Let's read up on the artwork we selling!
1. What does “Gallery Wrapped” mean?
Gallery Wrapped is a type of fine art presentation which is intentionally un-framed. The canvas is stretched across thick wooden stretcher bars and then held in place with staples on the back, thereby hiding the staples when the art is hung on the wall. The result is that the image, as well as the “wrapped” edges, are visible. This is a more contemporary style of presentation and is therefore most popular with contemporary artwork, such as select artists in our POP Art Collection! Trevor Carlton, Mike Kungl and select works by Tim Rogerson and David Garibaldi are sold Gallery Wrapped. Although it’s not necessary, it is still possible to frame a gallery wrapped image if desired.
2. What is a giclée?
Giclée printing (pronounced Jee-clay) is commonly considered to be the highest quality digital reproduction technique for fine art. It starts with an extremely high resolution, detailed scanning process during which the image and topography of the original artwork are captured into a digital file. Then the giclée prints are created using specialized printers that literally spray the image onto a substrate such as canvas, paper, etc. However, not all giclées in the world are created equal… (see #3)
3. What makes Disney Fine Art’s giclées so special?
Most people would agree that owning a highly specialized, restaurant grade range certainly wouldn’t make you a Gourmet Chef. The taste of the food ultimately depends on the culinary abilities of a skilled person, and the tools of their craft are only as good as those who use them.
The same is true for fine art printing. Anyone can buy a giclée printing press, but it takes a very specialized and exceptionally skilled team of printmakers to not only properly output what the press creates, but to elevate it to an art form. Our team of artists and specialized staff go to great lengths to ensure that Disney Fine Art is created with the utmost care and attention to quality.
Just like an artist’s original work, each and every piece of Disney Fine Art limited edition artwork is carefully handmade. Canvas is hand textured (or sometimes intentionally un-textured) to emulate the look and feel of the artist’s original creation. After an extensive process of color correction and press calibration to ensure an accurate reproduction of the original, the giclée print is created. It is then hand trimmed and treated with a coat of varnish which protects the canvas from moderate amounts of scuffing, UV light exposure, moisture and humidity. Some editions are then hand embellished personally by, or in collaboration with, the artist in order to bring an even greater degree of depth and texture to the piece. Embellishments are applied using colored acrylic paint that is complementary to the image, as well as a clear acrylic gel which adds texture and dimension to the original brushstrokes that are visible in the print.
A serigraph can most easily be defined as a silk-screen or screen-print, albeit a very sophisticated and labor intensive one. Using the original artwork as the master guide, each color is carefully hand separated into individual elements and burned onto separate screens. The serigraph is then created by screening each color, one by one, onto the substrate (i.e. paper, canvas, etc.) thereby layering all the colors into their proper locations, pass by pass, through a process of physically pushing the ink through the openings in each of the color screens, ultimately combining to build the final image.
It is a painstaking, labor intensive and very precise technique, both in the color separating process and in the ability to keep all the screens in proper “registration” with one another throughout the lengthy process of laying down so many individual colors during multiple screen passes.
Considered a “traditional” printmaking technique because it is an analog process, serigraphy does not traditionally employ the use of a computer, but rather the careful artistic eye and technique of a master printer and color separator.
5. What is a lithograph?
A lithograph is a printing method which dates back more that 200 years. It began with “stone lithography,” a process by which an artist’s work was rendered onto a stone and with the use of various solutions that either attract or repel ink, the stone essentially became a stamp which could be pressed or rolled onto paper to transfer the image.
The modern version of this technique is a process called “offset lithography”. Before a lithograph can be produced, the image is separated into four colors: Cyan (Blue), Magenta (Red), Yellow and Black (i.e. CMYK). Since most colors in the spectrum originate from these colors, when they are combined to varying degrees, they can reproduce most color that may be found in the original work. For this reason, this process is also commonly referred to as “Four Color Process” printing.
Offset lithography operates on a very simple principle: ink (which is oil based) and water don’t mix. First, each of the four separated colors are transferred to their own individual aluminum plate. During the printing process, each plate is dampened first by water, then ink. The ink adheres to the image area, the water to the non-image area. The image on the aluminum plate is then transferred like a stamp onto a rubber blanket creating a negative image, then the rubber blanket is rolled across the paper to create the final positive impression of that color onto the lithograph. When all four colors are layered onto the same paper sheet (and in proper registration) they combine to create the final image.
6. Are there any Lithographs in the Disney Fine Art collection?
Yes…and no. Offset lithography is the most common form of commercial printing. Every magazine or catalog you read is technically an offset lithograph. Because we prefer to make each edition of Disney Fine Art a little more unique, anytime we reproduce an image using lithography, we will frequently combine it with other hand techniques, such as a few passes of serigraphy to add more dimension and depth to the work. By combining two print techniques in this way, the work then becomes a “Mixed Media” print, which is the case with a number of works in the Manuel Hernandez portfolio.
In the case of Manuel Hernandez’s mixed media work, Manny personally creates the screens for the serigraphy pass, which add a layer of clear gloss highlights onto select areas in the painting which he feels should be brought out to create more dimension and texture.Additionally, all our Mixed Media editions are reproduced using very high quality, acid free archival paper.
