Most collectors understand and feel knowledgeable when speaking of singular original works of art ó paintings, pencil drawings, pen and inks, acrylics, watercolors, etc. Here the artist has created one work of art with his own hand. The surface might be paper or canvas or even masonite.
A bit more complicated are Multiple Originals…commonly called Original Prints. Traditionally, the artist creates a master image for the purpose of making a small number of prints that he will sign and number. The master image might be created upon a block, stone, plate or screen ó any of which assists in conveying the image to the print surface. See our chart detailing the differences in woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and serigraphs or silkscreens.
The blocks, plates, stones and screens cannot be considered originals. They are just vehicles to produce Original Prints.
Next there are Reproductive Prints. The artist has produced an original work…and photograph technology and automated printing equipment create reproductions. Fine art print reproductions are usually signed and numbered in limited editions and care must be exercised so they remain in mint condition in order to preserve their value. Click the link above the view a diagram.
A similar, but much advanced process, creates giclÈes ó the state of the art prints now taking the art collecting world to a whole new level.