View Full Version : Creating Giclee prints for your ACEO's.....

03-07-2006, 12:07 PM
Hi all, I've been searching high and low trying to figure out how to get some Giglee prints made of my ACEO cards and just wanted to share with you what I ended up doing........ I'll follow up later to let you know if I was satisfied with the results.;) Most printing companies will only print as small as 8 x 8 inches.... here is my attempt at a solution:

Through the WC forums, I found a link to an online printing center at www.finerworks.com and created an account. I then scanned my original ACEO watercolor painting at 300 DPI and opened it in Fireworks (a graphic editing software-- you could do this with PhotoShop too). I then proceeded to make the size of the background/canvas 1100 x 1300 pixels, which allows you to copy and paste your image 3 across and 5 down for a total of 15 images. The size of this canvas/background lets you keep a small white margin around each image too to give a little room for cutting when you get the print.

I then saved the file as a PNG (for future use with the editing software) then exported it in TIF format. Via www.finerworks.com, I uploaded the TIF image and specified the paper size as 11.9 inches wide by 14 inches tall.

I selected the "Fine Art Paper" for what it would be printed on, and placed an order for one print. The unit cost for this size and paper came out to $14.99 plus $5.95 for shipping for a total of $20.94. Unfortunately, the shipping seems a little steep for this and is based on the sum of the cost- so additional prints adds to the cost of shipping- doesn't seem good to me.

So the price per card will work out to $1.40 each. I have no idea if it's worth it..... but if I could sell them for about $3 to $5 each I could make some profit. Whether this is worth it or not I have no idea- i'd like to hear some other opinions!

Like I mentioned before- I have not received these yet, but I will follup up with the results.


03-09-2006, 08:19 AM
Thanks for the info, Goff!

I've been looking all over the place to make giclées of my aceos also. I'll go check your place out and would love to know how they turned out when you receive them - although I think the price is a little too much, they exagerate a bit with the shipping...

I did find this place : allpconline.com
By my calculations, if you use, let's say a 30 x 40 sheet, you can put about 132 aceos on there and they come to 59 cents each... the larger the paper the cheaper the price, (I didn't calculate with a white border all around them) - although I don't know how much they charge for shipping. I wrote to them to get some info but they haven't answered yet, very frustrating (this was 4 days ago) I guess I would have to call.

Thanks again

03-09-2006, 03:11 PM
This may be a silly question, but if you do prints is that misleading to the buyer of the original or is that okay since it is the original? Or do you mean doing this with new cards and then selling them as an original with numbered addition. I'm so new at this I'm not sure what you do with any of this. Anyhow, just wondering? Would love to hear about how the prints turn out. So be sure to post and let us know. janine

03-09-2006, 05:22 PM
Gigi.... thanks for the reply.... I'll check out that link and let you know how my prints look.... although after I processed the order I realized a should/could of made my images at a higher resolution. I think it was only about 150 DPI and I should have had it at 300. Oh well, if they are not that good, I may try another set at 300 DPI or try the url you suggested....

Janine- there are different ways to go about it, but I think it comes down to communicating your intentions to your audience. In some cases, you may decide to sell your original, but it would be respectful to make it clear to the buyer of the original that you may use that image for a limited edition run of prints... say 50 or so. On the other hand, you may decide to not even the sell the original (which is what I am considering) and just sell the card as a prints only-- then just sell as many prints as you want. Just be clear in the auction that the item IS a print and not the original. I guess I've been struggling with selling originals or prints... mainly because the selling price difference OVERALL is not that different.... most GOOD ORIGINAL Aceo cards sell for about $10 to $20.... and I see a good number of artists selling just prints for just a little less than that range. In fact.... a well done painting of a cat was sold recently as an Aceo PRINT for $26. If I made just $5 for each of the 100 prints that cost me $140, I've profited $360. Imagine if they each sold for about $20! Wishful thinking I know- but if you work hard and do good detailed work, I think the prints will sell nicely too.

That's my two cents.....:)

03-09-2006, 05:32 PM
Gigi... I've been following your auctions.. and you do EXCELLENT work... you should certainly consider selling prints instead of the originals... (or both)

You must put in at least 2-3 hours for each card.. and if they sell for $20 to $30, then your only making about $10 per hour. You could make prints of those birds and sell 50 of each bird as a print and make at least $500 for the effort of one painting.

