The aquatint technique is said to have originated in the 1760s by J. B. Le Prince (1734-84). It is a print making process using etching. The artist etches sections, rather than lines, on a metal plate and covers the etched plate with a powdered resin solution which is heated and then dipped into an acid bath. This immersion process causes the acid to bite many tiny pockmarks into the resin surface. When the plate is inked and printed, a composition is created that combines the lines of etching with the matted tones of aquatint. If an area is to be completely white, that part of the plate is coated with varnish. The finished effects of the aquatint art work are depicted by tone, shadow, and masses, whereas those of etching are created by lines. Artists often combine the two media in their finished art work. The tones produced by aquatint resemble those of a watercolor drawing.
Prior to making an edition (limited or unlimited) the artist sets aside a small number of prints, usually 10-15% of the edition for his or her own use. They are marked as A/P (English) and sometimes left unnumbered. Artist's proofs generally command a higher price than the regular prints of an edition because of their small number.
A process of making art objects of clay and firing them in a kiln. Ceramic products may be decorated with slip, engobe, or glaze, applied by a number of techniques. (see the ceramic works of Deidra Bell in the Artist Gallery).
Certificate of Authenticity:
A certificate/letter generally issued by the artist to the purchaser of his or her limited edition art work. This certificate of authority gives some provenance about the art (e.g., state of the art work, the size of the edition, the original art medium, price). This document can be used for insuring of the art work and for authentication in later selling of the art work.
The use of various paint mediums, photographs, printed text, cloth, fabric and other miscellaneous elements into artistic compositions. It was introduced by Cubist artists and has since garnered a large following of artists who have elevated the collage technique to new artistic heights.
A style of art depicted by the transformation of natural forms into abstract geometric schema and cubes. It originated in France during the early 1900's, created in the art works of George Braque and Pablo Picasso. (see the cubist art work of Ophelia Chambliss in the Artist Gallery).
With this printmaking technique, lines are scratched directly into a metal plate using a needle with a steel tip set with a diamond or other hard precious stone. The line incised by the needle also creates rough edges, burr, which later serves as a reservoir for the print ink. Although it is often used in combination with etching, no acid is used for drypoint. The printing of drypoint is similar to that of etchings and engravings. The metal plate is printed in reverse on a simple handpress. The drypoint technique is characteristically a sketchy medium suitable for improvisation, but it can also be used to render fine detail. Some art compositions combine all three processes: etching, engraving and drypoint.
Etching dates back to the Fourteenth century in Europe and where it was used in embellishing body armor decorations. Using this printmaking technique, the artist pours a coat of acid-resistant resin/wax over a metal plate, usually of copper or zinc. Using an etching needle he cuts through the resin and draws down to the plate's surface. The etching needle exposes the metal without penetrating it. When the design is completed, the plate is submerged in an acid solution that attacks the incised lines, biting into the metal. The acid bath process is repeated until lines are bitten to sufficient depth in the metal plate to produce the desired effects of light, shade and effect. The lines receiving the longest exposure to the acid will be the heaviest and darkest in the print. In printing, all resin is removed; the plate is warmed, coated with etcher's ink, and then carefully wiped so that the ink remains in the depressions, but is largely or wholly removed from the surface. It is then covered with a soft, moist paper and run through an etching press. The print transfer from plate to paper is in reverse [i.e., when you look at an etching print you're looking at the reverse of the design that was etched in the plate]. Only a limited number of first-rate proofs can be made from a plate, and some artists destroy their plates after making a given number of prints.
Giclée (pronounced, zhee-clay):
A print produced by digitizing an original art work using high-end computer printer technology, the original colors and images are created with exactitude. Derived from the French word meaning "a spraying of pigments," giclée prints are of very fine quality, color range and detail. Giclée's make elegant reproductions of original art work that sell in the thousands of dollars available to a broad continuum of art connoisseurs at a fraction of the original's price. The reproductions are typically done in limited quantities, often signed by the artist and numbered. Sometimes, the artist will hand-embellish elements of the work with his or her own paintbrush, to give it more texture and make it look more like an original. Note: digital [giclée] prints of "The Debutante," an exquisite oil painting by Los Angeles artist Mark Ryden, sold for $900 each in 1999, one of the same set of prints sold for $3,200 in 2004. (see the giclée prints by Michael Spears in the Artist Gallery).
A medium containing the same pigments as watercolor, however inert ingredients are added that gives it a gluey consistency. The artist often applies a coat of varnish over gouache to enhance its color intensity and enliven dark colors.
A printmaking technique whereby the artist incises or engraves a design into a stone or metal plate, producing a concave, instead of a convex, effect. It is the reverse of a relief or woodcut. Intaglio prints are made by inking the plate, then wiping the surface of the plate, leaving ink in the etched or engraved areas. The ink is then transferred to damp paper by running the plate through an etching press.
