View Full Version : printers and pastels

02-14-2003, 05:19 AM
Hi Pastelists,
I am going to have to buy a new printer (my old Epson Stylus 740 broke down) and I have posted in the business thread, BUT, I would really like to know what type of printer Pastelists use?!

Are you happy with your printer - what do you use it for - any tips?

I want to print business cards, greeting cards and probably some reproductions (limited editions)

Would love to hear from you'all!


02-14-2003, 09:16 AM
Hi Soap, my printer is older than yours and just given up the ghost. :D It's an Epson 400, so will be interested to hear any advice that's offered here too. Thanks for starting this thread.


02-14-2003, 09:18 AM
Make sure you have a look here too:


I posted it here, because pastel reproductions might require different printers than, for instance, oils or photos.


02-14-2003, 09:20 AM
Will do soap, thanks for the link. :)

02-14-2003, 09:40 AM

I have an Epson PhotoStylus 900 (at least I think that is the name -- I am in Florida and not at home). I have been extremely happy with all the printing, and I also do notecards, greeting cards, brochures and business cards.

I will be interested to hear what others have to say. My printer is probably close to 3 years old and so I know I will soon be in the market for one also. Whatever the new generation of the same type of printer for the Epson 900 would be the first one I would look at.

Thanks for asking the question, looking forward to hearing replies.

02-14-2003, 10:12 AM
Soap ...and anyone else interested.

For greetings cards etc, any photo quality printer will do, but if you want to tackle some limited edition prints, then you should seriously consider a printer which will use LIGHTFAST inks, or else your limited edition prints will fade very quickly indeed. I have done a lot of research into this, and please believe me, this is a really important point to take on board.

Not only do you need the lightfast inks, but you have to make sure that you use appropriate media to print on too. Epson will be able to advise you which printer to buy - call them, they are usually very helpful. be sure to explain what you want to do with it.

Also, take a look at the Wilhelm Imaging Research Centre's website. Dont know the address, but you can find it thro Google, I am sure. They will tell you which papers work best with which inks.........tho Epson may give yu this advice too. The Wilhelm institute is likely to be less biased however! Hahnemuhle papers are good to consider, they work with most lightfast inks.

My Epson 1270 takes the lightfast inks, which are more expensive than regular inks, but you can get them cheaper than the shops, if you scour the internet. I make LE reproductions, up to A3 size on this printer, and the colour results are stunning.
there may be a different printer on the market by now, I have had mine for a year or so.
Hope this helps.

02-14-2003, 10:46 AM
wanted to joing the thread :) .... good one soap ... I got a new Epson 830 for Chrissie ... is definately a better quality for printing than my other Epson ... only using it for personal use... but would like to learn more .... you do have to mess about with the colours in your programmes ... as well at least mine do not print out how they look like on the scree .... not sure about papers ..... Sunny knows quite alot about the printers and papers .... as they need to archival too ... think one of the links she gave me was www.inkjet.com
and of course

02-14-2003, 11:14 AM
Back again. Soap, I just realised you are UK based.

For some really good advice about printers/inks/papers, you could call a company called DIA NIELSEN, who are the distributors of Hahnemuhle papers here in the UK. Ask to speak to Mark Messina, on 0208 369 5577. Explain that you want to produce your own LE prints, on a suitable printer, and ask which printer he would suggest. He might even send you a sample pack of papers if you ask nicely! I have used their Albrecht Durer paper for prints, it is wonderful. Tell Mark I told you to call!!

I also got good advice from the Epson Helpdesk - 0870 163 7766.

f you do buy a printer which takes lightfast inks, and want to buy them cheaper than the shops, I get mine from www.MX2.com, in Guernsey. I get the real Epson inks, but they are much cheaper than from my local computer stores.

You could alsos call The On-Line Paper Company, and have a chat to them about the archival quality of their papers, and what printers and inks they recommend. They are really helpful. 01892 771245. I use their double-sided Bockingford Inkjet papers, which are brilliant ... if you make a mess of a print on one side, you can still use the other side! They are good for price too.

Good luck!

02-14-2003, 11:23 AM
Thanks everybody, and Jackie: I've sent Mark an email straight away, since I already had contact with him over a sample pack (which I received - and it looks great. All I need is a working printer now.....)