$10 per hour versus $166 per hour.... I'd sell the prints!;)

Something to consider!

03-09-2006, 07:21 PM
(Hi all - newbie here - still finding my way around wetcanvas!)

Artwanted.com just spun off a new site called artcardswanted.com (http://www.artcardswanted.com), and they are offering an art card print service. I'm pretty sure they're NOT Giclee, but I wanted to mention them as a prints option anyway, just in case you guys hadn't heard about them yet.

Anyway - something to check into, in any case!

03-09-2006, 09:28 PM
Thanks Kristen! And welcome aboard! You will love this place- it's very addicting!

03-09-2006, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the info, Kristen! I'll certainly check it out.

Thanks for the kind words, Geoff, and yes, I can spend up to 4 hours on a painting. Many artists I really admire on ebay sell the original of their ACEO and then put up a limited number of prints for sale. I don't see any harm in that since the artist owns the copyright of his art. The person who bought the original still has the original, which has more value.

I'm considering having about 10 prints of a few aceos to begin with and see how that goes. I've seen artists who do beautiful work but have trouble selling prints. I just don't want to pay a fortune for prints and then get stuck with them.

Good luck and be sure to tell us how your prints turned out.

03-09-2006, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Geoff! Glad to be able to add something to a thread here!


03-09-2006, 10:57 PM

I also suppose things depend on what you are trying to accomplish with your art too... In reality, we shouldn't be in this for the money, but for the passion of creating wonderful peices of art. In your case, you have some extreme talent with the birds.... I think you should try to find some avenue for putting that talent for publication be it books or something like greeting cards. I'm sure the person that gets your cards is on cloud nine (i know I would be!) with the quality of your work. I just think it's a shame that you aren't getting $100 or more for your cards. Don't you have a hard time parting with those for $30 after you just spent 4-5 hours laboring over it? You are SOOO worth more than that! I guess what kills me is that there are cards that are not even half as good as yours selling for $20.

Sorry for rambling - I just think you have a special gift and you should be able to better recoupe your time and effort. Here is another way to look at the print situation- Say you do something similar to what I am trying... that is, pay about $1.40 per printed card (hopefully we can find a better deal)...... IF they don't sell, you could take those cards and fasten them to good paper stock and use them as fronts for Thank You or Get Well cards for friends and family..... STILL cheaper than going down to the drug store and paying $3.50 for a card!:thumbsup:

I am willing to bet that you will sell ALL your prints in a reasonable amount of time- they are THAT good! Don't sell yourself short.:)


03-10-2006, 08:30 AM
Thanks Geoff, I really appreciate your encouragements and support! :)
I have a confession to make : I started out doing these aceos for the fun of it, but now I've started dreaming of making some money with them. Why aren't artists supposed to think about money? I don't know where that came from... probably a gallery owner started that rumor ;) We have bills and rent to pay, and eat just as everyone else, no?

Greeting cards are a good idea and I want to try and print some of those. Ideally, a few really beautiful and popular stores here in Montreal will want to try them. Licensing is another area I've been dreaming about lately. That would be the greatest! :clap:

I do seem to be stuck near that 40$ mark on ebay, but when I think about it, when I started selling them last year I told myself I would be happy if I could sell them for 20$. The more you get the more you want ;) Only a handful of artists get the money they deserve on ebay, and frankly I think my cards are doing very well. A lot of others don't even sell, so I'm certainly not going to complain. Of course I wish I could get more (doesn't everyone?), but 35$ is 35$ - when I paint I'm happy and it gives me so much pleasure to know that total strangers all over North America have my cards in their home! :)

I'll have to go back to full-time work soon (I quit my job last July to offer myself a few months of painting) and won't be having so much time to paint very soon :crying: How depressing... it seems now that days are much too short for me now to do all I want - but I won't give up my dream!


