Photographing Your Paintings | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

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Photographing Your Paintings

teacher avatar Robert Joyner, Make Art Fun

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Photographing Your Art

    • 3. Protect & Shrink Wrapping

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About This Class

This class will teach you how I photograph my artwork in order to obtain the best possible digital images for websites, blogs and prints. This proven method will help you better understand why it's important to use natural light and just a few supplies to get crisp images. I will also cover how I store works on paper to prevent damage. Often artists create beautiful art but ruin it over time simply because they do not understand how to protect it from bending & smudging.

Who Is This Class for?

  • Anyone that wants to take better photos of their art
  • Is, or wants to sell prints & other reproductions
  • Needs a better system for storing and protecting works on paper
  • One that understands how important quality images over the long haul

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Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Joyner

Make Art Fun


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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Robert Joiner. In this class, I will teach you how to properly photograph your artwork. This is a necessary task if you have a website of blawg, if you want to document your part or simply would like to sell quality Prince, I will cover a few mistakes artists typically made and then show you a tried and true method that I use every week Photograph. Now you don't need thousands of dollars of equipment to do this with a decent point and shoot camera. You can certainly do the exact same thing. I would demonstrate in this class. I will also cover a few other materials I used that will help me with my job. And then I will share a bonus video of how I store my works on paper. This is also important because we don't want to create the art and then simply throw it on a shelf stacked one on top of each other. Instead, we want to take care of it. Take pride in what we do, so storing it properly as part of that and I will show you a method I use that keeps my artwork in pristine condition. So it looks just as good that day I photographed it as it does not sell it to a new. So this is a short but very informative class. No benefit you and it will enable you to take quality photos of your payments. So great to get started on a roll today. And I hope to see you on the inside again. I'm Robert Joyner. I love the loose and I love it. Take quality images of see you on the inside. 2. Photographing Your Art: Now I want to talk about photographing your artwork to do this. I have a DSLR. This camera is a Sony a 6000. So it will shoot quality video, which I'm using it to do so Right now it takes great images. Two of my artwork Now the process I use is I go outside. Yes, I have studio lights, film and things like that. But it just doesn't do the same trick and job as Mother Nature. So I like to use direct sahn right on my paintings. Now the equipment I use is just This is just a standard tripod. This is what I connect my camera too. Of course, this extends out on all that stuff but this is a really lightweight on tripod to take outside with me do not have a piece of foam core on this foam core is actually about 24 by 32. Now I paint on paper a lot, so I won't be able to capture a full sheet of paper. And so that particular size works well for me because what I do with this is I wrap it and crushed velvet. This is just cheap, great crushed velvet. I bought it on eBay for maybe eight or $10 is pretty large. I haven't forwarded up here. And what I do is I take this, not drape it over the foam core. Okay? Now, what the crushed velvet will do is it will absorb ah, lot of the glare that you normally get when you're photographing your art outside and direct sunlight. And then apart from that, I do have, you know, a little portable easily here that take outside with me and just full with down is pretty easy and lightweight take back and forth. But I would use that. They put my piece of foam core gator board down crushed velvet, and then I use a little bit tape to put on back of the artwork. Now, whatever you take photos of your artwork, you want to get the largest file possible. And one of the common errors I've seen artists make when they're photograph in their work, is they They tend to take, like, a portrait layout painting. So paying that's tall and not is why, and they keep their camera and a normal photo taking position. Okay, so basically what you're doing, you're losing all of this, the pixels that you could have had, what you want to do with portrait size layouts, his turn them sideways, and then that way we photograph it. You're getting a much larger file size. You don't have the crop as much as many pixels off of it. So the idea is, you want the largest file size possible so that if you do sell prints or reproduce your art for books or whatever, you can print a larger file. So instead of printing this a 10 by 12 for example, you could print a 22 by 30 or 30 but 24 about 30. And it's nice to have that flexibility. And it only takes you understanding that make sure all of your work has turned landscape. So the pieces that are created and landscape well, that's fine. You're not gonna have any problems. But what I do is I just keep my camera set up in landscape mode. So normal photo taking position. I don't try to twist it back and forth. I just take my artwork and turn it so that I'm getting the maximum file size. Okay, ideally, you want to get up to the image close enough so that you don't have to crop a lot off. So if you try to fill your view finder with your art and maybe have a little bit of excess on the edge, and that normally works pretty good now, if you think this is a hassle and this, just look at the results. One is photographed indoors using the overhead standard yellow light that most rooms have and the other is photographed outdoors, using the method that I prefer. Now, if you can't see the difference than than indoors, maybe fine for you. But I can tell you there's a night and day difference for me, and I think proper photos will go a long way and will certainly help you not only display your art properly, but to sell prints and even originals if that's something you dio. But that assumes his photograph. I immediately ended my images, which I will talk about and next week's of Webinar and make sure the files look good. And then once I know the files look good and the images look good, they're not can move to the next phase, which is protecting my art and storing it so that I don't create smudges, that the paintings and the paper doesn't get Bent and Quinn Brickell because that's a big, big problem with many artists as they create works on paper and stuff, and then they just stack them on top of each other, and over time they get moved around and you're gonna have a mess. And this beautiful work that you've done is no longer as crisp and clean as it used to be on. And then the next part of this webinar I'm going to share with you how I store my artwork, how I protect it from getting damaged. OK, I hope you enjoy this section here about photographing your artwork and that it helped you with a few tips and ideas on how you can improve your photos. 