02-14-2003, 01:02 PM

About a year ago I bought a Hewlett Packard Photosmart 1115 printer and I absolutely love it. It is easy to take digital pics of landscapes or whatever you want to paint, and tweak them in photoshop and they print perfectly. I get true photo quality if I print on the highest setting with glossy photo paper which, by the way is 1/4 the retail price at Costo. I was told the new Epson printers are proprietary and you can only use their ink and their paper with them, which can be very limiting. This photosmart also has an option to plug in your camera and download the pics from the camera. The only down side is that the cartidges are pretty spendy. Anyway, I love mine. Good luck with your search for a printer.


02-15-2003, 05:29 AM
I wonder who told you, Shari, that you can only use Epson inks and papers with Epson printers? Of course, Epson PREFER you to use their papers, they want to sell them after all, and so they plug them..............but I use other brands of papers with my Epson, and the inks are reasonably priced so why not use them. I have tried all sorts of inkjet papers, and had good results with most of them. I am no expert on this subject, and if you speak to people who ARE expert, they will tell you all sorts of scary things about fading and longevity and chroma etc etc...........but personally, I have found that my prints, done with lightfast inks, on my Epson, on Hahnemuhle papers, are still as bright and crisp today as they were over a year ago, and that is when they have been left out in daylight conditions, on a windowsill!!! Not a bad test, I reckon.

How they will be in 25 years is another matter. But given what I charge for them, I do not think it matters too much. They are prints, after all, not originals.

02-15-2003, 12:16 PM
...that you can only use Epson inks and papers with Epson printers?

There is some truth to this. The companies formulate their inks and papers to work together. On the wrong paper, or using the wrong ink, will create larger dots, the colors may be off a bit, and it will probably not last as long. However, I don't think the loss is that great. You can test for your own satisfaction.

Being the cynic, I believe they've worked on this just to sell their own inks and papers. Ever notice how much more the Epson inks are than others?

Another think to watch out for. Many of the newer printers have computers to monitor the ink cartridges. The flip-side of this is that the printer won't work with another brand of ink cartridge. The printer will also refuse to print if you run out of any color in the cartridge. So you can't finish off the little-used colors.

However, having said that, I use an Epson printer and am quite happy with it. I use Epson inks, but almost any paper will do.

-Randy, the cynic

02-15-2003, 01:53 PM
Randy, if you think Epson inks are expensive, take a look at some of the others!!

I just finished printing a whole batch of images, using Bockingford double-sided inkjet paper, and also Hahnemuhle's Natural Line "linen" coated inkjet paper. I used an Epson 1270, with Epson Lightfast Inks (bought cheaply over the internet). The colours match what I have on screen, with really good results. I have tested Epsonp papers, and they do not give me better results,. However, this was a while back, when Epson were not producing the lovely papers that Hahnemule use - proper watercolour paper, which is specially coated. If tyhey do have those papers now, it might be worth trying them. However, my prints are so close to the original colours that it is quite mind-blowing, considering a computer printer did the job.


02-15-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Nodosaurus

Another think to watch out for. Many of the newer printers have computers to monitor the ink cartridges. The flip-side of this is that the printer won't work with another brand of ink cartridge. The printer will also refuse to print if you run out of any color in the cartridge. So you can't finish off the little-used colors.

-Randy, the cynic

This is very true Randy, ... I was bought a gadget that you can inject colours into your empty cartridges... was supposed to be able to use on any brand !!! - wouldn't work on my Epson!!, it had a 'chip' in it to recognise its own ink type :(

02-17-2003, 04:28 AM
Also posted in the inkjet thread:

In my quest for info on printers I wrote to www.onlinepaper.co.uk and got a long and friendly answer. I asked for advice on buying printers, since I want to print my pastel paintings on fine art papers. I suggested the 2100/2200 or the C82. I'll give you a summary of their answer for anyone interested. Make note, their remarks are COMMENTS and only that, based on their experience and the reports they got from customers.

"Firstly, when u are buying a printer, experience shows that eventually we all want something bigger - the difference between the price of an A4 and it's A3 equivalent are not extreme [...]"

"...have used Epson printers because their print and ink technology has been unbeatable "

"some do not buys": They advice AGAINST the 2000P and the 2100/2200, because apparently customers have reported problems with the colors. ("...a peculiar bronzing effect in some lights that the prints exhibit.") The 2100/2200 does not seem to work very well on glossy papers.

