Drypoint - Printing technique of intaglio engraving in which a hard, steel needle incises lines on a metal plate, creating a burr that yields a characteristically soft and velvety line in the final print.

Engraving - Printing technique in which an intaglio image is produced by cutting a metal plate or box directly with a sharp engraving tool. The incised lines are inked and printed with heavy pressure.


The "original" of each etching is a copper plate covered with a ‘ground’, a paint-like substance. The artist uses a needle tool to lightly draw the picture through the etching ground. When the drawing is complete the plate is immersed in an acid bath for a few hours to "etch" the lines. This means that the acid eats away at the copper that shows through the etching ground. When the copper has finished etching, the plate is then cleaned and all of the acid and ground is removed from the plate. Then inks are added to its surface and are worked into the needle drawing. Excess ink is then wiped off and paper is pressed onto the top of the plate. Because the ink remains only in the lines of the drawing a copy of the drawing appears on the paper and the image is ‘printed’.


Fine Art
Art created for purely aesthetic expression, communication, or contemplation. Painting and sculpture are the best known of the fine arts. 

Fine Art Paper - Fine art paper that serigraphs, lithographs, and giclees are printed on add immensely to the value and quality of the print. The paper weight and content make the difference in the way a print looks, feels, and ages. An intregal part of printmaking, paper is perhaps the foremost consideration for the publisher at the outset of the printing process, especially in terms of what best interprets the original piece and the artists intent.
Gicleé (gee-clay)
Giclee is a general term for an extremely high resolution digital print based on an orginal piece of artwork, such as painting or photographic print. The artwork is captured digitally and converted into a high-resolution digital file that is optimized for colour and accuracy to the satisfaction for the publisher, printer and artist. Giclee prints are created using a state-of-the-art, professional 8-colour to 12-colour inkjet printer and are printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art and photo base paper. They are characterized by excellent saturation and depth of colour.
Image Size
The size of the work reproduced on a print, not the overall paper size.


Limited Edition Art Prints
When an artist decides to print a limited edition of a piece of original art, an edition size is set and only that number of prints will be made available to the buying public. For example, if a limited edition of 780 prints were going to be made of an original, there would be 780 copies plus 78 (10% of the addition) artist proofs made and inspected. All of the rejected prints plus negatives and printing plates are then destroyed. Thus, there would be a total of 858 prints available for sale throughout the entire world for that edition! This ensures that only those prints signed and numbered by the artist will be on the market for purchase and trading on the secondary market. The prints are made on top quality paper stock, usually 100% cotton rag paper that is acid free and of archival quality and only the highest quality permanent non-fading inks are used in the printing process. This provides the purchaser with the very finest and most permanent materials which, when mounted and framed correctly, will minimize the effects of deterioration from moisture, insects, acid migration, and light over a long period of time.



A lithograph is made by using the same principles as etching. Instead of the image being scraped away from a metal plate, the image is drawn onto a metal or stone slab with a greasy crayon. When the image is finished, water is spread over the surface and ink is applied. The lines of the greasy crayon attract the ink, whereas the wet areas repel it. Therefore, only the lines made by the crayon are visible.


Border of cardboard or similar material placed around a picture as a neutral area between the frame and the picture.

Matted Size
The overall size of the mat which contains a print or original, ready for a frame.
Medium (pl. media or mediums)
1. A particular material along with its accompanying technique; a specific type of artistic technique or means of expression determined by the use of particular materials. 2. In paint, the fluid in which pigment is suspended, allowing it to spread and adhere to the surface.


Media are the materials used to create a piece of art. The term "medium" is used when one material is used to create the artwork. If an artist uses more then one type of material then he or she is using mixed media. Artists can use more than just paint to create artwork…other media that artwork can be created from includes: - watercolour and acrylic paints - pencil crayons, charcoal, crayons, markers - paper, metal, wood, clay, sand, rocks - plastic, styrofoam, wire, glass.


Mixed Media
Works of art made with more than one medium.






Acid-Free Paper
Paper treated to neutralize its natural acidity in order to protect fine art prints from discoloration and deterioration.

Acrylic A plastic used as a medium for pigments in painting or as a casting material in sculpture


(Fr. "Applied"; pron. apli-KAY) A cutout attached to a background.


