How Do You Tell if a Painting Is Printed or Painted – 2024 Guide

People who enjoy purchasing original paintings often struggle with figuring out which paintings are real and which are fakes. For some people, purchasing paintings for their own collection is something very special and satisfying. That is why they really want to buy only original paintings. Since they are also very expensive, people could lose a lot of money if they do not invest it in the original artwork. The following guide that we prepared for you will help you ensure that you are purchasing the right painting and not some reproduced printed image.

Know the Artist


When you are buying works from some artists you adore, you eventually start to become familiar with their style and painting performances. This includes many things such as examining the artwork for stylistic patterns, checking the lines, signatures, etc. If anything looks unusual to you, then you may need some expert to examine the work more closely because it can be a reproduction or a print. Prints usually have a clean straight edge that is created by the plate. On the other hand, you can find a reliable art gallery that you can trust that sells real paintings. We understand that this can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Therefore, we did a little research for you and find artello gallery where you can see an amazing art collection and purchase through the online platform the painting that you like. Best of all is that you can be absolutely peaceful since they are credible and reputable in their business field.

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Can You See or Feel the Texture of Painting?

There is one thing that you need to be aware of – there is no artist who will paint so thinly over a canvas that you will not be able to see or feel the texture of the cloth below it. In the 1980s a new technique was invented where digitized scans of fine art can be shared on canvas using a special inkjet printer. This type of photographic transfer print is called a giclée and since they are not original, they are pretty affordable and available for everyone. However, a giclée can look so realistic that people can be easily deceived to think that they are purchasing an original painting from a real artist. Unfortunately, they will not even be aware that they gave so much money for printed reproduction. However, even if it does not seem like something that people usually do, we suggest you run your hand along the surface of the painting. It is not a practice, but you will definitely ensure whether the painting is real. A giclée will have a completely consistent and perfect texture. More precisely, there would not be any skips, buildups, swirls, or brushstrokes that real paintings gave.

Turn the Painting Over


All potential buyers can use one really simple trick to make sure that the painting is original. The only thing you need to do is turn the painting over and examine the material that is used for painting. Some materials like canvas have a specific look and texture. Also, they can even give people insight and the idea of an age when the painting is created.

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Is the Artist Signature Printed or Hand Signed?

Some artists including Picasso placed the signature on the plate as part of the design that is used for the prints. Every print that has been made would display the same signature as part of the printed artwork. Logically, this does not make it as a signed print. A true signed print will have a hand-written signature by the artist usually in the margin. On the other hand, a true signed and limited print will have even the edition number added on the margin. With this sign, the paint can be worth more than $1,000 and without it under $100.

Can you See a Dot Pattern Under Magnification?


Some tools that you can use for examining the authentically feature of the painting are a magnifying glass or a loupe. If you can see some dot pattern you probably have some print reproduction and not real painting. The nature of the pattern will reveal to you a printing process that is used.

Check what Does the Internet Tell You?

Internet is making our lives easier in different ways. However, you did not know one fun fact that you can research the artwork you want to buy. This is such a time-saving and less expensive option than buying a paint that is not original. The only thing you need to do is to put the title of the art in the search engine and wait to see what will come up. For instance, you may think that you have the incredible Winslow Homer’s Snap the Whip artwork and after the searching process, you will realize that this painting currently resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Internet will also show you numerous online platforms that are selling reproduction prints for different prices. Therefore, it would be a very safe and clever decision to check this. Also, if you do not know the title, you can search for the artist and see what will come up. One more option is to take the picture with your phone and upload it to Google Images. Finally, you always have the option to ask a professional person to help you and tell you whether the painting is original.

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Is There a Clear Boundary to the Image?


There are really many numerous factors that can tell you whether the paint is real or not. If you see that the paint you want to buy has something like a straight and clean boundary around, and it does not extend to the edges of the canvas, you are probably seeing a print. On the other hand, when the artist paints directly on the surface, the edges will not be even. Moreover, they will be very ragged or extend all the way to the edges of the surface.