A signed and numbered print bearing the
pencil-written initials A/P. Artist proofs are
identical to their S/N counterparts, with the
exception that there are fewer A/Ps, thus
making them more desireable to collectors.
Sometimes the artist may retain the artist
proofs. As a general rule, there are 10%
more A/Ps than S/Ns when a painting is
reproduced as a numbered edition.
Lithographs (as well as iris prints) can be
transfered to canvas, a special fabric
material, which gives the appearance of
texture to the image. Irises can also be
printed directly on to the canvas.
Giclée (pronounced ZHEE-clay) is the
French term for "fine spray." A giclée print
is created with digital printers using four
tiny ink jets that spray more than 4 million
microscopic water-based colored ink
droplets per second onto a sheet of fine art
paper or canvas, spinning on a drum at the
rate of 250 inches per second.
Precise computer calculations control these
ink jets to produce over 500 shades of
dense, water-based ink. A computer scans
the artist's original work to control the jets
-- no printing film or plates are involved.
The final product is a lush, vibrant, and
velvety-looking art print; one that has the
feel of a watercolor, and the clarity of an
A limited edition print is a reproduction of
an original painting which is numbered and
signed by the artist. The limited number of
pieces in the edition as well as the artist's
signature yields a collectible piece of art.
The materials used in producing a limited
edition print are archival-quality. This is
done to preserve the life of the print and
to prevent discoloration. The paper on
which the image is printed is treated so it
is pH neutral (acid-free) and is a heavier
paper stock than the open edition prints.
Limited edition prints are often referred
to as lithographs.
If the print is framed by the publisher, the
hinge tape, backing paper, and the fiber
matting are all acid-free.
The majority of prints are lithographs.
They are printed from a flat surface, and
therefore lack texture. A limited edition
lithograph is printed with museum-quality
inks and paper, whereas open edition prints
and posters may not be.
Offset lithography is the process of taking
an original piece of art and separating the
colors using a scanner or digital camera
which feeds the image directly into a
computer. Combining this information with
the photo offset printing process, the press
recreates all the colors in the original
artwork. Additional tints or touch plates
may be added to produce a print that is an
exact match to the original painting.
An open edition print is printed on a lighter
weight paper stock. It is usually smaller in
size than the limited edition, and is also not
signed, numbered, or personally inspected
by the artist. For these reasons, the open
edition is less expensive than a limited
Open edition prints are ideal for those who
are interested in the ministry power of the
image rather than the collectibility of the
piece. Open edition prints are reprinted
according to public demand and are ideal
for home, office, and church use.
A company which holds the legal rights
to print and distribute an artist's images
is known as a publisher. This company, also
known as a Publishing House, sells the
artist's reproductions to art dealers.
A remarque is a unique and highly detailed
colored or pencil sketch by the artist which
has been drawn directly onto a the margin
area of print or is sometimes included
separately. A remarque adds value to a
print, since it is unique and original.
A revolutionary new art form that combines
the giclée printing technology with a rigid
archival surface. Rigiclées are framed
without glass and have all the brilliance of
an artist's original painting.
The secondary market is a source for
obtaining prints or canvases after the
edition is sold out from the publisher. The
value and availability of a piece are based
upon supply and demand. The secondary
market can be extremely unpredictable as
price is determined by the value of the print
to the individual consumer and may differ
from one geographic area to another.
A serigraph (pronounced sear-E-graph) is
produced by the silk-screen or screen-print
printing process. For each desired color, a
photographically-prepared or hand-cut
stencil is created indicating where the color
will be applied. Then the stencil is adhered
to a silk or nylon mesh screen, and paint of
that color is forced through the screen onto
the paper. The resulting process creates a
luxurious, vibrant image.
An open edition print which is signed by the
artist but not numbered is "signed only."
An abbreviation meaning signed and
numbered, or standard numbered. An S/N
print is also referred to as a limited edition.
You can find terms and definitions related
specifically to Thomas Kinkade artwork on
our Kinkade Terminology page.