View Full Version : Getting giclee prints of your work

06-16-2005, 04:18 PM
I am just full of questions today!!! I would like to know if you get giclees made of your work right after you finish it. It makes sense, because once you frame it you wouldn't want to undo that. How do you decide which paintings you will get prints of?


06-18-2005, 12:57 AM
Hi, Shari, I was interested to see what replies you got to your question, but there don't seem to be any yet, so I'll share my own limited experience. I've only ever got one piece made into a giclee, but I think others on the forum have done more, and I'd love to hear from them.

Some reasons for making giclees. First, if something turns out so well that you think more than one person will want to buy it, prints enable you to sell to them all. The price will be lower for the print but you make more money by selling multiples. You can then sell the original or not as you choose.

Second, if you hate to part with the original at any price, for whatever reason, you can keep it and sell only prints. Some artists routinely get all their pictures set up for giclees. They only sell the prints, never the originals. You see this especially on e-bay. I'm also noticing it a lot now in local exhibits set up by the artist, for example the display booth at the local hospital. It's full of prints, and when one gets sold another just like it is put in its place.

Another reason for giclees, we all know how expensive it is to frame pastels, and the cost has to be passed on to the customer, sometimes making the price higher than they want to pay. You can offer them a print unframed at a much lower price, and they don't have to worry about framing it under glass with thick mats. The picture is also a lot less fragile.

You have to figure out if you're going to make enough to cover the cost of setting up the giclee. Usually you have to sell more than one print to break even, so we're back to the first question. Will more than one person want it?

E-J pointed out to me last week in the sketches forum, if a painting looks better in a photograph than it does in real life, it might make a good print, so you can sell something that otherwise might not sell at all.

I think giclees work best for relatively small works, in oil or watercolour or acrylic. The print shop I went to did a lovely job on my pastel, but it was a full size sheet of Canson, larger than they usually handle. They had to scan it twice and join two pieces together, and of course they had to be careful not to smear. It cost me about $150, whereas my friend with the watercolour flower studies routinely got hers done for $40-50. This was a few years ago, when giclees were new. The price might be better now. Nevertheless, I spent that much and still didn't have anything to sell. I still had to order prints at an additional cost. Now, it's true that's only as a professional frame would cost, but I still had to frame someting - either the original or a print - in order to display it. I guess that's where e-bay is good. You might never have to frame it at all if you only sell online.

Whether you get them done as you go, or wait until you have a batch, I guess that depends on how close you live to the print shop, and how much you're prepared to pay at one time.

Of course it's more efficient to get the print made before framing. Mine was in the frame when I took it to the shop. They charged a small fee for taking it out of the frame and putting it back. Next time, I'll do that at home.

If you are good at photography, you can make the transparency yourself, that saves about $15-20 where I live, and saves having to drag the picture to the printer.

So that's my giclee experience. It didn't work out that well for me because of the cost, but I can see where it would be very good for someone with a lot of small pieces.

06-19-2005, 09:56 PM
I guess no one has anything else to offer on this subject. I went to my local giclee printers and since I work fairly small still, about 12x16 or so, it is only costing me $15 for a scan. If I go bigger than 12x16 then it takes two scans. I can even get a giclee on canvas which is fun!!!


06-20-2005, 04:04 AM

The other day, I had to make some fast slides, and I noticed when I picked up the slides, the printing place will make giclee prints. This is the first place in the Kansas City, Missouri area I've seen that will do this. I tried looking for some local printers with this service on-line about a year ago, and didn't find any at all. I'm glad to see there is at least one now.

The place is Custom Color, and in case you're interested, the website is www.customcolor.com. The person I dealt with was very nice and helpful, too - his name was Joe Goodwin.