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Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  How do you work?

I am primarily a studio painter. However not all the work is completed in the studio. The concepts and preliminary sketches and drawings are almost always done in the field. I begin with a small pencil sketch indicating a rough design and composition (that’s the placement of the subject on the paper). Working in black and white helps me see shapes and values and really aids in creating a strong composition. Next I do a small, loose color sketch in the same medium I will eventually render the finished work. Often I will do several of these small sketches for each painting. While on location, I also use the camera to document the subject especially details that the preliminary work never include. Back in the studio, under controlled light, with the sketches, the studies, and the photos in front of me for reference, I begin the major work either on paper, canvas or panel.


Question:  How do you reproduce your art?

Through the years artists have designed and engineered various ways of reproducing their art. I have chosen three methods to reproduce mine: offset lithograph, hand-colored copperplate etching, and giclée. The prints produced in all of these disciplines are signed and numbered and the edition size is limited. I personally sign and number each print. The numbering indicates the size of the edition as well as which print is being represented in that edition. For example 4/98 means that this print is the 4th impression out of 98 impressions. Because all my work is reproduced as limited editions, this means when print 98/98 is sold, the edition is considered out of print. No further impressions will ever be made of that image. 


Question:  What is offset lithograph?

The majority of my paintings are reproduced by this method. The original art is scanned and plates are made that represent the major colors that were used in the painting (it’s really a lot more technical than that!). Plates are created, aligned, and finally fixed to the press. Using special fade resistant inks (usually four basic colors) and 100% acid free paper, the pressman and the artist work together adjusting the colors and saturation levels until the desired effect is achieved (or until the print is sick of the artist!). After drying, I inspect and sign and number each print. Because this is a limited edition, after the printing is complete, the plates are destroyed.


Question:  What is giclée printing?

This is the newest and, many say, the most accurate printing process to date. It is also one of the more expensive methods. Like the offset lithograph, the giclée begins with a technical photographic scan of the original painting. Because this is a digital process, early proofing and color correction is done on the computer. Next a small proof is printed on the same material that will eventually carry the full size image (giclée prints can be printed on a variety of surfaces). To date, I have chosen two surfaces to print on: canvas and fine German etching paper. In giclée printing, no screen or mechanical devises are used to transfer the image, therefore, the impression has all the tonalities and hues of the original art. Giclée (pronounced gee-clay) is a French term meaning to spray or squirt, which is exactly how an ink-jet printer works. However, these printers are not your normal inkjet. Professional giclée printers are quite large and distribute eight to twelve archival colors.


Question:  What is a hand colored copperplate etching?

In my opinion, this is the longest and most labor intensive art reproduction method. There are two major components to the process. The first step is the copperplate etching. A line drawing is created then transferred to a specially prepared copperplate. This is a slow and totally hands on process. Next, the plate is immersed in an acid bath which etches lines into the copper. The rest of the plate is protected from the acid by a special coating. The plate is removed from the acid, rinsed, and inked by hand. The excess ink is removed from the plate. It is polished and carried to the press. The plate is laid, face up, on the press and a single sheet of dampened etching paper is carefully placed on top. It is pulled through the rollers of the press under extreme pressure, forcing the fibers of the paper into the plate, the paper is gently removed and set aside to dry. This completes step 1.

After drying, usually 24 hours, I begin step 2, the painting process. Because I print with an oil based ink, the watercolors I choose to paint with do not disturb the fine details of the etching. This is also a long process. When the painting is complete, I sign and number etching number one. This completes step 2. The process then repeats itself for each print until the predetermined edition number has been reached. Because copperplates are very soft, edition sizes are low, almost always under a hundred.  

Question: What is the TYL in your signature about?

For the full story about TYL, click HERE.