Did you know that you should avoid publishing your artwork online using high resolution imagery? What is high resolution imagery? What does low res mean?

Hi, my name is Carrie, and today on Artist Strong, I’m going to break down these terms for you.

Resolution refers to dpi, or dots per inch. 

High resolution artwork, or high resolution imagery, usually has 300 dpi, 300 dots per inch, or higher. The reason you have high resolution images, or you might want to use them as an artist, is they’re great for printing fine art prints, if you want to sell prints of your original artwork. If you want to have your artwork in some kind of print book or magazine, they will likely ask for a high resolution image. Generally, the file sizes of a high resolution image are larger, because you’re storing more data within that file.

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Generally speaking, low resolution images are around 72 dpi, or dots per inch.  

This is the kind of resolution you should use when you’re putting your artwork up on your artist website. If you’re promoting your artwork on social media, this is the kind of resolution you want to make sure you use.

Why? Ultimately what could happen potentially, and I hope this is not the case, someone could take images of your artwork, especially if you place them online as high resolution images, and try to sell them as their own artwork. This is just one easy step you can take to make sure that no one takes advantage of your lovely art.

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I’ve selected an artwork of mine today to show you as a print. I have a high res image and a low res image of the artwork, and I’m going to have you guess which one is which.

One of these images is high resolution, and the other image is low resolution. Can you take a guess and figure out which one is which? I’ll bring each a little closer for you.

Here’s this piece. See how close up we can get. Does it look detailed? Does it look spotty? What’s the color quality like? And now, I’ll bring closer up the other piece, and again, ask yourself about clarity, quality of color? (The image is on the video).

It should be pretty obvious at this point that the one I’m holding currently is a high resolution image. Let’s just look really closely at these two corners here. You can see the paintbrush marks so clearly on the one on the right that this print has a quality that’s painterly, even though it’s the print of the original work, and that’s something that a high resolution image is able to capture, because of the density of color, the dpi, the dots per inch.

When you look at this image, which is a 72 dpi, you have more ambiguous marks. You don’t see the detailed brushstrokes, and you can tell it starts to look fuzzy when you get really close up. It looks like a bunch of little mottled, blurry dots, especially in here.

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When you compare that to over here, you’ve got a very different sense of color, and you can even see the textures of the canvas in this print. There’s a clear difference in the quality of the product.

Of course, if someone really wants to print your art, they could print out a low quality copy, but they can’t sell it and promote it the way that you can when you have a high resolution image, which is what I recommend for you, should you want to make fine art prints of your artwork.

If you’re not sure on how to manipulate the photographs that you take to make sure that they are low resolution images, I’ve linked a few tutorials below this video that will help you identify the resolution you already have, that you’ve used in terms of the photographs you’ve taken, and help you alter the resolution if you want to make it 72 dpi to share on the internet. There are some free resources that you can use to do this, and those will all be linked below:

How to photograph your art

GIMP tutorials

Today, for Be Creatively Courageous: I ask you if you have any more questions about resolution of imagery for your art. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. The only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask.

If you have a question in mind, I guarantee there’s someone else out there who shares the same concern as you. Please post that question in the comments below this video, and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Have a great day, and thank you for watching.

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