Phyllis Shipley Fineart
Phyllis Shipley Fineart

What is a Giclee?

A giclee, pronounced (zhee-clay), is an individually produced, very high resolution reproduction done on a large format printer.  These giclees can be printed on various types of papers from plain paper, watercolor paper as well as canvas.  The result is a nearly perfect reproduction of the original and the size can be varied to fit any space. 


To create a giclee, one first captures an image of the original artwork using a digital scanner, or a camera, and loads the resultant files onto a computer using one of the many photo processing tools available today. This is not, however, a simple copy and print operation.  A very high degree of skill is required by the computer technican to match the unique colors and tones of the original painting to the computer generated image and also to compensate for the type of paper to be used.


Giclee have become extremely popular for several reasons.  Firstly, the quality matches that of the original at a greatly reduced price.  Secondly, they can be made individually or in small runs, as opposed to the lithographic printing process in which runs of 1000 or more limited edition prints are made.


Which one is for you?  Its a personal choice based upon your budget, and whether you are investing, or decorating or some combination. Remember the framing costs will be the same for either option.  One happy thought; if you enjoy the works of a particular artist, you can have two or three or four giclees of the artists work for the price of an original.


Embellished Giclee


Another feature or option available to giclee buyer's is to have the giclee embellished. In this situation the artist will add features and tones as well as texture to the giclee based upon your guidance.  You can add some tones to better match your decor, add some features unique to you as well as more texture to enhance the overall artwork.  Its all up to you.