They do recommend the Epson 890 (A4) or the Epson 1290 (A3) and had many "glowing reports" from customers about them. The new dye based inks are very good and are much more longlasting then their earlier equivalents. "...do not take too much notice of any statement by Epson about longevity, there is small print that takes away any value in their warranties or undertakings however even so, their inks are as far as we can see, the best available and under the right conditions will produce lasting prints."

Apparently you can also change the ink system in the 1290 for 'continuous inks' or even pigmented ink later.
Very interesting development indeed......I does change my ideas a bit, since I believe they have quite some expertise inhouse.
And the 2100/2200 is very expensive, so...

02-17-2003, 07:48 AM
good research. Encapsulates what I learned when I went out to buy, and it is why I bought the 1270, the one before the 1290 appeared. It really is first class.

I think you will be very happy with a 1290.

Good luck

02-17-2003, 09:05 AM

This is an excellent thread discussing types of prints....which is very important if you are thinking of getting into the print market...pixelscape focuses on digital prints in this thread. Also included in this thread is information on Epson printers, quality of inks..etc...HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading

You can use other inks in an Epson printer..I think the only thing it does is voids you warrenty with Epson....The link that Dark Shade gave to you ..www.inkjet.com is excellent..

I have an Epson 2200...It is worth every penny..For me is prints excellently on every type of paper...print up to 2880x1440dpi. I can print up to 13 x 44 inches. On different weights of paper..one of my favorites is Arches watercolor paper..works brilliantly..I use the Lysonic Inks for all of the reasons pixelscapes mentions in the thread...Color management is the one of the keys to printing an image from your computer...what appears on your screen, usually isn't what prints out...so an understanding of Photoshop or any program you have to adjust your colors..is imperrative...I don't have any problems with a bronzing effect..could be because I am using the Lysonic inks..they are the best esp. for archival purposes....

Also in case you don't read the thread..there is a difference in how you have to market your prints...A digital painting..a painting done in the computer ..is considered to be like a plate..kind of like a wood block...limited edition prints can be marketed and sold as an original print..in a limited edtion...then one would destroy the original image on the computer...

A painting that you scan or take with a digital camera...and than make a print of from your computer is a reproduction...A reproduction isn't worth as much as an original print...

Explained in greater detail in thread.....

hope this helps...:) Good luck in what you decide soap

02-18-2003, 10:27 AM
I have, sort of, decided to go for the 2100 (2200 in the US). Just have to count my pennies first.

The 1290 seems very good too, but does not take separate color cartridges, and separate ones seem more economical than one bunch together. (You can refill only the colors that you use most). The light fastness of the printer output is one of the shortest done by Epson; 20 years in good conditions. I am still struggling with the question how long I think my repro's should last. I agree with Jackie that they are not originals and 20 years seems fine to me. But if they fade within 5 years, I would be disappointed. My greeting cards should also be able to handle watermarks and I am not sure if these dye based inks can take that.

The 2100/2200 gets praise all over the world. It really seems as the best of the best. It is very good on matte papers. The issue is only; am I worth such a fancy printer? ;)

The Epson C82 has archival inks, but only performs very well on plain, uncoated papers. People here at WC (see inkjet tread in business forum) have successfully tried other papers, but still.....

That leaves the 950/960 which seems very good on photo quality (and on photo glossy papers), but is only A4 (as is the C82) and it has (as the 1290) no archival qualities ('just' 25 years).

The 2200/2100 is recommended by everybody and everyone on the net as top quality, and ideal for fine art prints. All I need to do is get over the hick-up of the price.

Hope this was helpful for anyone.


02-18-2003, 12:44 PM
I am sure you are worth the fancy printer...also keep in mind, the customer is worth it to....with the knowledge you have gained in your research...with the archival qualities that the inks and the paper that you use only adds to the quality of the print you will be offering.

You can supply a certificate of authenticity..including the type of paper and quality of inks..and what ever other pertinent information about the artwork and yourself that you feel the buyer would need to know.

It adds a level of professionlism to you as the artist...and the buyer really appreciates the extra care that you have put into your product. I think Mo has a quote at the bottom of her posts that says..art is easy, selling art is hard....something to that effect....The painting is only a part of what you are selling...the print, the marketing...the extras...all go together to promote yourself.