7. Are all limited editions actually hand signed by the artist?
Yes, all of our individually numbered limited editions are hand signed by the artist who created the original work. The only exceptions to this are for reproductions of work by Peter Ellenshaw and John Alvin which were printed posthumously, in which cases they are signed with an official estate signature, approved by those artists’ families.
8. Why are some giclees and serigraphs on paper instead of canvas?
In an effort to stay true to an artist’s vision and pay homage to their creative technique, we will often print their editions on the same type of material that the work originated on. For example, Toby Bluth paints his originals on a high grade watercolor paper. To properly showcase his work, we fittingly publish his limited editions on a similar type of paper. James Coleman editions, however, are primarily printed on canvas, who's work primarily originates on canvas.
9. What are the “Care” instructions for artwork in my Disney Fine Art collection?
It’s important to observe a few simple guidelines which will keep your Disney Fine Art looking beautiful for many years.
Although each canvas print is treated with a UV coating to preserve the colors, the art should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Prints should be stored or displayed in a controlled environment where ideally the temperature is not below 60 degrees or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is not below 40% or above 60%. Prints should be cleaned by brushing lightly with a feather duster or cotton towel. Never use any solvents or household cleaning products to clean the canvas.
10. What does “hand textured canvas” mean?
Giclées, for certain artists, may be produced on various types of hand textured canvas, which is meant to emulate the texture of their original artwork. This is a specialized process, done entirely by hand, and developed in collaboration with the artists. Because they are all done by hand, the texturing on each piece is similar, yet unique.
11. What does “hand embellished” mean?
A hand embellished giclée is one which has received additional hand work on top of the printed image. This adds additional color and dimension to the piece and is done in collaboration with the artist and is consistent with the artist’s style and vision for the print.
12. What does “hand deckled paper” mean?
The term “hand deckled” is used to describe the finished edge of certain giclées or serigraphs which are printed on paper. The edges of a hand deckled print undergo a “controlled tear” giving the edges a rough, jagged pattern as opposed to the clean straight edge of a print that is trimmed with a blade. An example of this type of finish work can be seen in the Toby Bluth portfolio. When framed, such prints are often “floated”, which places the matting well outside the edges of the paper so that the hand torn edges are visible.
13. What does “ limited edition” mean?
This means that only a certain amount will be printed of any given edition, as indicated by the number on the canvas print itself and on the certificate of authenticity. The edition size indicates the maximum number that will be reproduced. In addition to the edition limit, Artists Proofs (APs), Printers Proofs (PPs) and Hors d’Commerce (HC) proofs will also be printed, which stand above and beyond the limited edition size. For complete details on how many proofs were created for an edition, consult the Certificate of Authenticity.
14. What are Original Production Backgrounds?
Most of our cel setups come with reproduced backgrounds, but select setups are released with the original background which makes them an exact representation of what was shot on camera in order to animate the scene. Simpsons backgrounds are unique in the fact that the original backgrounds are painted on cels with cel paint. The majority of original backgrounds are painted on watercolour paper using cel or watercolor paint. Cels that are sold with original backgrounds are called Collectors Portfolio pieces or Key Master Setups.
15. What are Original Production Cels?
Original production cels are one of a kind pieces of original production art that was actually used in the making of the animated show. A series of cels are photographed in sequential order creating the illusion of movement. While some cels from a sequence may look similar, each cel is unique. Cels are hand-painted by overseas studios on clear acetat that are either 12-field size (10.5 x 12.5 inches) or 16-field size (16.5 x 13.5 inches).
The majority of animated shows and movies are now digital which means that the only production element available are drawings. Some shows were originally done on cel, but have moved to the digital process like The Simpsons which went digital beginning with Season 14. Other shows like Family Guy and Futurama have been digital from the beginning and have never had cels available from the show unless it was a specially created one of one or limited edition.
The term cel is derived from the word "celluloid" an early form of the material used in the animation industry until the mid-1940's. More recent cels are painted on clear acetate. Cel is commonly misspelled as "cell."
16. What are Production Drawings?
Prior to creating cels or scanning artwork into a computer, the production process begins with a drawing. Rough drawings or layouts are created by key animators to establish pose and action while clean up drawings are done by clean up artists to produce finished line art that is ready to be painted either manually or digitally.
17. What is a Hand-Painted Limited Edition?
This type of artwork was not used in the production of the animated show, but depicts a scene or the characters in a memorable pose. These edition have a hand-painted cel layer (or layers) and are laid upon a giclee or lithographic background. Edition sizes generally range from 100-500 pieces and are hand-numbered with certificates of authenticity.
18. What is a Pix -Cel Limited Editions?
The Pix-Cel is a trademarked product developed by Acme and Epson utilizing proprietary technology to give a fully rendered continuous tone 3-D image directly from digital production files onto clear acetate and positioned on a giclee background also from a digital production file. Each pix-cel is hand-numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Edition sizes may range from 25-500.
19.What is a Serical Limited Edition?
Serigraphing is a silk screen process. To produce a serigraph cel, a hand-cut master screen is prepared for each color in the scene. The serigrapher applies each distinct color separately one screen at a time in an exact process. Sericels are generally laid on a lithographic background. Edition sizes may range from 1000 to 5000 pieces and may or may no be numbered. Each limited edition comes with a certificate of authenticity.
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