Canvas on Demand is one of the most widely discussed services that offer to take your photographs, blow them up, and put them on canvas, just like someone had painted it. Canvas on Demand, like other related photo printing services, can also use a special filter on your photographs to make it look like someone painted the photo with carefully-done brushstrokes. What most people do not realize about Canvas on Demand and other such photo printing services that make your prints look like paintings or put them on canvas, is that this is not difficult to have done at any quality print shop near your home for half the cost and with more photo printing options than offered by Canvas on Demand and many of its competitors.

In essence, what Canvas on Demand does is simply make a large photo print of your picture and they print on the canvas size of your choosing. In short, aside from the material being printed on and the size itself, this is no different than printing out a normal photo. All it does is require some special photo printing equipment that can handle the sizes and the weight of the canvas. This is not rare or hard to find equipment and any print shop near your home will probably be able to print your pictures on canvas, just like Canvas on Demand does, but without all the added costs (their prices are high to begin with) of shipping and all the extras they try to sell you. Besides, by going to a local print shop instead of using a company like Canvas on Demand or its competitors, you are supporting a local business.

The most attractive aspect of using a local print shop for its photo printing equipment is that there are far more options available to you. As long as you have a  high resolution photograph to use for canvas printing (it should be at the very maximum resolution you can get it, otherwise it will look pixilated) you are then free to use Photoshop to add all kinds of effects that photo printing services like Canvas on Demand and others do not offer. If you are good with Photoshop, this will allow you to make minor color or skin corrections, to add the kind of light effects you desire, and to make it look exactly the way you want to. This can become a work of art to be printed on canvas because you have made it your own. What photo printing services like Canvas on Demand are doing is no different that the photo printing on the sweatshirts you see at those Midwest mall kiosks. It’s just printing on something big and without any effects to soften or background the photo, it looks kind of cheap, like, well, a photo that happens to be printed on canvas.

Brush up on your Photoshop skills and take a great photo to work with. Clean it up, make it unique, remembering the whole time that there is the same setting on Photoshop that companies like Canvas on Demand use that offers several paintbrush tools (and by doing your own photo printing on canvas, you can choose the depth of the brushstrokes and their direction). Next, find a print shop that has the right photo printing equipment by calling them and just telling them what you want to do. Chances are, if they can make signs on fabric, this is no problem. Take your high resolution finished photo to this print shop along with your desired canvas. The printer can help you size them to fit and voila! There you have it, a far cheaper, much less generic-looking photo printed on canvas that you did yourself for less money and more bang for the buck.