Once again luck to you...you get past the hick-up pretty quickly


02-18-2003, 07:34 PM
Sunny, thanks for your post, I'm also thinking very seriously of going for the Epson 2100, I've scored the net and the cheapest price so far I've found is around 534, quite an investment, which I wouldn't be able to do until the spring, but like soap I'm hestitant in so much as whether:

Will it be worth it, because.

a) Will I be able to sell enough prints to make it pay?

b) Do I need a degree to understand how to work it?

c) With the additional costs of the inks and paper...would it be cheaper in the long run to get prints done elsewhere? Also, would I then need an A3 Scanner?

Mulling things over here.


02-19-2003, 04:13 AM
Hi Mo,
Since you're in the UK it makes sense to share my 'shopping homework' with you. The cheapest 2100 I found (on the net) is 518 (incl. postage) at savastore.com. I don't know this internet shop, but Dabs.com does it for 526 (incl. postage) and Comet for 525.
I am going to buy mine via the net - saves a lot of running around to shops that don't stock it.

I am certainly not sure if I am going to sell enough prints to make it pay for itself. I don't count on it - since I am only just starting out in the 'art business'. But this printer, so it seems, provides every opportunity to go as far (or not) as you like.

As for a degree.........I think these things are pretty complicated. I am thinking of buying the book "Mastering Digital Printing" by
H. Johnson, it will cost around 22 at Amazon. But there's more costs to this little game called art then......;)

The most difficult thing is to get the colours right on your print-out. Endlessly playing around with Magenta and Cyan levels........I am soo looking forward to it..........but my old printer had the same problem.....

Anyway, we can share the burden via WC!


02-19-2003, 05:26 AM
Working with the printer is fairly easy. As soap suggested, it will be trial and error to achieve the colors on your print..that is the most difficult part of using any printer...I use a cheaper paper for testing the colors..and print a smaller size for testing, to use less ink...some I get lucky on the first print...some I need to keep tweaking the color balance the most, up to about 8 times before settling on a color match.

Another thing to keep in mind...the Epson Ink cartridges for this printer are relativily inexpensive compared to other printers I own..yes there are 6 ink cartridges as opposed to 4....which i have seen the price at different times to be under 20.00...

As far as selling enough prints to make it pay for itself...million dollar question...which i wish I could answer...this is where marketing comes in. you need to ask yourself some questions and continue to do some research...
1. where would i sell these prints.
2. what sizes
3. what will my retail prices be
a. If I want to print notecards...than I have to remember the cost of envelopes.
b. Depending on where i will sell these prints..how will I present them..matted, clear acid free protective cover...all costs to be added to the retail price.

Deciding on a retail price is very important...you have to keep in mind all the costs
associated...each question relates to each other...if you decide to market some of your work in a consignment shop..you have to keep in mind the percentage the owner will have to make...if you are going to sell at Ebay...you have to keep in mind the costs associated with that market...I try as close as i can to figure out the total cost of something..when I arrive at that figure..I double it and add 20% above that figure...that covers most of the other expenditures I may incur.

(other expenditures may include advertising, promotional material, the cost of doing business..like licenses..etc...)

I set specific sizes...so my mats can be bought in bulk...or I can cut a backstock of mats to have on hand..also helps with pricing.

In answer to your question, would it be cheaper to get prints done elsewhere...it depends..if you are talking about somewhere where you can walk in from the street and get a few copies from your original....than ok..but than you have to rely on quality of ink and paper...which I don't think you can get for an inexpensive price...so you would have to go to a printer that provides a better product, probably invest in at least a minimum run of from 50 to 100 prints...Then you have inventory, which must be stored properly and sold to get your return on investment....which in my opinion is harder to do than investing in the printer...and printing what you need, when you have a sale or for display purposes.

My digital camera is sufficient enough to for scanning..

I know this all sounds daunting...its the business side of art ....and once you answer some of those questions...it really becomes easier...

I know you are interested in selling on Ebay....I have only begun to learn about that market...so I may be off base here....people are buying original art for sometimes the price of a reproduction.....I do believe that artists are selling reproductions...I would find a couple and watch their auctions...to see how they are selling....what their getting for their reproductions..etc....

Soap...thanks for sharing all you research....

If I can help with anything...i'll be gald to:)

02-19-2003, 05:34 AM
Another small note I found while trying to compare printing my own stuff or going to a professional printer: I found that the good printer companies (in the UK) provide great repro's (from the samples they provided me) but are very expensive. Often you need to take a minimum, as Sunny said, of 500 or 1000 and it will cost you anything from 250 or 500.

