Paper for Reproductions of Your Artwork

painting of redondo beach harbor, redondo harbor watercolor painting, redondo harbor painting

Click Picture to Purchase: "Scene at Harbor, Redondo Beach"

The size and quality of a print is not only a function of the digital image, but also the paper on which it’s printed, in addition to the ink and equipment used. For reproductions of original art, use paper that resembles more nearly that on which you did your painting.  Check out the reproduction your photographer is able to produce by having them make prints of a couple of your artworks. If the photographer doesn’t have the proper equipment to do this, find someone else who does.

Fine art reproduction has reached a new era by virtue of giclee printing.  You can now reproduce your artwork on paper that looks virtually the same as that on which you painted it, perhaps not the same thickness, but identical in most every other respect. You may want to buy the paper you need for these reproductions yourself so you can furnish it to those who do your prints.

Color saturation for most paper is either “good” or “great”… and directly proportional to its “D-max” measurement. This tells you how deep the blacks are on the paper stock, a subtle difference that must often be determined by a densitometer.

Paper thickness is determined by a micrometer. Many papers are defined by their thickness in mils (thousandth of an inch). The sturdiness of paper is measured in terms of its weight (pounds per ream or roll), though the proper way to define paper is in terms of grams per square meter (gsm).

“Cardstock thick” paper is anywhere from 350-600 gsm… paper of thicknesses which can’t be rolled up.  This paper is thus more expensive, since it has to be purchased in individual sheets.  It is also more expensive to ship, and often too thick for desktop printers manufactured before 2003. Only printers with straight feeds lots can handle this type of paper. It’s important to check this out with whoever does your printing before you buy this type of paper.

“Thick stock” paper is anything between 225-325 gsm and can be purchased in rolls, thus making it more economical to produce and ship. “Regular stock” paper ranges from 150-225 gsm.


Douglas Stenhouse also wrote a book about watercolor painting.

“I decided to write about how I paint, not only to share my observations with others, but also, frankly, to do some self- examination. I wish I had done this earlier in my life! But then, how was I to know I’d benefit from doing so, certainly at a time when I had no aspirations of becoming a professional artist.” 

To learn more about Doug’s Watercolor Painting Book, click here. To purchase a signed copy, use the link below.

Douglas Simms Stenhouse, watercolor artist, transparent water color art, watercolor painter, painting with water colors