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Monthly Archives: April 2017

About Giclee

In the French dictionary a giclee (zhee-CLAY) will be defined as meaning “to spray or squirt.” However others might say “giclee” doesn’t mean “to spray,” that “Giclee” isn’t an infinitive and that it is the feminine of a past participle. So if there is some argument over what the term Giclee means I believe that the intention of the term is to define a printed copy of an original artwork. Giclee is basically scanning the artwork and then using that scan to print it out on a special printer. This printer is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer, and is much larger. Giclee prints are a little over a meter wide and are often referred to as a “knitting machine” as they look very similar.

Giclees are produced from digital scans of existing artwork. Also, since many artists now produce only digital art, there is no “original” that can be hung on a wall. Giclees solve that problem, while creating a whole new vibrant digital medium for art.

When printing there are any number of media for example canvas to watercolor paper to transparent acetates. Giclees are better then the traditional lithography in many ways. The colors are brighter, last longer and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. The range of color for giclees is far beyond that of lithography, and by viewing in comparison with each other you will find that the details are far crisper in giclee.

Lithography prints use tiny dots of four colors–cyan, magenta, yellow and black; to fool the eye into seeing various hues and shades. Colors are “created” by printing different size dots of these four colors.

Again Giclees use inkjet technology, but more sophisticated than your desktop printer. The process employs six colors–light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and black–of lightfast, pigmented inks and finer, more numerous, and replaceable print heads resulting in a wider color gamut, and the ability to use various media to print on. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the color on the page to create true shades and hues.

Giclees were originally developed as a proofing system for lithograph printing presses, but it became apparent that the presses were having a hard time delivering the quality and color of the giclee proofs. They evolved into the more popular form over lithography’s and are now the cheaper and more common way to make a copy print. They are coveted by collectors for their fidelity and quality, and desired by galleries because they don’t have to be produced in huge quantities with their large layout of capital and storage.

In addition, Giclees are produced directly from a digital file that is created by scanning the original. This will save generations of detail-robbing negatives and printing plates, as with traditional printing.

 

Flower Painting

Flower painting has a wonderful history. Botanical art has been used to document numerous species of flowers and plants. There is something very satisfying and magical about painting a flower and preserving just what it was like forever. Of course, flower photographs can do the same but when you paint you have the added pleasure of carefully examining the curves and colours of each petal, stamen, stem and leaf. You have to observe the way the light catches the flower and use this information to give it a 3D presence on your paper. By painting flowers, you get to know them intimately.

I would advise anyone wanting to start painting to begin with their favourite flower, no matter how complex it might seem. By choosing your favourite, you will be motivated to try again to render it well. Your feelings have a better chance of being transferred into your flower painting too. When a flower painting makes you gasp, it is because it initially did the same for the artist and they have found a way of sharing that with you. It doesn’t matter if your attempts aren’t perfect. Each time you try you will become more familiar with it’s shape. It will seem easier to paint and you will notice more about the nuances of colour and the way light can affect it.

Of course, there are some useful techniques which might help you learn flower painting. Many excellent art books have been written about this topic and your bookstore will certainly have several. But be wary of simply copying another artists’ techniques. You may be surprised to find that you are less satisfied with the results than you are with simply observing your favourite flower and perfecting your vision of it with each attempt.

Try drawing with different materials, have fun and keep all your attempts. You will be encouraged to see how your vision and skill improves simply by practise. I use pastels, both the soft powdery ones and the deliciously oily variety. I love them because of their beautiful range of colours, from very pale to vibrant hues. I can extend this even further by overlaying thin veils of colour, allowing the underneath ones to sing through. Or perhaps you could try watercolour? This has long been a favourite of flower painters and botanical artists and for good reason. The way you can allow one luscious colour to randomly bleed into another, just as it does in nature, is very mouth-watering!

Know More about Still Life

A still life work can have many purposes. If we work in color it can help us understand how color acts in real life, how the light bounces, and how an arrangement of colors can bring a special mood to the painting. Using colored pencils we can begin studies about color, and work in the finest details. But in the case of black and white pencil drawings, the purpose of the still life pencil drawing is different. A still life pencil drawing can help us study shapes and see how they interact on our eyes, we learn how to measure correct proportions and how they can make the difference betwen a good drawing and a remarkable drawing.

When we get into shading, we then study tonal values. There are no colors here so we must learn how to see things in black and white mode, and correctly define which are going to be the dark and light areas on our still life pencil drawing.

Still lifes are the most available subjects in the world, and while some people may consider still life drawing boring, the fact is they teach us a lot. When you have no idea of what to draw, just make an arrangement of things you have at your house and start your still life pencil drawing. Don’t take just as bring cups and fruits, but instead focus on what you can learn from this. If you keep practicing on drawing still life scenes you will find out that you have a much better understanding on how light works, and how objects relate to each other within a composition and color scheme.