A set of prints in which only a predetermined number of the original art work are reproduced. Afterwards no more prints are to be made. Prints are then signed and numbered by the artist. There are two numbers on a limited edition, e.g., 15/50. The number on the bottom, 50, refers to the total number of reproductions in the edition. The top number, 15, is the number of the individual print. A Rule of Thumb used by serious art connoisseurs is that the preferable range for the total number of reproductions in the artist's edition should be 50-250. (See prints by Bernard W. Brooks in the Artist Gallery).
Lithography is distinguished from relief printing and from intaglio printing (in which the design is cut or etched into the plate). Lithography is used both as an art process and as a commercial printing process. Lithography is based on the mutual antipathy of oil and water. The artist draws a composition directly on a flat stone or metal plate using an oil-based ink or a grease crayon. Water is applied to the surface of the stone or plate where the oil-based images have been drawn. The surface is then coated with an oil-based printing ink that adheres only to the areas drawn in oil-based ink or grease crayon. A sheet of paper is placed on the plate and then put through a press, producing the lithographic print.
Fine art - paintings and sculptures, that are smaller and in many instances provide more minute detail and refinement in their presentation than traditional works of art. Size guidelines for miniature art as defined by the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists (www.worldfm.org/definitions.htm) are: (1) No subject larger than life, portrait head no larger than 2" [5cm], (2) paintings .should be no larger than 5" x 7" (12.5cm x 17.5cm), inclusive of framing and (3) sculptures are limited to 6" in any direction. Technique, (e.g., mastery of the media, color and application of thin detailed brushstrokes) is also a critical in the miniature guidelines.
As the name applies, some artists combine multiple mediums - oils, watercolors, pencil, pastels - in their respective art work. Artists may also embellish their final product with colored chaulk or gouache. (see the mixed media artwork by Gwendolyn Aqui and Bernard Odi in the Artist Gallery).
A set of prints in which an unlimited number of copies are reproduced from the original art work.
Works of art that comes directly from the hands of the artist. It may be a one-of-a-kind original or a multiple original. Examples of one-of-a-kind originals are: oils, pastels, temperas, watercolors, gouaches and monoprints. Multiple originals include: etchings, aquatints, drypoints, woodcuts, and lithographs. Both original forms are collected and prized by art connoisseurs.
An artists' medium of chalk and pigment, tempered with weak gum water and usually molded in the form of sticks; Matisse was a master of pastel. Pastels are often classified as paintings, although the medium lends itself to the more direct and spontaneous approach of drawing.
A commercial reproduction (offset print) of an original art work or photographic art. They are used to advertise, publicize, or commemorate an event (e.g., an artist exhibit). They are reasonably priced and can be unsigned or signed by the artist. (see poster art by Mr. Sweeney in the Artist Gallery).
Silk screen, serigraphy, and screenprinting are synonymous. There are multiple variations of these printmaking techniques. However, they all make use of stencils and screens for transfer of designs. Paint is applied to a wire mesh, silk or nylon screen and stretched across a frame. The paint penetrates areas of the screen not blocked by the stencil allowing the paint film to adhere to the paper below, producing the printed image. By using several stencils a number of colors may be employed in a single print. Silk-screen printing was initially developed as a commercial medium; it is used by numerous modern artists, including Andy Warhol, who have combined it with photographic processes.
A painting medium in which finely ground pigment is mixed with a solidifying base such as albumen, fig sap, or thin glue. Tempera's particular advantage is that clear, pure colors are produced, which are not so subject to oxidation as are oils. It generally has a body like that of oils, but tend to be more translucent. However, tempera does not lend itself to the expression of nuances of color and atmosphere. Well known from antiquity, tempera was the exclusive panel medium in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance
The use of pigments, ground in thickener (e.g., gum arabic), mixed with water and applied by the artist to paper or canvas. Long before oil was used in the preparation of pigment, watercolor painting had achieved a high form of sophistication. The oldest existing paintings, found in Egypt, are watercolors. The advantages of watercolor lie in the ease and quickness of its application, in the transparent effects achievable, in the brilliance of its colors, and in its relative cheapness. Watercolor is a comparatively perishable medium; it is vulnerable to sunlight, dust, and contact with glass surfaces.
This is one of the earliest known printing processes. It is thought to have originated in China during the Eight Century. It is a relief process used by the artist, whereby the image is raised from the wood. The woodcutter first draws directly on the wood block [usually cherry, beech, or maple wood - less than an inch thick]. The artist uses special woodcutting tools to carve a relief image into the wood block. Once the image is carved into the wood block, it is inked and paper is placed on the image to produce the print.