Kevin O'Keith

Art Terms


An original work of art is the source from which all copies, reproductions, or translations are made. It is the physical piece of artwork which was created from the hand of the artist.

Limited edition (LE):

A limited edition print is one in which a limit is placed on the number of impressions pulled in order to create a scarcity of the print. Limited editions are usually numbered and are often signed.

Open edition (OE):

A series of artwork in an art edition that has an unlimited number of copies. Can be signed or unsigned, but not numbered.

Artist’s proofs (AP):

Traditionally, when limited editions are published by a gallery, the edition is sold exclusively by the gallery. However, the artist is given a small number of prints for his own personal use, usually 10% of the number of limited editions. Thus, this edition is labeled "Artist's Proofs" (A/P).

Remarqué (RM):

Remarqué limited edition prints have an original small hand-drawn sketch or painting by the artist in the margin, usually positioned next to the signature or edition number. This feature increases the value of the edition.


Prints taken from a drawing done from a polished limestone or zinc or aluminum plate. The drawing is done with greasy crayons, pens, or pencils. A solution containing gum arabic and dilute nitric acid is washed on the stone (or plate). This solution fixes the design in place. The entire plate surface is washed with water and then inked. Print paper is applied and sent through a press, transferring the image of the stone (or plate) to the paper.

Offset Lithograph:

Four-color lithographic print from an offset press. Can be an open edition, limited edition or poster. Lithographic technique in which ink is transferred from a plate to a rubber roller, and then on to paper.


Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée" means a spray of liquid. The term "giclée print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are high resolution digital scans printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclée printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction. As for quality, the giclée print now rivals many traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries. These digital images will not deteriorate in quality such as negatives and film because the information is archived digitally. Giclée prints are created typically using high-end 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers.


A silk screen printing process using stencils adhered to silk or nylon mesh through which ink is pushed by a squeegee. The ink is laid down in a separate layer for each color. Some serigraphs have many layers, while others have only a few. Some inks are transparent, others opaque, resulting in very different effects.

Canvas Prints: (CV) & (HE)

Owning a canvas print or canvas transfer may be the next best thing to owning an original work of art. Many of the canvas prints on the market today qualify as true reproductions because they were produced directly on canvas either with offset lithography or digital printing (description follows). Canvas transfers are the result of technology that has been around for about three decades, but only became commercially acceptable in the 1990's. In a nutshell, through the use of several chemicals, the ink on a limited-edition offset reproduction is literally transferred to the canvas. The result is a reproduction with a lustrous finish like oil on canvas.

Canvas transfers have been recognized over the past decade as an elegant alternative to glass framed lithograph images. Canvas transfers give the look and texture of an original oil painting to paper art by simply transferring color onto an artist canvas. First, a lithograph on paper is coated with acrylic emulsion containing the highest recommended amount of UV inhibitors. Then when the acrylic is dry, the print is covered with a solution that helps to separate the image from the paper it was printed on. The image is now bonded to the acrylic and free of paper. This film is then carefully bonded to the highest quality wrap-around artist canvas. Finally, the image undergoes a series of rigorous inspections that insure our work is of superior quality. The result is a beautifully unique reproduction that maintains the integrity of the lithograph while increasing its appeal and value.

Canvas images score other bonus points with collectors as well. For one thing, artists can hand-embellish (HE) canvas prints by adding oil or acrylic paint highlights. Another factor is that canvas prints and transfers can be framed like originals because they don’t need to be covered with protective glazing.