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How To Buy Fine Art Prints

Author: Michele Webber Published: 10th August 2014 14:48

Michele Webber, SudburyMichele Webber, Sudbury

How to buy fine art prints, Michele Webber in Sudbury.

Many people are put off buying prints as they simply don’t understand what they are; let alone what the little pencil numbers on them mean. Or perhaps they feel they are ‘not as good as an original’. In fact some prints are originals and they can be both valuable and collectable. Unfortunately the word ‘print’ is a general term, encasing anything from a cheap, mass produced poster to a hand-printed original work of art.

Basically there are two main types of collectable, quality, art print:

Limited Edition Giclee Prints

Giclee is a type of inkjet printing and a giclee print is most usually a reproduction of an original painting. The print is called a ‘limited edition’ because only a certain number will be printed. The amount to be printed is determined by the artist, for example 14/150 would denote that this print is number 14 of a maximum of 150. It does not however mean that 150 of this print exist yet; it is simply a promise by the artist not to print more than that number. You should look for quality paper and a professional presentation, avoid very cheap prints offered online, some amateur artists print them off on home printers and they may be prone to fading if the ink is poor quality. You get what you pay for in terms of careful colour matching and archival inks.

Hand-Made Prints

The second type of collectable print is a hand-made one. Whilst the term ‘print’ can mean anything the term ‘Printmaking’ refers exclusively to the process of making a print by hand. There are many different techniques but most start with applying inks to a base plate (called a ‘block’) which may have been inscribed or carved and transferring the image to a piece of paper using a hand-operated press. Types of hand-made prints include linocuts, etchings, woodblocks and many more; they are signed and numbered in the same way as Giclee prints. When buying look for clean edges to the print; smudging is known as ‘out of registration’. A ‘Monoprint’ refers to any hand made process whereby it is impossible to repeat the image; these may be numbered 1/1 or simply ‘Unique’.

Both types of print should be framed with the pencil lettering on display, and can be a fantastic way of enjoying real art without upsetting the bank manager!

Visit www.michelewebber.com for artwork, classes, and free tuition articles based in Sudbury, Suffolk.


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