Archival quality - This term refers to the permanence and the longevity of the medium of artwork. In digital printing the paper has to be acid free, lignin free, usually with good colour retention and the ink is permanent, non-fading, high-quality ink to meet the criteria of archival quality.


Art Print

A print is a copy of an original painting produced using any mechanical method which ensures that all of the copies will be identical. Examples of fine art printing methods are : wood block prints, linocuts, silk-screens (also called serigraphs), lithographs, etchings, giclée (also called digital prints).

 Artist's Proof

Artist proofs originally were hand picked by the artist during the printing process after the presses were re-inked. The images were usually of a higher color quality and much more vibrant and clear than those found later during the printing run. The artist was allocated about 10% of the total printing for his/her own use and these hand picked prints were signed and numbered differently than the regular edition. Today, with the quality of offset lithography being much better and more consistent, artist proofs do not usually afford the buyer any better quality print than those of a regular edition. Though the value as a collectable is greatly increased.


An artwork is autobiographical when it tells details about the artist's life


Bas-relief  Sculpture in which the figure projects only slightly from the background.



A portrait or sculpture from the mid-torso or shoulders up


Canvas Transfer - Art reproduction on canvas which is created by a process such as serigraphy, photomechanical or giclée printing. Some processes can even recreate the texture, brush strokes and aged appearance of the original work.

Catalogue  Complete descriptive listing of an artist's works.

Collage A work made by gluing pieces of paper, fabric, etc., onto a flat surface.

Certificate of Authenticity - COA
Certifies the authenticity of an individual piece in an edition


Diptych: (pron. DIP-tick) A two part painting, often of attached panels. A triptych is composed of three parts, a tetratych four, etc.


A numbered print is designed to show the limit or size of a print edition. The number is generally placed over the size of the edition. For example 12/500, indicates that the print is number twelve out of an edition of 500. Lower numbers used to mean a sharper image, but with modern printing, the last print should be as sharp as the first "off the press".


Open Edition Fine Art Prints

A high quality print as above, Not signed by the artist and no limit is set as to the amount to be printed.  


Poster - A poster is a reproduction that involves taking an original piece of art and photographing or scanning it digitally and transferring that image to paper via inks or pigments, often using a lithographic printing or inkjet process.


Print on canvas - The image is printed from a high-resolution digital file directly into the canvas using professional, 8-ink to 12-ink printer using durable pigment-based inks. The canvas' surface can be coated with emulsion after the printing if the canvas itself was not water-resistant.

The printer and marketing company producing and distributing limited edition prints. At this time I am self-published.



A current practice of some artists is the addition of a small personalized drawing or symbol near his pencil signature in the lower margin. The practice is borrowed from Whister's famous "butterfly" which was added to personalize many of his graphics.
Signed Open Edition Art Prints
Same as an Open Edition but signed by the artist and no limit is set as to the amount to be printed.
Signed and Numbered
Refers to an artist's signature (generally in pencil) and the numbering of the edition.
Sold Out Print
A print is considered sold out and on the secondary market when it is no longer available from the primary source of supply, i.e. the artist or the publisher who distributed the print even though the art dealer may have prints in stock.
Secondary Market Value
Guidelines that are established by those print owners who offer for sale prints they possess that are no longer available from the primary or dealer sources. The popularity of the artist, the rarity of the print, the interest of the consumer in owning the print all are factors that help determine the secondary market value of a limited edition print. These prints are a result of a very meticulous planning and labor of both the artist and the print.
Serigraphy - Serigraphy is one of the oldest printmaking techniques in use today. It is a stencil process that is also known as silkscreen printing. Each colour requires a separate screen thus the painstaking labour of colour separation, colour application, press time and drying can take up to 100 days in order to complete a hand-pulled fine art serigraph edition.

Understanding the Codes that Describe a Print Edition 

Next to the description of a fine art print you may notice something like the following:


S/N 250 A/P 12 Giclée 17 x 22 #AB1103


This means that the print is one of a Signed and Numbered edition of 250 with an additional 12 Artists Proofs. The method of printing is Giclée.  The size is 17 by 22 inches. The catalogue number is AB1103.

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