Printing Techniques

Printing Techniques Giclee

There are a variety of different terminology for types of quality limited edition prints which often refer to the method in which they have been created.

Giclée Print - Digital

The word giclée comes from the French word gicler meaning "to squirt or spray".  A giclée limited edition is created using a digital printing process combining pigment based inks with archival paper to deliver a high quality image which can be adjusted to best reflect the original painting itself. The colour is applied in a single layer in most instances.

Silkscreen Print - Hand Printing

Screen printing is a method in which a gauze is used to transfer ink onto the surface, except for those areas which have been covered by a blocking stencil. A blade, cloth or squeegee is used to move the ink across the gauze, and upon return the ink makes contact with the paper or material. The image can be built up over a number of layers, creating a very vivid result. These can be produced as stand alone prints or in a series, the main advantage of which is immediate control over the volume and coverage of the ink.  If the image doesn't exist in any other format (for example oils, or acrylics) then this method may be called an 'Original Silkscreen'.

Lithograph - Hand Printing

Lithography is an older technique dating back from the late 1700s; using the water-repellent oil from crayons or pencils, the artist would produce a mirror image of his original work on a stone tablet or metal panel.  An oil-based variety of ink is applied directly to the plate and immediately bonds with the equally greasy crayon lines.  In the case of those images in multi-colour, this process would be repeated several times to exclude various areas highlighted in each tone, to produce the final image.  Likewise, if this was the primary method of creation the finished work may be deemed an 'Original Lithograph'

In contemporary art, giclée printing is the most common form of production to bring high quality limited editions to market, for it's consistency and speed.

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