What makes an archival/giclee print? Well, some people have different ideas on what exactly makes a giclee print and I’m sure that there’s plenty of people out there selling prints that they claim are giclee but aren’t, some innocent, some not. For a start, the paper the image is printed on is a part of it. The Hahnemuhle papers I use are internationally recognised as one of the best out there and are specially treated to produce the best results possible. Another part is the inks used. They have to be pigment-based and, really, the inkjet printer used (so I’ve heard) should have at least 8 inks. I can’t vouch for the truth of that, but my printer (the Canon Pro 1000) has 12, so I know I’m covered in that regard. I also use only Canon inks and not re-fills or sub-standard inks that can be gotten cheaply off of eBay. Resolution of the image and the printer are other parts of it, but things start getting very technical in this area which I won’t go into though 300dpi for the image is usually accepted as standard. Normal home desktop printers don’t come close to the quality of print that your painting will be printed on. That’s a promise! 🙂
Most of my images nowadays are created on my trusty iMac using Photoshop CS6 and my medium (though Lord does it feel small compared to some of the ones I see used out there) Wacom Tablet pen and touch, all of which have taken years and no little amount of money to get to the point at which I’m now at, though I’m always learning and, hopefully, getting better.
At the end of the day, us artists are simply image makers and I’ll do what I can to create the best image I can, the tools I use as mentioned above helping enormously to that end: the iMac being a much happier experience than a Microsoft PC, the Wacom tablet with it’s pen that allows sensitivity with each brush stroke and Photoshop, which is just an amazing piece of software, what with its layers and brushes, adjustments and guides and grids, the latter of which helps a great deal in portraiture esp. when having to fit the painting to a certain size and getting proportions right.
I still do ‘traditional’ art and always will. The uniqueness of each piece is something that digital artwork sadly lacks, though I guess I could always get that one print of an image I’ve painted in Photoshop and then delete the file so that it doesn’t exist in any other form (or certainly in that quality). But could I do that? I’m afraid I’d struggle too much to hit that ‘delete’ button!! 😮