That is the question.
Artists take different approaches to this question. I know one artist who makes prints of every painting. There are others who never make limited edition copies.
Most of us are somewhere in between. From my roughly 40 oil paintings a year I average making two into limited edition canvas giclee prints.
So, how do I choose?
Occasionally I have a client who would like a canvas giclee print of a painting I have done and I decide the image would fit into my print selections.
More often, I have one painting each year which I believe would have broad appeal.
The proofing process is a time-consuming project. With my professional printer we constantly tweak the canvas print until it looks like the painting when they are placed side by side. It is not uncommon for the printer to use more than 8 separated layers to achieve the desired result. A part of the water might be adjusted differently than a small section of the reflected head. A little more peach here, more contrast there, more saturation over here. Even with scanning directly from the original, tiny alterations are essential. If I painted it this way, why have the canvas print look differently?
Once all the adjustments are made, it is time to decide on sizes and how many. My largest giclee canvas editions are a total of 75 which can include three different sizes. I have some editions which are only 35 prints at one size.
Stealth - Amur Tiger (see post below) will have canvas giclee prints available. I've decided on three sizes: the original (24" X 34"), 17" X 24", and 12" X 17." I haven't decided how many in each size, but the total will probably be 65 or less.
I'd like to share two more thoughts on prints.
First, some artists believe that to call a copy a print, it must be an original print, hand pulled. I treat the subject with the common public perception in mind. Many understand the word print as the old method of off-set lithographs. I do canvas giclee "prints" and make the details clear in my Certificate of Authenticity.
Secondly, some artists like to hand enhance their canvas giclees. I am not a fan of hand-enhancing. It can confuse the collector with a piece that is somewhere between a print and an original. If the artist is hand-enhancing to make the piece look more like the original, they might want to find a printer with the expertise to do that. And, if I want to put paint on something, it will be an original. Another consideration is that the longevity of the paint on top of archival inks and canvas is unknown.