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What is Giclee?

Definitions of Art Terms

I selected a few terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader; this is nowhere near a complete list.  Hope it helps!


A giclee print falls between a serigraph and a lithograph in both quality and economy. The French word "giclee" literally means "to sputter." The ink jet printer and its proprietary ink / ink calibration system result in virtually continuous tone prints. The combination of specially-formulated inks and a unique pre-print system produces an unquestionably high-quality print. Canvas and somerset watercolor paper are the most popular of printing surfaces for this method. Unlike the more traditional printmaking techniques which use pigments, prints are made from dyes with up to 30 times more longevity than their traditional counterparts

Limited Edition

A limited edition is created when a finite number of reproductions are made from a single master image. These editions usually bear numbers or markings to indicate the maximum number of allowable prints. All images in the limited edition are generally hand-signed by the artist and numbered. This signifies the artist's approval of all aspects of the creation and quality of the image, including execution and production techniques of the master and proofs. The image on the master also exists as an original painting or sculpture. I will have the printer destroy the master plates or files so no other proofs or editions can be created once the series limit has been met.  This protects the value of my work for the collector.

Archival Quality

My process on canvas or paper print reproductions allows incredible color fidelity and digital reproduction so precise that print number 50 is just as crisp and bright as print number one. The print is fade resistant and archival for more than one hundred years, according to the experts. Best of all, the resilient protective properties of this process make glass framing unnecessary on canvas. To clean the canvas print, just wipe the surface with a soft damp cloth.  On paper, the print can be damaged by moisture, so glass framing is suggested.

Hand Embellishing or Uniquing

Artists may make a giclee "unique" by adding hand-painted highlights. This also gives the reproduction a more textured appearance and more valuable.  I use the same oil paints for this process as I create your limited edition piece.

Certificate of Authenticity

I believe my work will live on and become more valuable over time. I present a certificate with my prints indicating the number of prints in an edition.  Signed and numbered prints will be more valuable and are priced accordingly. For original paintings, keep your receipt stapled to the certificate of authenticity to record the transaction and date of acquisition. If you don't have a certificate for one of my original paintings, please contact me and I will provide one.

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