Blog: ARTY FACTS | Printmaking Part 3

Printmaking Part 3 - Giclée Printing

We finish our printmaking techniques series for now with one of the most contemporary printmaking processes currently used. It is a process utilised by many of our gallery artists in the reproduction of their original work for limited edition printing - it is a digital method called Giclée printing.



The previous two printmaking blogs have focused on traditional methods in the production of limited edition artwork - the processes being manual and requiring different stages of development leading to the finished hand-pressed print. Giclée printing is different because it is a digital process rather than a manual one and each print will consequently be exactly identical.
The word giclée means 'spray' or 'spurt' in French. Similarly to how an inkjet printer works by spraying ink onto the paper, a giclée is produced in this way but with a far more advanced digital printer and different types of inks (and a higher quantity of them) than those you would find in a standard office printer.


The Process

Pigment-based inks rather than dye-based inks are used for fine art giclée printing - these are very high quality archival inks that last between 100 to 200 years before any fading will occur. The diverse colour range produced is also due to the fact that a fine art digital printer holds up to 12 ink cartridges.

Archival fine art paper is also used to produce giclée prints. For the paper to qualify, it will be acid-free with a 100 percent cotton or rag base. This type of paper gives artwork fantastic pictorial depth - a giclée can also be printed onto cotton canvas.

The artwork, whether it is an oil painting, a watercolour or a pencil drawing is scanned and a digital image file is created - the image size must be a resolution of at least 300 DPI (dots per inch), this ensures the sharpest detail. Should the artwork be too large for a printer's scanner, then a professional photograph can be taken of the artwork which meets the resolution requirement.


Giclée prints from our artists

We have several artists exhibiting at the gallery who print their original work with this method. The artists' original artwork ranges from oil paint to mixed-media fabric pictures, here are a few examples...

My Heart Is Still Dancing
Richard Blunt
Limited Edition Giclée Print
Richard's original paintings are created with oil paint on panel (his study paintings are created on linen). These are scanned and printed onto fine art rag deckle-edged paper. Please read more about the artist and view the collection here.


Autumn Cottage
Louise O'Hara
Limited Edition Giclée Print

Louise creates mixed-media paintings where collaged fabrics and stitch-work are incorporated. The scanner picks out all of this textured detail and so the subsequent giclée print looks 3D despite being flat - it truly appears that the fabric is present on the print! Please read more about the artist and view the collection here.


One At A Time
Leigh Lambert
Limited Edition Giclée

Leigh's highly detailed oil paintings on board are scanned and a limited edition giclée print run produced on both fine art paper and cotton canvas, this gives his collectors the option to choose their preference. Please view the gallery collection here.


Eastgate Clock
Ian Fennelly
Limited Edition Giclée
Ian works on his ink, pen and wash urban sketches 'en plein air', these are retained in his sketchbook, scanned and a small limited edition giclée run is produced. Read more about Ian and view the gallery collection here.


Saving the Day
Mark Davies
Limited Edition Giclée
Mark's original piece of work is a combination of both digital photographic techniques and hand-drawn elements which are scanned and integrated to create a base image which is printed onto canvas. This is then subsequently worked on further with embellishments and textures then scanned again to produce the final piece ready for a print run on fine art paper. Read more about Mark and view the gallery collection here.


Waiting for Mr Cool

Sam Toft Limited Edition Giclée Print. Sam's original textured pieces are created using oil pastels and layers of drawing inks, these are then scanned ready for the printing, please view the full collection here.


If you would like information on what to look for when purchasing limited edition prints then visit our Print Buying for Beginners blog.

More Arty Facts next week!


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