Original Limited Edition Fine Art Prints

Limited Edition Fine Art Prints
Limited edition fine art prints including works called etchings, lithographs, and screen prints, are original artworks. These artworks are conceived and developed by the artist, for the purpose of making a fine art edition (multiple) in specialized printing techniques. Artists choose to work in graphic techniques because they enjoy the challenges of creating their art in these mediums. Artist enjoy an intimate relationship with the tools of their art, and value the close inspections required by viewers wanting to understand its aesthetics.

The completed artwork, by the very nature of being a multiple, can be enjoyed by more than one collector, and can be displayed in more than one museum or venue at a time. Potentially, the artist and its art has a wider influence in the art community than would art created in non edition mediums. Fine quality artwork by prized and acclaimed artists, previously unattainable because of rarity or cost, becomes available and within the reach of collectors who otherwise would not enjoy or purchase them. The quality of the art, and condition of prints, place individual editions in positions of unique value, praised by collectors, museums, and the art community.

The Process
Matrix and Process: The artist creates the original picture on matrix (a material required by the particular printing process), e.g., a lithographic stone for a lithograph print, or copper plate for an etching. Traditionally, in collaboration with a master printer (skilled artisan who hand "pulls" or "prints" the edition) proofs are created as the artwork develops. When the artist is satisfied with the result, and approves the final proof, the edition is printed in a quantity predetermined by the artist. After printing, the edition is curated, signed, and numbered by the artist. Original prints are most often referred to by the printing technique used to create them, such as etching, lithograph, screen print/serigraph. (technique chart below)

All artwork represented in PSfineart collections is good quality, and has been curated with an educated and discerning eye. Artworks are selected with an eye trained and skilled at assessing the relative aesthetic merits of a given work. We suggest the most effective way for anyone to better understand aesthetics and develop an eye for quality is to look at art. We encourage collectors, new and seasoned, to examine art and ask questions of dealers and artists.

Since condition of works on paper is one of the most important determinants of value, it is discussed at each print description. A buyer should be assured, in comparison shopping, that prints from an edition priced lower in one venue than in another generally indicate condition problems. PSfineart strictly adheres to the highest standards. Prints collected are in the finest possible condition. This includes prints purchased in circumstances where, in purchasing some rare prints, allowances are made for varying environmental, storage, or framing situations. For examination, each PSfineart print is photographed under the best lighting conditions, and unframed, to allow opportunity to examine it corner to corner. Further, our gallery policy invites buyers to personally inspect their selections before finalizing their purchase.

All artworks are guaranteed authentic, and attributed to the artist represented. Questions involving authorship and title are resolved before art is purchased into PSfineart collections.

Relief printing - A generic term used to describe methods where the raised areas of the printing element are inked and printed. Woodcut, linocut, embossing, and wood engraving are relief printing techniques.

Intaglio - A general category of printing techniques characterized by the incision of lines or images into a surface of the plate, which is usually metal. The paper is dampened so that under pressure it will be squeezed into the inked recesses of the plate. Thin films of ink may be left on the top surface of the plate to add total effects. Forms of intaglio are engraving, drypoint, mezzotint, etching, and aquatint. Photogravure is a photographic technique used with etching, resulting in a printing process with great fidelity to the tonal range of the original photograph.

Planographic - A technique describing the lithograph process, a process based on the antipathy of grease and water. The art is drawn on a smooth stone or plate, using pencils, crayons, tusche, or various grease, lacquer, or synthetic materials as well as photochemical or transfer processes. After the art is drawn, a solution of gum Arabic and nitric acid is applied over the total surface, chemically producing water-receptive nonprinting areas and grease-receptive image areas. Ink adheres to only the greasy areas which print as the paper pressed against the stone.

Stencil - A process of printing through an opening of material or cutout design. The stencil material is usually knife-cut from thin-coated paper, paperboard, plastic, or metal. Screenprint is a stencil technique traditionally described as serigraph and silkscreen. A squeege forces the ink through the opening or cut out design onto the print paper. Separate "screens" are used for each color of the print. Pouchoir is a direct method for hand coloring through a stencil.

Iris Print - Sometimes called "Gliclee prints" (Gliclee is a French word which means "to spray forcefully"). Two basic steps form this process. First: The artist creates a digital image, directly on a computer using either photos and/or drawings, which the artist has created. Second: The digital image is printed by a particular "Iris/spray" process. The Iris process uses a customized Iris 3047 ink jet printer. Unlike desktop ink-jet printers, the Iris uses a sophisticated print head that disperses each ink drop in a micro fine mist of minute droplets, 1.5 microns (about the size of a human blood cell), to deliver a rich image of continuous tone.

The Paper
Paper, for most limited edition fine art graphics, is one of the most important elements of the artwork. The choice of paper for an artist's image is crucial to the final effect. To be archival, it is imperative that the paper is ph neutral, commonly referred to a acid free.

Paper processed with wood chips and wood fiber is not generally used in fine art prints because they are not archival. However, recent commercial methods have been developed using steam and chemicals under high temperature and pressure to remove impurities, in an attempt to make them appropriate for art.

Acid free archival paper is made by hand or by a commercially developed process using the basic raw materials of cotton, linen rags, and/or barks beaten into fibers. The fibers are mixed with water and poured into a vat in solution. A mold is used, and the newly formed paper is dried. Different papermaking methods have evolved in the East and West, which accounts for the wide variety of Western and Japanese paper.

Print Inscriptions
Most often the artist's signature is placed at the bottom of the print along with the impression number which is expressed by means of a fraction. The denominator equals the total number of prints in the edition, and the numerator represents the specific number within the total edition. For example, 3/150 would indicate that the total number of the prints in the edition is 150, and this particular print is the third impression.

A proof is a trial print pulled to test the progress of the image.

Bon a tirer proof: A bon a tirer proof "right to print" proof, is a proof designated by the artist as the standard against which every print in the edition is to be judged for its aesthetic and technical merits.

Proofs are also signed. Common kinds of signature impressions marking the proofs are:
AP= Artist's Proof. A certain percentage of prints are reserved for the artist's personal use and are identical to the edition prints.

HC= Hors de Commerce. An impression pulled outside the edition for the personal use of the master printer and the printer-collaborator, if any, or the publisher (the group or individual funding the project).

WP= A proof that the artist has drawn, painted or collaged on. This proof is used as a reference of changes the artist has made or wishes to make in an edition. (Sometimes the WP is used solely to record directions the artist is considering for future works.)

There is a whole hierarchy of value that compares one impression of an image with another of the same image, with different images and between images of different artists. These factors are both objective and subjective. They relate to the very basic concepts of art dealing and the art market. For a basic understanding review the concepts discussed above regarding quality, condition, and authenticity, and the chart below. Feel free to contact us with questions.

Restrikes and Canceled Plates
An original print, often marked with a line through all or part of the image. It is not signed by the artist and is alternatively unsigned, signed by a master printer, or signed by a representative from an estate owning the artist's plate. Restrikes and prints from canceled plates are unlimited editions usually printed after an artist's death.

Technique Chart
Original Limited Edition Prints

Images produced on paper (or other material) by contact with an inked block, plate, collage or stone and by applying pressure; or by pressing ink into a sheet of paper through a stencil.

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