What is a giclee print?

Have you heard of the term giclee print?

A giclee print is a printed digital reproduction of an artwork.

I’ve had gallery quality giclee (pronounced zee-clay) prints made for many of my paintings.

The top 5 reasons I reproduce my original oil paintings:

  • I started my art-life out in printmaking, where multiple copies can be made from a single plate or block.
  • High quality printed reproductions of paintings make art comparatively accessible and affordable.  I believe art should be made available to as many people as possible.
  • In the technological age, it is possible to obtain a very accurate reproduction of an oil painting, and whilst is a significant investment, it is economically viable.
  • Taking reproductions has many commercial applications.  Aside from selling the print as wall art, I have also have a range of high quality greeting cards, gift cards, and gift tags. There are many more possibilities. 
  • Being a trained lawyer, I like to keep copies of everything!

Babushka Doll, oil on canvas board, Elisabeth Howlett, 2015.
Babushka Doll, oil on canvas board, Elisabeth Howlett, 2015.

The imaging specialists I use create amazing giclee prints.  They are local and family owned, arguably the best in Adelaide; with limited competitors nationwide.  I ask my image specialists to prepare a reproduction or giclee proof of my original oil painting. They photograph the image using tip tier photograhpic methods and then colour match by hand, using test strips, checking the print against the original artwork. Once made, the reproduced image can be printed onto canvas or german etching paper (specialty photographic papers are also available).

I have had many of my paintings reproduced in this manner, and they will be available in my new online shop, coming soon!

Most of my prints will be part of a limited edition, i.e. each print or print size will have a numbered limit, e.g. 100, and then after that, no further prints can be made.

Alice’s Hot Air Balloon, oil on canvas, Elisabeth Howlett, 2010.
Alice’s Hot Air Balloon, oil on canvas, Elisabeth Howlett, 2010.

A print onto german etching paper needs to be framed. For prints onto canvas, my service provider “treats” the canvas print ready for stretching onto wooden supports. It receives many layers of protective varnish.

The beauty of the canvas print is that once stretched onto wooden supports, it does not need to be framed, and is “ready to hang”. These days it is quite acceptable for a canvas print to hang on the wall unframed.

Framing is an investment. It can compliment an artwork beautifully. It tends to “finish” a painting, making it look “polished”. I am convinced of this as I’ve had a few large canvas paintings on the wall for years, unframed. Now they are framed they somehow look ‘finished’ and almost add a piece of ‘furniture’. Framing also protects a print or original painting from dust and damage.



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