When I reconnected with the visual arts again after decades, it was through making doodles on my iPad. What started as a pain management technique became a hobby, and then a passion. Soon, I was experimenting with different media, painting with watercolour, acrylic on paper, then acrylic on canvas. Throughout this journey I continued to use my iPad both to make original work, and as a way of testing out ideas for my conventional paintings. The iPad and the iPhone are my tools as much as pencil, paper and brushes.
My iPad work has been for sale on my Etsy shop for years, but I am delighted to announce the development of a new range of limited edition prints. Shop iPad editions now
An early iPad painting of fields near Ely
IPad artworks are popular on my Etsy
A recent artwork I am testing
What is a limited edition print?
Open edition is a term that is used when there is no limit on the number of prints that an artist can make from an individual image.
Unlike open edition prints, limited editions (like the name says) are strictly limited. The number of prints in a limited edition is up to the artist. The artist can’t change the number of prints available for sale in the edition, no matter how quickly they sell or even if people want to buy more. Each print will be numbered and authenticated by the artist.
Artists sometimes create a few different limited editions for the same artwork, for example using different sizes or materials.
Typically you will see the artist signing the print on the front and giving it a little fraction-like number, for example, 10/30, this would mean the print was number 10 out of a print run of 30 in total.
Limited editions can be produced using a number of different techniques, but let us restrict ourselves to what I am doing which is iPad artwork. Like photographs, limited edition prints of iPad artwork, are usually produced on high quality paper using a process called "giclée".
Types of Printing
What Is A Giclée Print?
So what’s so special about a giclée print? Basically it’s the quality and longevity of the inks and paper used in the process. This type of print is often referred to as “gallery” or “museum” quality print.
They are digital prints made on a very good quality inkjet printer, as distinct from other traditional ways of printing (handmade or offset litho). The name giclée comes from the French verb meaning spray, spout, squirt. The giclée printing process combines archival inks with archival paper to produce a print which is of very high quality and long lasting.
Digital artwork printed using the giclée process and framed
But there are other options than printing on paper, such as acrylic
Printing onto Metal
There are 2 different processes that can be used to transfer an image onto metal to create a wall art. In both cases they are carried out by highly-skilled specialist printers. I work with carefully-selected companies to create my metal artworks.
Printing onto Metal Using the Dibond Process
In this process, the image is printed onto a very thin sheet of aluminium. The wall art is created from 2 thin sheets of aluminium with a black polyurethane core sandwiched between them. If you look at the side of the artwork you can see that it’s a sort of sandwich.
These prints are distinctive. I use a non-reflecting finish. The metal has a soft sheen. They are unusual, contemporary, and robust..
Infusing the Image onto an Aluminium Panel
In this process the wall art is created using the latest in high definition metal print technology onto a thin aluminium panel. The material may is called Chromaluxe or Alumini – depending on the printer. But, basically it’s using an aluminium panel of about 1 mm in thickness. Heat and pressure are applied to special inks in a process called dye sublimation which results in the image being infused into the metal rather than printed onto its surface.
These prints are scratch resistant, durable and robust. The special process gives the image a vibrant sharp appearance and there is a tremendous sense of depth.
The finish I use is non-reflecting and gives the aluminium a soft sheen.
Using the Chromaluxe/Alumini method produces is a premium product which perfectly complements my iPad artwork.
Currently I am trying out various designs using different processes to see which ones work best. Watch out for artists proofs – these are experimental test pieces.
What Is an Artist’s Proof or Studio Proof?
Traditionally, a studio proof proofs is produced at the same time as a limited edition print run. They are generally more expensive and exclusive than a limited-edition. They are separate from the edition.
My artist's proofs are test prints to see how an image looks at a particular size or on a particular material.
One of my favourite iPad artworks is now available as an artist's proof in various different formats: check out the shop page for iPad editions