Working With Your Printmaker: 7 Tips

Throughout the history of fine art printmaking, artists have reproduced their work using the state-of-the-art techniques available to them. Using today’s giclée process can result in an infinite number of prints of extraordinary quality. Giclée (zhee-CLAY; from the French gicler, meaning “to spray”) is a term describing this modern printmaking method that sends digitized images of paintings to ink jet printers to produce high-quality reproductions.

Giclée Print in Progress

Giclée print in progress

Seven Tips for Printmakers from The Artist’s Magazine’s May 2012 issue.

1.    Your printmaker may be the expert, but you need to maintain control.
2.    To establish a cooperative collaboration with your printmaker, clearly communicate your needs and goals.
3.    Insist your printmaker talk to you in nontechnical language.
4.    For reference, keep an actual print sample for each image and substrate you have printed. Avoid companies that refuse to provide this option.
5.    Archive backup copies of your digital printing files to protect your intellectual property from being held hostage.
6.    Realize that professional giclée printmakers try to match your work accurately but, depending on equipment, types of inks, papers and skill, 100-percent accuracy isn’t always possible.
7.    Accept that reproducing one medium with another—such as printing a copy of an oil painting with water-based, pigmented inks—can produce results different from the original. (The color range of pigmented inks used in giclée printmaking doesn’t always exactly correspond to colors made from pigmented paint.)

To read more on giclée printmaking, purchase the May 2012 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.


Basic Acrylic Painting Tips and Techniques with Mark Mehaffey
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