A note on the use of colour
Relief, intaglio, lithography and serigraphy all require separate blocks, plates, or screens for each and every colour.
'Rosie' the cockatoo is an exception to the rule, in that the pink areas were added to the white inked block, and passed through the press in one go.
The only exception to this would be a relief block where a reduction process is used to cut away parts of the block for each successive colour. The resulting image being built up with successive layers that print over the previous colours. Perfect registration of the blocks is very important in producing the final image.
What is an "original"
An original print is an artwork that has been manually printed by the artist – autographic - or in some cases by a printmaker, under the artist’s supervision. It is not a reproduction of another piece of art, but an original image created using either one, or more, printmaking processes.
Relief, where the block of lino or wood is cut away leaving a raised surface which is then inked.
Intaglio, where the image is incised with etching or engraving tools, or etched into the surface of the metal with chemicals. The ink is pushed into these incisions and wet paper is placed over the plate. It is then pushed through a press, where pressure forces the paper into the textured lines and areas, and picks up the ink.
Lithography, which is a planographic process, which means the plate or stone block has a flat surface, no highs or lows. Images are made on this surface with greasy pencils, pens and inks. The surface is then sponged with water and the ink is rolled over the whole surface where it adheres to the greasy areas, and is repelled from the wet areas.
Serigraphy, screen printing where a fine mesh is stretched over a frame. Stencils are applied to the mesh and ink is forced through the unblocked areas onto the paper.
What an "original" print is not!
You will often come across the term “limited edition giclée prints" these are not Original Artist's Prints.
What is a giclée print?
Giclée a digital printing process in which an ink-jet printer is used to print a "copy" or "reproduction" of an existing artwork created in another medium, such as a drawing, painting, or a computer generated or altered image.
Collagraphs, where an image is built up on, and cut into a sheet of card. This is a mixture of intaglio, where the ink is pressed into the incisions and textures, and relief where the raised surfaces can also retain ink. These can be printed using several colours at once, creating great variation between each print.
Monoprints, these are single images and can be made in many ways, including the use of direct transfer techniques such as drawing on the back of a sheet of paper placed over an inked surface.
Open and limited editions
The artist will will decide whether the edition will be "limited" – have an limited number of prints - or "open" having an unlimited number of prints.
Once a "limited" edition is printed, the artist will number and sign each of the prints and the original block will be 'cancelled' — defaced. This is so that no more prints can be pulled and thereby devalue the edition.
Some artists print open editions of a popular image, these are not numbered, but they are signed.
What is an Artist’s Proof?
Artists may produce a number of additional prints for their records. This is usually a very small percentage – usually10%, or less – of the total edition number. Sometimes an artist will choose to sell these and they will be signed by the artist and marked ‘A/P’ or ’Artist’s Proof’.
Although I myself use digital techniques to create some of my artwork the images you see on this page were created as Original Artist Prints and hand printed by me.
If you are interested in any of these please drop me a line.