About Paintings and Prints

Got more questions? I would love to answer them for you!

Please send them to me at carol@carolmcardle.com. Thank you!

Giclee Prints Paintings About the Creative Process Commissioning an Original Painting

What sizes do giclee prints come in?

Giclee prints can come in just about any size. Carol McArdle has a minimum size order of 20" x 16" (or similar if different proportions) and prints can go as large as 60" plus by 100" and more.

Any of Carol McArdle's paintings that you see on this website can be ordered in any size you want.

One of the great things about printing being digital is that a single print or multiple prints in any size can be ordered. In the past, to make the cost feasible, art prints had to be made in the hundreds of a single size as the making of the printing plate was where most of the cost and work was. With giclee prints the digital image on the computer replaces the printing plate.

Which paintings can I get a print from?

You can order a print of nearly all of the paintings you see in this website including the SOLD paintings.


My older paintings, which are mostly shown at the beginning of the SOLD Paintings page do not have such large high resolution images as my newer pieces. This means that they cannot be printed very large as the quality is not going to be good enough as the image is blown up. But most of my newer pieces can be printed very large, especially the pieces that were large paintings to begin with.

What is a giclee print?

Think of your inkjet printer that you probably have at home, now put it on steroids times ten and that is basically what a giclee printer is – but there are important differences.

Quality Giclee prints are printed with special inks that are UV resistant and designed to be long lasting, over 100 years.

Giclee prints can be printed on different substrates such as paper, canvas, aluminum, acrylic and more.

What is a print on canvas?

A quality, high resolution digital image of a piece of artwork is printed on canvas and then stretched on stretcher bars just like the canvas an original painting is on.

What is an Embellished Giclee Print?

All giclee prints of the same artwork will be exactly the same - unless they are hand-embellished. Then each one becomes unique. It is like a cross between a print and an original painting.

Using high quality paints the artist, Carol McArdle, paints over parts of the print on canvas adding a personal touch. Unlike a regular print the paint adds texture and the magical qualities of paint. Colors can be tweaked a little to suit each person's requirements and sometimes, for extra charge, things can even be added to the painting.

Each Carol McArdle embellished giclee print is hand signed on the canvas and comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity that is stapled to the back of the stretcher bars.

Most viewers will never know the embellished giclee print is not an original painting.

What is "gallery wrapped"?

Gallery wrapped is when the print is extended so that the printed canvas continues down the sides of the stretcher bars. This is used when the print will be displayed without a frame or if it will be put into a floater frame. None of the artwork is lost as the edges are printed with a mirrored image of the artwork so it blends perfectly.

How long will it take to get my order of a print?

If the print is on canvas (as most of them are) it should take about two weeks. If it is an embellished print on canvas it will take up to a month. I never have missed a deadline as I always aim to under-promise and over-deliver.

Prints on paper or other substrates will take up to two weeks.

If the order is to be shipped it may take another few days to arrive at your destination.

See next question to learn how you can get free shipping on a canvas print.

How can I get free shipping?

If you are ordering a large print on canvas I offer to give you free shipping if it is shipped rolled up in a tube. Any decent framer will stretch it for you and the cost of getting it stretched will usually be less than the cost of shipping a large stretched piece. Also it is much safer with less risk of damage during transit.

Some extra large stretched pieces require a wooden crate to be made for it and shipped by freight, which can be costly. If possible choose to ship rolled.

If you are having a piece delivered to places in SW Florida such as Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers or Sanibel I will deliver it to you. It is always a pleasure to meet my customers.

What medium does Carol McArdle paint in?

I, Carol McArdle paint mostly in oils but also some acrylic. For many of my roseate spoonbill and other bird paintings I used mixed media. I do the backgrounds in acrylic paints and the birds in oils. There is a saying in the oil and acrylic painting art world, "Fat over lean". This means that oil paints (fat) can be painted over lean paints (acrylic or other water based paints). The oils can stick to the "lean" paints but not the other way round.

What's the difference between oil and acrylic paints?

Where to start! There are differences and similarities between oils and acrylics and it would take a couple of art lessons to go over all the details. It also depends on how the artist relates to and feels about the different paints.

Here are three things about the paints and I may add more points later but hopefully these give you some good information for starters.

1. Both oil and acrylic paints are made with the exact same pigments - that's the color part of the paint. Pigments are usually in powder form but to become usable as paint those pigments need to be "bound" so that they stick together, can be applied with brushes, can adhere to the paper, board or canvas and can dry to a quality color. For acrylic paints, acrylic mediums are used to bind the colors and oils are used to bind the pigments in oil paints.

2. Artist quality (not student or craft quality) paints of both oils and acrylic are used to make top quality fine art. The colors are basically the same and can have the same brilliance or saturation. Acrylics have not been around long enough to know if they will last for centuries as oils do but I would think they will do very well if they are quality paints and have been used and cared for well.

3. One of the biggest differences between oils and acrylics, at least to me, is the texture. Oils can hold every detail of every brush stroke as the artist lays it on the canvas or board. It will not shrink or loose it's texture as it dries. On the other hand, acrylics will always smooth out a little bit and lose some volume and texture. You can add gels and mediums to the paints to create texture but it never stays exactly the same as when you brushed it on. This means an acrylic painting is often very flat/smooth when dry. (oils can be flat too it depends how they are used, they are flexible.)

