Can You See the Brush Strokes in Fine Art Reproductions?

Can You See the Brush Strokes in Fine Art Reproductions?

August 27, 2019

The idea of reproducing art is not new at all—in fact, it has been done in various forms for centuries. There would be art schools at which students would learn how to paint like the master artists by attempting to copy masterworks. Reproductions have been used over history to create less-expensive versions of popular paintings that people can then display their own homes. This is of benefit because only one person or institution can own an original, but many people can own copies or reproductions.

The dawn of the digital age has given us new, easier means than ever before to make reproductions of artwork. In some cases, prints created using digital scanning services in Los Angeles, CA can be difficult to distinguish from the original. But being able to distinguish a copy from an original is important if you’re going to know how to appraise and evaluate the art and determine whether or not you’ll want to buy it.

Here are some quick tips to help you determine if the piece you’re looking at is an original or a reproduction.

What to look for on the front

  • Texture: With oil paintings, you should be able to see and feel the paint texture. Watercolor paintings will also have brush impressions that will show up under magnification, and originals will have paint colors that are likely to overlap. Copies are typically flat and smooth.
  • Pencil: Look for signs of pencil sketches under the painting, especially in watercolors, as many artists will sketch first before putting their brush to the canvas.
  • Roughness: There may be some uneven application of paint along the edges of the work, as the artist knew it would be covered by a frame.
  • Dot matrix: Photo-mechanical copies of art often have a certain type of dot matrix pattern that will show up upon magnification. This is a telltale sign of a digital copy.

What to look for on the back

  • Labels: If it’s an original work, it will often have labels from shows or galleries that are left on to help tell the piece’s history. Some artists may also add labels that date and title their work. Finally, labels might also indicate if it is part of a series, limited edition or lithograph.
  • Wire: In some cases, you might be able to look at the back of the painting and find some of the original hanging wire, if such wire was used with the frame or painting.

If you are mostly an amateur when it comes to art and appraisal, then it may be a good idea for you to work with a skilled art appraiser if you’re interested in purchasing or selling artwork. Not only will the appraiser be able to tell you whether or not you have an original in your possession, but they’ll also be able to give you an idea of the kind of value that art holds.

For more information about how our digital scanning services in Los Angeles, CA allow us to duplicate existing works of art, contact ArtScans Studio, Inc. today.

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