What is a giclée?

If you’ve ever admired the crystal-clear colours and tactile surfaces of works by Scarlett Raven, Alex Ross, Ronnie Wood and Stuart McAlpine Miller, you’ve witnessed the power of the giclée.

Derived from the French term gicler – meaning ‘to squirt or spray’, the term describes a printing process whereby microscopic dots of pigment-based ink are sprayed onto archival-quality paper to ensure the fidelity of a limited edition print to an original artwork.

The richness, accuracy and depth of colour is thanks to the method’s potential to achieve a huge colour gamut (the spectrum of colours distinguishable by the human eye). Unlike the four tones used in lithography, giclées often use six: light cyan, cyan, light magenta, yellow and black.

Fantastic for reproductions which require maximum detail, giclées are most commonly found on watercolour paper or canvas, but can also be created on glass. Different types of paper will produce different effects. Matte paper works well behind glass due its lack of reflectivity, whilst the shine of a glossy finish can give an artwork a brighter appearance.

It is believed that a giclée will significantly outlast a lithographic print, keeping its vivid colour for up to 200 years.

From the blog

Mess to masterpiece with Scarlett Raven


Behind every Scarlett Raven masterpiece is a glorious mess! See how she transforms her miscellaneous oil splatters into stunning pieces.

5 reasons why an artist’s signature is important


As the pièce de résistance of an artist’s masterpiece, a signature does much more than add value. Here are five reasons why it should be on your radar when choosing art.

Dan Lane’s nature-inspired giclée prints


After first dazzling collectors with giclée on glass releases in 2018, Dan Lane returned to 2D in 2019 with two new limited edition prints from his Coalesce collection.

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