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A Guide to Creating and Buying Limited Edition Prints

Metal aluminum art print interior buy

My paintings tend to be large scale, textural works that require quite a lot of wall space within a room. For people that want to have authentic artwork in their home but have a smaller wall space to fill, a limited edition print can be the perfect choice. This is often why artists reproduce original works in a limited edition print run to allow a broader market to access their work. Buying a print in this way is also a more affordable choice than opting for an original painting by the same artist.

What is a Limited Edition Print?

The terminology used in the art world can be confusing for first time buyers that are just starting their art collection and for new and upcoming artists trying to understand the market and how their practice and work could fit in it.

Here are some of the key terms that are important to understand in order to value and/or market an artwork:

Original Artwork – An original artwork can come in many different forms: a sculpture, painting, drawing or a print. It is unique, a one-of-a-kind artwork that was created by or under the direction of the artist themselves.

Reproduction – This refers to copies of an original artwork.

Edition – A number of reproductions taken from the same source. They may be created using the same printing plate, cast, digital file, photographic negative or silkscreen.

Limited Edition – A fixed quantity of an edition of prints.

Open Edition – When an edition is open there is no limit to how many will be produced. If you buy a poster of a band without a limit on the number being produced this is an open edition. Usually it will only gain value if there is a unique mark, such as being signed by the band, and thus becoming a collectable item.

Series – Artworks are often described as being part of a ‘series’. This is not the same as being in an edition. Generally, they are visually unique works that typically follow a specific conceptual theme. For example, my original paintings are one-of-a-kind, however, thematically they are often part of a series. My Female Faces series is made up of many unique paintings of different faces.

Metal aluminum art prints

The limited edition prints that I create are reproductions of my original artworks. The print run is limited to a fixed number of copies which is usually 50 (this number will not change), so the prints themselves hold value and are collectable in their own right. Every print I produce is marked by the edition size and the specific number of that print (for example 02/50, the second print of an edition of 50). I sign every print by hand and provide a certificate of authentication which confirms that the print was created by me. This is important if you wish to resell the artwork in the future.

Different Types of Prints

There are many different printmaking techniques that can be used to create a limited edition. The more traditional methods include silkscreen (screenprint), linocut, woodcut, etching, lithograph and photographic prints. More modern printing techniques utilize digital technology such as 3D printing, laser cut, giclée (from the French word ‘to spray', which references the use of inkjet-style printers and pigment-based inks).

The finishes used and the medium that the artwork is printed onto gives a very different feel and quality. Prints on paper usually require framing or a specific method of hanging, prints on canvas are usually sold on a stretcher (wooden frame structure) and my preferred method – prints on metal, are usually mounted with a fitted bracket that secures to the wall.

My limited edition prints are produced on aluminum panels for a high definition and sleek finish. The material is clean and sharp and works well in both a modern space and a traditional setting. I also find that this method is more durable, ensuring that the artwork will maintain its quality for a long time which is an important consideration. Many prints can perish easily if they are not kept in optimal conditions. Direct sunlight, humidity, exposure to pests and general positioning within the house are all risks to the wear and tear on prints. This technique also gives more life to my artwork. When I produce my prints the aluminum panels first have a white base coat applied which makes the colors of the artwork printed over the top more vivid.

How to Buy My Prints

All of my available limited edition prints can be bought directly from my website and can sometimes be bought from select galleries, print shows and art events. I offer free shipping within the USA and Canada.

If you have any questions please get in contact directly using the website form, ask questions in the comments or check the FAQ section of my website. For my latest news and updates you can sign up to my monthly newsletter.

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