Artist Proof prints...A/P

Common practice is that 10 to 15 percent of an edition is reserved for the artist. These proofs are identical to impressions in the edition in most instances. Print Marking example; A/P "1/35" is the first print of an edition of 35 Artist Proof impressions.

Acid Free

The print contains no harmful acid or alkaline that may affect the life of the paper or quality of the image printed.

Certificate of Authenticity

A document issued with limited edition prints, with the print published date, size of the image, original art media, number of the prints in the edition, a statement about the work from the artist and the fact that the plates have been or will be destroyed to close the edition.


An image created by the artist on a metal plate by means of engraving tools and acid. This produces the sunken line which will receive the ink. As the plate is inked, the ink settles in the sunken areas. The plate is then wiped clean. The plate, in contact with damp paper is passed through a roller press, and the paper is forced into the sunken area to receive the ink.

Giclee or Digital Print

A fine art print that has become more precise with the advent of the revolutionary printing process Giclee (zhee-clay) a French term meaning "spray of ink." In the Giclee process, a fine stream of ink (more than four millions droplets per second) is sprayed onto archival art paper or canvas. Each piece of paper or canvas is carefully hand mounted onto a drum which rotates during printing. Exact calculation of hue, value and density direct the ink from four nozzles. This produces a combination of 512 chromatic changes (with over three million colors possible) of highly saturated, non-toxic water-based ink. Since no screens are used in Giclee printing, the prints have a higher resolution than lithographs and the dynamic color range is greater than serigraphs.

Hors de Commerce...H/C

Hors de Commerce (Not for trade) traditionally were the graphics pulled with the regular edition but marked by the artist for business use only. These graphics were used for entering shows, exhibits, samples, etc. Today, however, since people began to acquire and collect them, these graphics now generally find their way to the market place through regular channels and are sold. Example H/C 1/10

Limited Edition Prints...L/E

A fixed number of identical prints of an image, signed by the artist, sequentially numbered, and showing both the print's number and the total edition size. Each print is referred to as a "limited edition print."


A print produced by a printing process in which the image to be printed is rendered on a flat sheet or metal plate or stone, and treated to retain ink while the non-image areas are treated to repel ink.


Medium is the material or technical means of artistic expression. Examples include oils, watercolors, acrylics, ink, pencil and charcoal. Technical examples include lithography, serigraphy and giclee. Mixed media is the use of two or more materials and/or technical means.

Offset print

A mechanical process used to photographically reproduce an image. The newest printing method in the industry is computerized or electronic printing. This process uses a computer, typesetting and page-design software and optical scanners to aid in reproduction. The majority of reproductions are created using this process.

Open Edition

The quantity of prints reproduced is not limited. As long as the image is in demand, it will be reprinted.


The first of a work, typically the painting from which prints are made. It may also be used to describe the landmark work of an artist.

Printers Proof...P/P

Common practice by many printers is that a small number of impressions are made for their review. These proofs are marketed and are identical impressions to the edition in most instances. Print Marking example; P/P "1/20" is the first print of an edition of 20 Printers Proof impressions.

Rag Paper

One hundred percent rag paper are constructed of cotton fibers. Traditionally considered museum quality. Watercolor paper and most printmaking papers are examples of archival rag paper.


A current practice by some artist is the addition of a small personalized drawing near his penciled signature in the margin of the graphic. The simple sketch or drawing is usually rendered in pencil, but can be rendered in color. A print containing one of these hand embellishments or drawings is called a Remarque. Print marking example; RE "1/25" is the first print of an edition of 25 Remarques. By art market standards Remarques usually rank higher in value to S/N's (re-mark)


A print made by the silk-screen process involving the use of stencils. Paint is applied to a fabric screen, penetrating areas not blocked by a stencil. Several stencils are used to produce a multicolored print. As a commercial medium, silk-screen printing has been used by such modern artists as William Tolliver.

Signed and Numbered

Prints that are authenticated with the artists signature, the total number of impressions in the edition, and the order in which impression is signed. Numbering example; L/E "5/350, indicates the fifth print of a limited edition of 350 impressions.

Sold Out

When a limited edition is no longer available it is termed Sold Out. When an image sells out it usually will begin to appreciate in value depending upon resale or trade in the secondary market. In the art market a red dot on a piece symbolizes that it has been sold.


Watercolor or watercolour - Any paint that uses water as a medium. Paintings done with this medium are known as watercolors. An exception to this rule is water miscible oil paints, which employ water as their medium, but are actually oil paints.

When made opaque with white, watercolor is generally called gouache or body color. Tempera is another exception.

Colors are usually applied and spread with brushes, but other tools can also used. The most common techniques for applying watercolor are called wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet, along with the dry brush techniques dry-on-dry and dry-on-wet. Colors can be removed while still wet, to various degrees by blotting.

Most watercolor painting is done on paper, but other absorbent grounds can also be employed. The papers most favored by those who paint with watercolor is white, very thick, with high rag content, and has some tooth.

Woodcut or Wood Engraving

A relief technique in which a design is cut with knives, gouges, or chisels into planks of wood parallel to the wood grain. Wood Engraving is a relief technique in which a design is cut with burins, gouges, or chisels into the end grain of a hard wood block.