Etching - A sharp needle is used to draw a design on a metal plate that has been coated with an acid-resistant substance (ground). The plate is then put into an acid bath, and the exposed parts are etched (eaten away), producing sunken lines. In printing, the ink settles in the sunken areas and the plate is wiped clean. After this process, the plate is covered with damp paper and passed through a roller press, forcing the paper in the sunken area to receive ink.
Giclee or Digital Print - A fine art print that has become more precise. Giclee (ghee-clay) a French term meaning "spray of ink." In the Giclee process, a fine stream of ink (more than four millions droplets per second) is sprayed onto archival art paper or canvas. Each piece of paper or canvas is carefully hand mounted onto a drum which rotates. Exact calculation of hue, value and density direct the ink from four nozzles. This produces a combination of 512 chromatic changes (with over three million colors possible) of highly saturated, non-toxic water-based ink. No screens are used, prints have a higher resolution than lithographs and greater color range than serigraphs.
Hors de Commerce or H/C - Hors de Commerce (Not for trade) traditionally were the graphics pulled with the regular edition but marked by the artist for business use only. These graphics were used for entering shows, exhibits, samples, etc. Today, however, since people began to acquire and collect them, these graphics now generally find their way to the market place through regular channels and are sold. Print marking example; H/C 1/10
Limited Edition Prints or L/E - A pre-determined number of identical prints of an image are produced from a master plate, stone, or other method, after which no more impressions are allowed. The edition size is the sum of all numbered pieces and proofs. The prints are then signed by the artist, sometimes titled,and sequentially numbered showing both the print's number and the total edition size. Each is referred to as a "limited edition print". Original print plates are typically destroyed after ward.
Lithograph - A print produced by a printing process in which the artist draws, usually with a waxy crayon, directly on a flat stone or specially prepared metal plate (sheet zinc or aluminum). The stone or plate are treated to retain ink while the non-image areas are treated to repel ink.
Medium - the material or technical means of the way a piece of art is produced. Kinds of mediums include oils, watercolors, acrylics, ink, pencil and charcoal, to name a few. Reproduction medium types which involve reproduction methods are lithography, offset lithography, silk-screen, serigraphy and giclees. Mixed media is the use of two or more materials during the artistic process.
Mezzotint - An engraving technique in which a metal plate is first roughened so that it will produce a dark tone. The design is then worked into the plate from dark to light by scraping down the roughened areas to produce the design.
Monotype or Monoprint - A technique in which a drawing is made with ink on a smooth surface such as glass or metal and then printed onto paper by hand or with a press. Usually only a single print is produced, although a "ghost image" (a second strike from the same inked plate) may be produced.
Mono-Original - An original image, any medium recreated in likeness more than once.
Offset Lithograph - A mechanical printing process used to reproduce an image within a kind of photographic process. The most current printing methods in the art world are computerized or printed electronically. This older process uses a computer, tedious typesetting, and page-design software along with optical scanners for reproduction.
Original Graphics - An artist working in a printmaking medium, such as etching creates a Predetermined number of images. Lithography and serigraphy. Original graphics are produced on a master plate, stone, or screen one at a time using a graphic press.
Printers Proof or P/P - Common practice by many printers print a small number of impressions or prints which are made for reviewing by the artist his or her publishers, or even galleries for approval at printing time. Proofing time may vary depending on reproduction methods. Offset lithographs are produced fairly rapidly with an offset press. Proofs are sometimes marketed and are actually identical impressions to the final print that is ultimately done in larger numbers. Print markings for example will show "P/P 1/100". This refers to the first print of an edition of 100 Printers Proofs. Most Printers Proofs are pricier and worth more in value to S/N's or A/P's of an edition.
Rag Paper - One hundred percent rag paper are constructed of cotton fibers. Often considered museum or what one might has as "archival quality". Watercolor paper and most final print paper further help to describe examples of archival rag type paper.
Remarque or RE or rem - Many artists are beginning to put a small personalized signature depiction or even a small drawing in the margin of their prints. The small image is sometimes found in pencil, hand done by the artist or it can be found in color, such as with colored pens. Using one of these images, is referred to using a Remarque. Because they take extra effort on the part of the artist signing the piece, the first print of an edition of Remarques usually are more costly compared to S/N's, A/P's or other attributes of an art print edition. A "RE 1/25" for example, on a print, would refer to the first printing of 25.
Serigraph or Silkscreen - A process in which a tightly stretched screen, often of silk is readied. After, blocking out areas that will be printed by filling mesh on the screen with a paint or varnish. Then paper is put under the screen, and ink or varnish is pushed through the mesh onto the paper with various methods, most often a squeegee. The print becomes a type of stencil used together to create a multi-colored final print. Oriental artists have silk-screened for years. Serigraphs are hand pulled art, where as a silk-screen is being even more refined in new automated printing processes.
Signed and Numbered or S/N - Prints that are signed or authenticated with the artists signature, the total number of impressions in the edition, and the order in which impression is signed. The artist pencils in his signature and a number on the bottom of the print. Most artists choose to use a pencil on reproduction images because it does not degrade or grossly effect paper in years to come. The number appears as a fraction. "L/E 5/1500, means one is viewing the fifth print of a limited edition of 1500 prints.
Lar Shackelford, Fine Art Shack Gallery is a former award winning TV news videographer currently accomplished as a still photographer, painter, water colorist, and computer graphic artist. - Fine Art Shack Ebay Store