Painting Versus Prints: Battle of the Mediums

When purchasing art, one of the important aspects you need to consider is medium. Painting or print: does one medium trump the other?

Collectors, both novice and seasoned, are confronted with a host of decisions when purchasing artwork in terms of subject matter, period, colour, size, price and various other factors. One particularly important aspect to consider is medium, as there is a significant difference between paintings and prints. The former is a unique piece of art, often a canvas, and the latter is an artwork made in multiple iterations created through a transfer process.

Many collectors exclusively focus their collection on paintings due to the widespread belief that a unique piece created directly by the artist is more authentic and is a more stable, sound investment. There is, indeed, something special about an original artwork, however, it is important not to overlook the value of prints.

Printmaking is a highly complex art form that results from a close collaboration between the artist and skilled technicians. The process involves labour-intensive work coupled with a high degree of craftsmanship. Only a limited number are produced, known as an edition, rendering prints wholly authentic and true works of art. There are various printmaking techniques detailed in the following link, Prints.

assembly of printmaking blocks

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arranging the printmaking blocks with a tool

The tremendous appeal of prints is the opportunity the medium presents to acquire iconic pieces by renowned artists. Original works by desirable artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Warhol and Rembrandt, are virtually untouchable in today’s market due to astronomical prices and scarcity. Prints present a more accessible means for collectors to acquire genuine, quality art.

When it comes to the painting versus prints debate, there is no one medium that trumps the other. Both can contribute to building a comprehensive and superb collection.

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