The Print Process

Reproducing a painting in the early 1990’s was largely a hands-off affair for the artist. It began with a photographer shooting a large format transparency which was then handed to a print technician to convert it into a digital file using a high-tech drum scanner. Finally, a pre-press operator would output the digital image as an Iris proof. The artist had no control over any of these processes and in many cases, the final result often didn’t seem to capture the essence of the original painting.

One of the pleasures of having worked in the graphic arts business for over 20 years is seeing the evolution of pre-press technology. Thankfully, the advancements in desktop computers and software, together with my digital editing experience, has provided me with the tools to create digital prints that I feel truly represent the original painting. And, with the exception of digital photography, I get to control the entire process myself.

The process at a glance:

  1. Once a painting has thoroughly dried it is carefully delivered across town to be digitally photographed.
  2. Upon receipt of the digital file I adjust the image meticulously to ensure colour accuracy and tonal precision.
  3. Strip tests are printed and compared. In some cases, the colours will differ slightly from the original, but the overall colour impression remains true.
  4. When I produce a print it will have its own unique identity—in some cases, I’ll change a tone slightly if I think it will enhance the overall look.

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