The affordable ones provide simple and cheap postcards, but do not provide colour proofing. You simply hand in a digital image and they print. As the screensettings, and image software of everybody is different, this seems the worst to me. They can print out your art work in horribly different colours! Not a good idea I thought.

With you own printer you can control costs, colour, quality, size, number of prints - everything. Sounds good to me.


02-20-2003, 08:27 PM
Thanks soap, I think it was Dabs I found the price I quoted.

I did have ome prints done about 18 months ago, just a run of 50, but it cost me 75 to have the painting professionally scanned (around a drum, but I have the cd now for future prints), and then of course the cost of the prints, which were then about 30p per print + 35 set up fees, so overall it cost me around 115. They were A3 size prints on textured archival paper using archival inks guaranteed to last 100 years, with a very nice text describing the painting under the print.

I've reaped that money back and still have some prints to spare. But no doubt these prices will be higher today.

I'm still pondering this one. But thanks for the information.


02-20-2003, 08:40 PM
Sunny, thank you for your very wise advice, yes it is a bit daunting, you would think by now after painting since over 25 years I would have explored all the possibilities of selling my art. I have in some repsects, but living in an industrial town which is really a cultural desert, it is very hard to find outlets for my art.
I've had a few commissions, but I've sold more to friends over the internet, than any where else.
I once had six of my oil paintings in a gallery, they all sold, but by the time the gallery took their commission I was left out of pocket, so have been shy of galleries ever since. So this is why I thought I'd try Ebay, I'm also new to the idea too. But having sold one, I suppose it's encouragement for me to try again. I wouldn't sell my serious stuff there though, not yet anyway.

Anyway I digress, but thanks for all the info Sunny and taking the time to answer, I will certainly takeit all on board.


09-22-2004, 06:47 PM
Hi everyone,
A few related questions: Does anyone have any advice for taking digital photos of your paintings, that is, flash, no flash, direct light, accent lighting, close up, etc.? Also, if you make prints of your paintings, what paper is best to use? Should you always make the print size the size of the original painting? Also, when creating greeting cards from your paintings, do you use special copy paper or is it easier to just take it to a copy store? Sorry to bombard you with so many questions, but you are all such a wealth of information. -margo

09-22-2004, 08:11 PM
This link might make useful reading. It's a reaonably easy to understand explanation of colour management between PC and printer. I'm not recommending this site in any way, just came across it and thought the info looked useful.


09-23-2004, 01:28 AM

Try that thread. There is an older one as well in the business forum.

Your questions cannot be answered in a few lines. There are loads of fine art inkjet papers to try, some are expensive and professional, others cheaper and less professional. It depends if you want to sell greeting cards and repro's but I would not do anything in a copyshop as the quality of a photocopy is simply not good enough. It will fade soon. But as freebies or give-aways they might be a nice idea.
I don't use my digital camera for repro's although you can work from large files for small prints. A scanner gives much better results.
An idea might also be to use one of the reproduction companies (there's a few that are partners of WC) and have them reproduce your pictures into giclees or greeting cards. Some are quite affordable!
Would love to answer more of your questions, but you've opened up a HUGE area of info that takes a while to learn. Read up, look on the net and see what you want to do. Ask if you want to know more

(PS, this is a very old thread - I noticed I wrote back then I was going for a 2200 Epson printer. I did not. I bought a 1290.....)

09-23-2004, 03:23 AM
I recently upgraded from my 1270 to a 1290, and have produced some absolutely wonderful prints on it, using Lyson specially-coated paper for digital printing, and also various papers from the Hahnemuhle range.

I photograph my paintings using a 5 megapixel camera set to the highest quality. And believe it or not, I get fantastic prints A4 size, and also A3 size! Framed, they look stunning. Others, I put into double mounts, with backing board and then a cellophane envelope to fit, with a little "legend" sheet in the back explaining what a Giclee print is. I've sold lots of those. The prints are so good, it is hard to know, when framed, that they are not original pastels. You can see every mark.

I also print off lots of small pics onto this same paper, cut them out, and stick them down onto pre-cut greetings cards, pop them into a cellophane bag with an envelope, and I sold LOADS at my exhibition.

09-23-2004, 04:28 AM
Good stuff, Jackie.
Same story here - except am not selling as much as Jackie as I am not that famous....:D :D
I have not used Lyson yet, but have used Somerset, Hahnemuhle, Schoellershammer, Bockingford, Epson, and have recently tried Crane Museo and Arches. All beautiful papers. Some more expensive than others.