all products and services except taxes/shipping. We don’t get any sort of kickback. We just like their work so much that we think you should try it.

We have found that both the Impasto and Oil Paint filters can look amazing when printed on Canvas. The lighting effect of the Impasto filter is more dramatic and three-dimensional than the Oil Paint filter, so use that if you want the paint to look thick. However, Oil Paint also produces great results and will look more like a traditional oil painting, just a little softer.

We have found that glass framing is not ideal since the reflections can be distracting. If you do want to frame with glass to keep your print protected, consider anti-reflective glass. However, a non-glass frame or a gallery wrap will look the best in our opinion.

Gallery Wrap
We love the look of a gallery wrapped canvas. As you can see in the photo, the canvas is stretched around a frame to create a really cool look! When you make a gallery wrap you need to decide what to put on the edges. If you wrap the original image you will lose some of the image content on the front so other options include reflecting the sides (not good if there is a face), or just using a solid color such as white or black.

We have tried it ourselves and there are some kits to do it. It isn’t too hard but if you want the best results we recommend you get someone else to do it for you. We sent out some test prints (anonymously) to several companies. Here is our recommendation.

APC (Artistic Photo Canvas):
artisticphotocanvas.com
We found it really easy to upload an image to their site. We were impressed that APC had a number of options for handling the wrapped edges (image wrap, reflect, custom color or artists choice). The results were extremely impressive. There was no cracking at the edges, the color was excellent and we really like the matte finish to the canvas. APC makes the highest quality canvas prints we have seen. They only print on canvas and have it down to a science.

Matte Fine Art Paper
We printed on a number of Hahnemühle Matte Fine Art papers and had great results. Filters like Color Pastel, Watercolor, Pen and Ink and Pencil Sketch are ideally printed on a matte fine art paper of some sort, although I also like to make Oil Paint and Pointillism prints on fine art paper too. You can buy a Hahnemühle Paper Sampler that contains a variety of paper types in 8.5x11 inch sheets if you want to explore some different styles. I like “Photo Rag (308gsm)” for pastels and when I want more detail. It is relatively smooth and is a pretty nice weight but is not as rough as some of the other papers I tested. The “Torchon (285gsm)” has a really dramatic, “wavy” texture that is great for watercolor prints. “William Turner (310 gsm)” has a pretty rough texture that is good for Watercolor, Pastel or pencil renderings. And “Albrecht Durer (210 gsm)” resembles a traditional watercolor paper but I have had some nice results with a variety of filters.

Here are some recommendations for paper types by filter.

 CanvasMatte Fine Art PaperLuster or Glossy Paper
Color Pencil x 
Comics xx
Impastox  
Oil Paintxx 
Pastel x 
Pencil Sketch x 
Pen and Ink x 
Pointillismx  
Stylize  x
Watercolor x 

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