03-10-2006, 09:13 AM
All I have to say is...dead on on all your posts. To be honest with you Gigi, you are one of the very best on Ebay right now. I've shown your work to some friends and they are in awe at your birds. You should put out prints, I so believe that people will pay as much for you limited editions as your originals! I mean numbered and signed, they will pay for sure, your work is just so beautiful! I understand about the original thing now. That is why we keep our rights, and they do still own the only original, it can only be good for them if the prints do real well! I ck in on your auctions now and then, I'm amazed!. I agree with you about being grateful. When you guys motivated me to sell on ebay, I was glad just to know that people all over the country were watching my work! Now some live in IL, and MD, and WI. How completely cool is that! Your talent is awesome, you will do well! Keep painting, because I think your art could make you some pretty good wages, and the heck with that full time job! But thats just my humble opinion! janine

03-10-2006, 10:09 AM
Thanks Janine! You guys are giving me such a boost!
I loooove your puppies - that chocolate lab in your signature looks adorable! And the statue is awesome too, I've always been fascinated by statues.
I'm happy your art is doing well on ebay - you deserve it!

03-10-2006, 11:40 AM
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks Gigi has more potential!:D

Gigi, especially now that you will be having limited time to do the paintings... even more reason to consider getting involved with prints.... so when you do find a 4 hour window, you can create a masterpiece and let it sell it as prints for a month or so until you can find time to do another.

Not that we are trying to be pushy or anything- we completely respect your talent and decisions. I think it's more that we just hope you see your potential as much as we do! I think if you took a slightly different marketing strategy with your paintings, you wouldn't HAVE to go back to that full time job-- and rather do something you love!:heart:

I won't bug you anymore... :)

03-12-2006, 03:31 PM
I agree with everyone. I have your listed as one of my fav sellers. Each week I check your link just to drool over your work. I would love to have a teensy weensy bit of your talent. Can you send some over.

I have found that when I take a break from painting, it takes me so long to get back into the swing of things and get a painting done that I am really happy with. I threw 3 in the trash today because they look so crappy.

Goodluck with your auctions, they seem to be going great.

03-12-2006, 08:56 PM
I'm very touched by all your comments and encouragements. Really.
And Goff, you're not bugging me at all, on the contrary - you make me see things in a different perspective, which is great! It's always good to have other people's opinions, sometimes our nose is too close to the subject to see the whole picture. It's the same thing when I paint sometimes : after having my nose close to the painting for hours I think it looks awful :( until I scan it and see it on the computer under a new light.

Susan, it's the same for me, as soon as I spend some time without painting it's always difficult to get it right when I get back to it, and I experience moments of panic thinking I've lost "it". :eek:

I tried to go see your acrylics but your link doesn't work... maybe it's just me?

Thanks so much for your encouragements and suggestions!
Goff, have you received your prints yet?

Gigi :wave:

03-13-2006, 07:52 AM
Prints should be in tomorrow..... keep your fingers crossed. I already know there are a couple things I would have done differently with this process in terms of DPI, but oh well, live and learn! I think I'm going to have to think about purchasing a better scanner too. Anyone know of any good scanners?

03-14-2006, 07:14 PM
Prints came in today.... I am not pleased with the results- and it's MY fault, not fineworks.com. Although I scanned at 300 DPI, I discovered that when I composed them onto a single image, I had done it at 100 DPI. Although my wife thinks they are good, I can tell that they are missing the clarity. Oh well, I'll glue them to card stock and use as thank you cards.:crying:

Overall, I am VERY pleased with the process of ordering prints from this company. The packaging was super- rolled in brown wrapping, then inserted in very strong packaging tube, with additional padding on each end. I will certainly try them again, but just gotta make sure my dang DPI is correct! Live and learn.

Lady Rando
03-15-2006, 09:06 AM
I also print giclees of my ACEO's. I own an Epson 9600 and am able to print on watercolor papers up to 44" wide. After I print them I then mount them to archival mat board. I also include a COA with every card thats states edition size, date printed and materials used to create print. They sell pretty well for me. I've printed ACEO's for other artists and I think some of them do not mount the cards, no need to really since the papers I use are 140 lb. I just like the look of it for my own cards :)

03-15-2006, 12:51 PM
Hi Geoff -- thanks for the update on your giclees. I've been following your story with interest.

Newbie question here: I took an ATC over to the local store and scanned it on their photo kiosk. The machine put them 9 on a page, so I trimmed them up at home. The prints looked rather good, and I attached them to greeting cards for friends. The kiosk makes a big deal about the print quality -- Kodak paper, etc. These are probably prints lower quality than giclees, right? By how much? It was awfully convenient...