I like both mediums and use them for their different characteristics although you can get almost identical results with either. There have been times that I forget whether a painting was done with oils or acrylics and I have to check the back where I labelled them to see!

How can I buy a painting and what if I want to see it first?

My paintings can be bought right off this website but it is usually easier to contact me first. If you have any questions I am always available to answer and you may have special shipping requirements or maybe want to order a frame with the painting. You can email or call me carol@carolmcardle.com and (239) 849-4745

There are two pages that have all my available paintings Newer Paintings for sale and Paintings for sale

If you live in SW Florida area I can bring some of my art pieces to your house or business for your viewing. If you live further away but want to see the painting/s first then please contact me so we can figure out how to get them to you. I am also in a Naples gallery and a Coconut Grove gallery and some pieces can be seen there.

When purchasing paintings or prints you can make payment with credit card, check or cash. I can send a PayPal invoice to you need one. I of course prefer cash or check to credit card due to the fees they charge but don't let that stop you! I will take payment in the form you chose and that suits you the best.

What is your return policy?

If you purchase a painting and it turns out that you need to return it I will accept a return within two weeks of you receiving it and only if it is in the condition you received it in. If there is any damage to the painting or frame I cannot accept it. Please contact me before returning.

Prints are custom ordered and are not returnable.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My main inspiration comes from two places. My inner creativity that can at times be calm and quiet and at other times can be a force to be reckoned with. Sometimes the urge to create can just about take over my life. Those times can be great, filling me with creative energy and so many ideas I can barely contain them. When the inner creativity is quiet I may need to call on it to get to work. On rare occasions the creativity needs a rest. Most of the time my inner creativity is somewhere in between these two extremes.

The second place I get most of my artistic inspiration is from without. I seek out my subject matter and let my eyes drink it all in. I go to places where I know I will find the visuals I seek and let myself be surprised. nature rarely fails to deliver beyond my expectations. I take hundreds of photographs for future reminders of what I see and for painting references.

From those two main places of inspiration I always have many, many more ideas of what to paint than the time or means to paint them all. I have to whittle my choices down, down, down to just a few. Many things influence my final choices of what to paint.

Some artists scorn any commercial influence on their work but I do not. I sometimes create artwork of subjects that I deeply connect with but I know my audience may not. Much of the time I need create paintings that I believe have a chance of appealing to my collectors. I do not have to compromise to do so. I have found an audience that connects to my work and subjects same as I do. I just have to pick and choose to do a few paintings from a vast bank of possibilities. Making a living from my art is important to me. It's the only way I can be an artist full time. Otherwise I would be putting all my energy and time into another means of income to pay the bills. I am thrilled every time my work connects enough with someone that they purchase it! My heart thanks each and every person who has helped me continue to be an artist!

Why do you paint from nature

I wrote a blog post about a small part of this here's the link to the post, Just One Aspect of What my Paintings are About

Why is commissioning a painting a great idea?

I have created many commissioned paintings over the years and it continues to be one of the best options for someone seeking a specific subject, color range, size and proportions. For example;

You love my paintings or a specific painting of mine but you just don’t see exactly what you need. If you have a particular place that you need a painting for, you may need a smaller or bigger painting than what is already available. Also you may want a vertical painting instead of a horizontal and vice versa.

Another reason for commissioning a painting would be because you want specific subject matter such as landscape or wildlife that I have not painted yet.

You may want to get particular colors, tones or lighting into the painting.

How do I know that I will like the painting you do?

Before starting a commissioned painting I will design some roughs or mock ups of the composition using my photographs and photoshop. These are shown to you for your approval. I will usually do one or two and if you need many more designs there is usually a charge - I learned this the hard way when one customer kept wanting to try this and that ending up in my doing around 20 designs only to come back to the original one I had done! I could have finished half of the painting in the extra work and time it took me. This customer was very unsure of how it would turn out and was nervous of commissioning a piece. He was quite a reserved kind of person but when he saw the finished painting I got a big hug!

Once you approve the design then I will create the painting using that as reference.

You already know my style of work and chose me to commission a piece because you like my work. The commissioned painting will have the same style and feel as all my other artwork.

Does a commissioned painting cost more than a ready done piece?

Many artists do charge a lot more but I do not. The price will be very close to the prices you see listed here on my website

What kind of instructions or information does the artist need?

It is never a good idea to have a very specific image in your mind to commission. First of all it is impossible to communicate that image to someone else verbally. I can only interpret what you tell me, not see it exactly, Secondly, you are choosing me to create something for you and there must be room for me to use my creativity the same as I use it for all my paintings. That way you will get one of my paintings, and isn’t that what you wanted in the first pace?

It is also not a good idea to tell me to just paint whatever I want. There is just too much room for disappointment in that situation.

So to conclude, to get the best results I need some guidance from you but I also need to be able to create a piece of art that you have never seen before.

I have never had a customer who did not love their commissioned painting!

All rights reserved. Copyright 2023 Carol McArdle