The Truth Behind Giclee Prints

Creating giclee prints from artwork and photographs has become a common way for artists to reproduce their loved works. The advance of  giclee reproduction and the subsequent advances in printing technology, especially in the last ten years. Allows artists everywhere to reproduce the artworks they create and distribute these prints to a diverse and widespread audience.

Giclee prints explained

Giclee Prints AnsweredGiclee reproductions are produced from high resolution scans or photographs. The printers used for these reproductions are most often twelve colour inkjet
printers although some companies use eight colour printers. Archival inks that are light fast are used in these high tech printers meaning the resulting
giclee prints will stand the test of time.

 

If  proper giclee prints are produced the detail can be identical and of a just as high standard as the original artwork. You can see examples of an original and giclee print in many galleries that sell both options to suit all price ranges, all images on my gallery page are images of my original oil paintings and they are then reproduced into high quality prints. Innovations in the giclee print industry are constant and every year we see new printing possibilities become available. Because technological advances are constant, most artists will look for a company that specializes in making giclee art prints when they are exploring the possibility of making multiple copies of their artworks. While it’s possible to purchase appropriate printers and scanners a larger specialised company is more likely to be able to keep pace with advances and will hopefully be using current, state of the art equipment. As in all things; buyer beware. Researching companies and the scanning/printing equipment they are using is always prudent.

Some substrates that an image can be printed on include

  • Various art papers
  • Photographic papers
  • Canvas
  • Plexiglas
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Fabrics

Increasing exposure with giclee reproductions

Artists are using giclee prints in a variety of ways to suit their individual art practices. Some simply want to share and sell multiples of one of their popular images. The giclee reproduction artists the obvious advantage of increasing exposure and making their artworks available to multiple buyers, the owner of the original also sees a value add as their art piece is now the original artwork of popular print. In other words, when artist employing the giclee print process they are able to widen the audience for their work by selling an affordable alternative to the higher priced original artwork.

Altering giclee prints to make each one unique

Many artists are taking advantage of computer programmes that allow them to manipulate scanned images of their own original before they are turned into giclee prints. In a different vein others are working on top of the giclee prints they have made. They enhance them using a variety of different techniques such as:
  • Adding paint to selected areas
  • Adding texture to the surface by brushing on mediums that become clear after they dry
  • Adding glazes or washes of colour over the entire surface (
  • Embellishing the prints with collage elements
It is important for artists, who go down this giclee print road, to remember that they are selling reproductions, as opposed to original artworks. Even when a giclee print has been hand altered to make it unique, it is still important to state what is not easily obvious. Simply referring to the artwork as being “mixed media”, could be construed as misleading, so make sure you confirm with the artist if the work is a print, original or mixed. By producing giclee prints the artist is able to share their works with multiple people at a more affordable price.

Tell it like it is

Similarly, because a giclee print can sometimes be indistinguishable from the original, it is very important to let the buying public know what you are selling.
Most people outside the art-world don’t really understand the differences between a hand-pulled print, an original artwork and a giclee print. They simply know that they like what they see. Artists need to take the time to educate their buyers, so there are no misunderstandings and later repercussions.

 

The vast majority of people will welcome the opportunity to purchase an image that “speaks to them” at a price that their budget can handle. I, myself do sell giclee prints of all my original artworks as I think it is important to have something for everyone, I don’t think people should be limit to budget or availability when finding a piece of art they truly love. You can find cards, giclee prints and ink prints in the Sara Paxton Artworks Store.

 

I hope that this article has been informational and you are now aware of the different types of prints that are available to art buyers. Always remember to ask the artist what you are purchasing as originals and prints are very different and both options need to be kept in mind when finding your own price point.

 

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One Comment

  1. Bill Gleadell
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I am interested in your Summer Sun print but it is too small. Is it possible to purchase a larger version?
    Bill

One Trackback

  1. By Quora on November 3, 2013 at 12:16 am

    What is the best place to purchase prints?

    Before you purchase prints there are a few things you should know. I would suggest reading up on a few of the print options. Giclee prints are great you just need to know a few things to make sure you are paying the right price. Here is an article that…

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