3. Protect & Shrink Wrapping: Okay, So what I have here is a piece of standard foam core and so original art. This particular piece has a little bit of Cray on. And one thing I love about crayon is it doesn't really smudge that easily. So you want the worry much about it. Now I like to leave about an inch, 3/4 of an inch. Ah, border around the artwork. I do this because when it shipped, it tends to get the edges or something like that could get bet. And this gives me a little bit of leave way. Okay, So what I'll do is all marked the top edge and then mark the bottom edge and the sides are pretty good that this really doesn't need to be cut. I would then use a mat cutter to cut it on the mark, so I will line that up. And then this is my Matt cutter here because this one there's not much above the mark. The mat cutters come with the little guy, slide that in and then used the guide to basically lined up until I get my mark. It doesn't have to be perfect. The main thing is, I want that mark to show when I cut it on. That should do it. Now. I should have a nice foam piece of foam court here that size perfectly for this painting. Now we will shrink wrap. All right. This is my street rapper. I've had it since about 2001. I have had zero issues with it. Very, very reliable. Very useful When I honestly couldn't run my business without it. This is a roll of shrink wrap. It's 36 inches wide, so it can handle pretty large full sheets of paper. And this is, ah, sturdy on plastic. They may make really thin IQ economies style plastic shrink wrap, but it tears easily is really hard to work with us a. Spend the extra money, try to get quality shrink wrap, and it will benefit you. Now, the shrink wrap is basically two sided. So there are basically two top and bottom here for the shrink wrap. And then that slides in between this bar so that creates a little pocket to slide. Aren't into Well, where do we just show you? A little technique? I used to shrink graph. That worked really well. I'm sure they're better what? He's to do it. But this works good for me now. Another thing that's nice about the shrink wrap shriek rapper and I think all of them are this way. If you don't really have to warm him up or anything, you just plug a men and they're ready to go. So what I'll do is I'll create Just get a nice, clean cut seemed so. This is basically like a nine iron or something, and I'm pressing it down and then that's going to give me a nice street sealed edge. Now hold this out on then slide my artwork in the past. If you're trying to save on plastic, always think about trying. You don't leave a lot of excess. So if I were to flip this painting long wise than I would have a lot more wasted shrink wrapped. So what I like to do is just always consider how much is being wasted in the waste as Lisa Mount, as as I can now is pretty tight and in terms off its nicest looks. I've got much my foam core, the edge of it line right up to this little pad right here which is basically where this iron will go, and and then it'll be It'll be that right there, so it's gonna cut it. So I'm gonna hold that down and then give it maybe two seconds that could slowly pull away from the top. You see, that creates a nice seal. Etch. Now we'll do the same thing in the bottom because the bottom is open now holder right up to the edge. Press down, then slot lightly. Pull away from that iron, and now that gives me a sealed package. But you can see still very loops. So what I'll do is auction kind of ship detaining around two. It's pretty much centred, so I have the heat gun that came with the unit here, and it just plugs right into the unit. There's a There's a little receptacle, therefore, that plugs, and it has a high and loose which there. So that's low and you crank it up high. It really just depends on your experience. If you go high, then you want to make sure you know how to work this heat gun so that you don't create a lot of holes in the plastic. Another little thing here is that has is the ability to adjust the heat so you can rotate it back and four toe low heat or turn it out toe high. Typically, like Mom pretty high. I'm very abuse these quite a bit. I'm comfortable with that Senate now. What I do first is I try to line line the painting up to where it's got an equal amount of space and border on high, and now I'm gonna work it in a circle. Told that that rap starts to shrink a little bit, it's starting to pull in just a little bit in the center. Now I'll flip it over back to high, work the center again, and now I'm gonna go to the edges, start pulling the edges. You know you got a pretty good what you get all the wrinkles and the buckles out of the plastic. Now flip it back around and then look the same base deep in this dry air, moving the whole time. The last thing you want to do with Holder in one place, because that's going to melt the plastic. You end up with a lot of holes, so that's that's pretty good so that's a shrink wrapped and occasionally like this. We probably don't know if you can see it on the camera, but there's still a little air inside this. So whenever I seal it, there's always just a touch of air that gets caught and the painting inside. So I like to do it. Just put a little hole right there, right on the corner, so away from the painting. Then all that loose air will filter out, and I just look at the painting, make sure that there's no wrinkles. And then there you go. So now I have a really good ah shrink trick rat piece of artwork. I can store it like this and, of course, is great for shipping. So now I can wrap this in cardboard and it had and has received by the client, and they can handle it while they're having it framed or whatever. But this is a really good way to store it. And then, of course, a great tool and technique to use to store your works on paper