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. However, 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.

Be Inspired

Join our mailing list for all the latest art news, lifestyle features & artist updates. We'll help kick-start your collection with £25 off your first purchase.*
*Terms and conditions apply

Please complete this field
Please complete this field
Please complete this field
Please complete this field
Please accept our terms and conditions

© Copyright Washington Green Retail Limited trading as Castle Fine Art. First published 2012, last updated 2020. Washington Green Retail Limited acts as a credit broker and offers credit products from Secure Trust Bank PLC trading as V12 Retail Finance.

Washington Green Retail Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our registration number is 726395. Credit provided subject to age and status. Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies V12 Finance