Giclee Definition - What is giclee and how does one pronounce it?

Looking for a giclee definition? Wondering what is giclee? And what are giclee art prints? How to pronounce giclee correctly? A concise definition of giclee relates to the meaning of the word, which is French for 'spurt'.

In the giclee printmaking process, a high quality scan of an original artwork is made, or the artwork may be developed digitally. Whichever method is used, the resultant image is then digitally printed on paper or canvas, using special inks which are painted in tiny spurts by a giclee fine art printer using special equipment.

In this discussion of a giclee definition it should be explained that giclee canvas prints or giclees on paper are usually a reproduction of an original artwork but may also be the artwork itself if the artist has developed the work digitally with a giclee 'painted' artwork as his/her intended end result. In that case, as for original prints, there is no original, except a digital one.

How to pronounce giclee

Let's assume that you are looking for a giclee definition and information to explain giclee or even for guidance about how to pronounce giclee.

The closest that I can get to the pronunciation would be 'gee-clay', with the 'g' being a soft sound as 'geriatric' or 'genetic'. In French the 'g' sound is even softer, being made by relaxing the tip of the tongue - a cross between the English 'sh' and 'j'. Try it?

Advantages of giclee prints - do giclees last?

As well as researching a giclee definition, if you are considering the purchase of a giclee artwork you may have questions such as "What are some advantages of giclee prints?" or "Do giclees last?"

Advantages of giclees relate mostly to price, with a giclee 'painting' often costing just a small fraction of the original.

Also, an original artwork may be a collage, watercolour, mixed media, oil or acrylic work which, in the translation to a giclee 'painting' appears to retain its properties of transparency, fluidity, lustre or depth.

Other advantages are the ability to custom design or adapt an image and to choose its size, so that, dependent on the resolution and quality of the original, a work could be enlarged many times or reduced in size, the end product being limited only by the size of the canvas or paper available.

Giclee art prints - high quality and affordable fine art prints.

Multiples of the same image may be customised in a limited edition - eg to commemorate a special occasion for a corporate event or as mementos for the incentive travel market etc.

If high quality inks are used, if the scan is saved at a high resolution and if the printer is skilled and experienced, a durable and high integrity artwork results.

Giclee art prints can be a high quality and reasonably priced solution to small editioned reproductions of original artwork. For some artists, giclee 'paintings' are the original artwork, sometimes digitally composed or using various media (paint, collage, photographs) to achieve the end result.

In this case, we are dealing with a new product in the development of art practice - a digital print, which has a limited, numbered edition as would an original print edition and so the giclee definition, above, needs qualifying a little.

This new digital product is a legitimate artwork, as compared to a reproduction or copy and has been developed specifically for this form.

However, not all digital reproductions are the original artwork or end result. Likewise, not all are of a high quality. If they are scanned at a low resolution, are printed with cheap inks on inferior paper or canvas and then finished with poor quality varnish, the result will be inexpensive - but that's all!

All giclee art prints featured on this website are GUARANTEED to be of the highest quality possible.

Port Douglas oil painter, Tania Heben , has reproduced a limited number of her oil paintings on high quality paper. As well, she has a very few quality digital prints available on canvas.

Jill Booth has giclee prints readily available as does Terry Johnson . These can be posted to you, rolled in a tube, ready for framing.Please see the relevant pages to make your selection from these giclee reproductions for sale.

Cautions when buying giclee art prints

However, please realise that the layer of ink applied during the making of fine art prints is very thin (compared with actual oil, acrylic etc paint). So make sure that the surface of the artwork is protected by a high quality giclee coating or varnish.

Reasonable care needs to be taken, for example with transport and storage, to ensure that the artwork is not abraded and that the protective coating or even the ink itself is not worn off by friction.

Advantages of giclee prints

1. They are relatively inexpensive.

2. Do giclee prints last? High quality inks, canvas and varnish used in these canvas giclee art prints ensure that they will last for many decades.

However, because the giclee printing process has only been developed for about twenty years there is no way of knowing for certain how long they may last. The highest quality inks, substrate and varnish have been used on works promoted on this site.

3. Various sizes may be printed for specific requirements and locations. So it's really 'giclee prints on demand'! One print, a dozen or several hundred may be printed, unlike the offset printing process, which requires high numbers of prints in order to be economical.

4. Editions may be limited to small numbers or a larger, unlimited, volume.

5. The series of large art prints , “Tropical Rainforest Plants – Croton Leaves” is limited to 50 large art prints on each paper size and and 50 on each canvas size. All are hand numbered but in our giclee definition this is not a requirement.

6. "Coral Dreaming" is also limited to 50 prints of each of three sizes on both paper and canvas (300 total).

7. Painters, such as Tania Heben and Terry Johnson, also limit their edition numbers for larger works.

8. Smaller giclee art prints are often in unlimited editions.

9. Prints are made on high quality water-colour paper or sturdy cotton canvas.

10. They may be purchased stretched or un-stretched, framed or unframed.

As with any art work, take care of it and it will give you pleasure for years to come.

If you have any questions about my giclee definition or the process itself - please ask!

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