Giclee prints explained
Giclee 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
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
- 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.