Embellishing Fine Art Prints

Toronto Fine Art Giclee Printing Articles

Embellishing a print

For some artists, the "Giclee" print is just a first step on the journey to the development of their vision. Once a fine art print is rendered and prepared the artist can add embellishments to the prints making each new work unique. This is the process of drawing or painting additional colour, shading, hilights, detail or impasto style texture etc. directly onto the prints. In short one is adding hand painted accents of materials which simply can’t be printed naturally.

One can apply thick body acrylic and watercolour paints, charcoal, pencil, pastels, felt pens like Sharpies, crayons, fluorescent or iridescent paints, inks or dyes, glitter or gold leaf, gel coatings and on & on. The possibilities are really endless. They are only limited by the imagination of the artist who envisions the final piece and decides upon the materials with which to embellish the underlying digitally rendered image. This process takes each piece to a new level of artistic achievement and makes each print a unique work of art.

Any print can be embellished whether rendered to canvas or rag papers. One may want to add simple embellishments to their print or elaborate to a degree which is only limited by the boundaries of their imagination. Before the embellishments are applied to canvas prints, however, we do recommend that we apply a very light, UV protective coating. These coatings are clear, top coat layers which seal and protect the underlying printed image from damage while the artist works on the piece.

Painting strategically placed hilights to rag prints is a great way to add strokes and extra colour to accentuate detail, add dimension and give the work a more unique feel. With watercolour or photo papers you can add just about any material one can think of as mentioned earlier. However, with rag or watercolour papers, while you can add watercolour or acrylic strokes, these materials do not behave in the same way that they do on standard watercolour papers. This is because the papers used for rendering fine art prints are prepared with an ink receptive coating which is designed to accept and trap ink immediately upon contact.

Hence when painting a long watercolour wash, for example, the pigment will stick immediately upon contact with the paper. However controlled strokes and more dry brushing or adding glitter or gloss it’s very easy to work on. Pastels also work beautifully well on rag papers. The application of light dabs of actual pastel colours in selective areas on an inkjet rendering of a pastel work add more of the look and feel of an original pastel by adding authentic “chock” quality to it.

So your fine art prints can be coated, textured, over-painted, glittered, gold-leafed, etc. The possibilities are without limits.