Fine Art Paper – how do I choose?

Fine Art Paper - The Artists Print Room

“Which fine art paper would you like” can be much more of a daunting question than some may realise! With so many options available, which do you select? Smooth surface? Oh, what about textured though? So many options to consider – and you thought the hard bit was over when you took your incredible photograph or created your amazing piece of artwork!

But what is fine art paper? How is it different to just standard copier paper? Well, it is normally made with cotton (although it’s composition can vary of natural fibres), it’s acid free (guaranteeing longevity, which is vital to your print).  It’s not artificially bleached and the surface of these papers are specifically designed for receiving high quality inks and pigments. Additionally, most of these fine art papers are much heavier than your standard printing papers, with weights up to 500gsm+!

Art Reproduction
Museum Etching - The Artists Print Room
©Hahnemühle Museum Etching

First things first though, when selecting a paper for your print: You need to consider your original artwork (photographic pieces can be slightly different!) Many fine art papers are designed to replicate the papers you would have created your original on, whether that be a watercolour piece or sketch or pastel etc. Ideally, select a paper closest or most similar to what you have already used to produce the artwork on. For example the Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper has an incredible rough texture similar to a watercolour paper. It is a heavy 350gsm, natural white paper making it ideal for reproductions of landscape pieces.

Photographic Printing

For photographic pieces, you really must consider the colours in the image and the finish you would like. With regards to ‘glossy’ fine art papers, don’t get scared that they will have a similar finish to the holiday prints you used to get from Boots! The glossy finish on these papers are much more subtle and beautiful. For example the Fine Art Pearl from Hahnemühle  is a 285gsm a-cellulose fine art paper with a bright white base. This paper produces stunning prints with impressive contrasts for, both colour and black and white photography. Your image will be finished with a stunning sheen. A reliable fine art paper to go to for fine art photographers.

The main thing to remember when selecting your paper for your prints, is that it is your own personal choice – there is no right or wrong answer! We are here to help make that decision slightly easier for you though! Book a free introductory meeting with us, we can show you examples of our work as well as the fine art paper options we have available. In the meantime, take a look at our giclée papers and canvases page to read about all the papers we have on offer.