What is a Fine Art Print ?

I have been asked by many people what I call now a classic question: Exactly what is a fine art print?

It’s very silly that I did not start this blog with this very subject. It does seem a very obvious topic to write about on a first post to become a page doesn’t it?

I have mentioned the subject in various small bits here and there, but have never dedicated an article with that issue in mind.

Well, my mistake! My apologies. Let’s move on to it:

I ask that you kindly bare with me a little because, even though this is not meant to be a treaty, it will require a small bit of preparation.

sculptor-by-pajouFine Art

The term Fine Art can be defined by the idea of an aesthetic purpose; Anything created by an artist with beauty (or lack of it) as the main subject of the piece.

Its main purpose should be causing a sensation, feeling or piece of mind using any type of technique or imagery.

The word “fine” doesn’t refer much to the quality of the art itself, but has discipline virtue meaning bound to conservative Western European standards.

Applied Art and Such

The canons used to exclude the applied, decorative designs, or crafts; art created with commercial purposes.

In today’s practice, with the frenzy of planetary commerce, however, these differences almost lost meaning, as the concept or intention of the artist is given much more importance, regardless of the means used to express it.

Digital Art

As I have already mentioned in another article, this art term has a very simple definition:

It is a process with which art is created by using computers, or any digital process, in, at least, one of its stages, before the final result is reached.

Period! No need for further fancy elaboration around it.

For example:

A photographer takes a very artistic picture of a sculpture with and old optical camera and develops it in an old fashioned optical dark room with chemicals: Its not digital art.

On the other hand, if he only uses a digital camera, or even prints it with some modern photographic printer: IT IS DIGITAL ART.

It does not matter if the results are the same to the eye!


Art Prints

Printmaking is a process for creating art with a “pressing” upon a surface method.

It was usually associated with a final process of transporting an image to its medium by the means of a press, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting.

please refer to this detailed article at Wikipedia for a broader understanding of the subject, if you like


Relief: woodcut or woodblock, wood engraving, linocut, metal cut.

Intaglio: engraving, etching, mezzotint, aquatint.

Stencil: screen printing and pochoir.

Planographic: lithography, monotype, and digital techniques.

Other types: collagraphy, viscosity printing, and foil imaging.

Printmaking, nowadays, accepts digital printing, photographic mediums, or any combination imaginable.


Many of these techniques can also be combined, especially within the same family.

Fine Art Prints is the same as Giclee

Giclee (Giclée) is a term created by printmaker Jack Duganne, in 1991

It was essentially invented to designate digital prints made on inkjet printers. The origin word, “gicleur”, is a french word meaning “nozzle”.

Contemporarily, fine art are:

Art Prints prints produced with high-end  ink-jet printers on high-quality mediums


such as canvas, or printer art papers, etc, are widely nominated “Giclee“, or Fine Art Prints.


I hope this article has helped dissipate any smoke around the subject


Would you prefer some other artwork? It’s easy: Hurry to my shop and compare hundreds of vibrant options for a bargain you will be thrilled with.

Another destiny for you could be one of the links below.

8 thoughts on “What is a Fine Art Print ?

  • February 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you for your explanations! I always thought “Giclee” prints were something made with special papers. Little did I know I’ve been making Giclee prints and not even knowing it 🙂 I’ve been making prints on a Espon wide format on silver photographic paper. Now I can give them a “fancy” name

    • February 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Great! As long as they are high quality, you are on it. Good luck with your fine art prints and keep up. Cheers!

  • April 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Caito,
    I am not serious arts person, but do appreciate great paintings and art forms on the face value.
    Your blog is captivating and easy to follow blog made me pause and realise these breath-taking objects does have proper names, and followed through and saw rest of your painting. Sensational and breath taking. Great blog and contribution. Jack

    • April 22, 2016 at 1:42 am

      Hello, Jack,

      Thank you for your kind words. I love it when people that say they are not artistic take their time to look into my website and then to give longer comment. Makes me wonder that they did not find out yet that, actually, they are a bit more into art than they thought. I hope that it is a progressive and enjoyable progress. Hope to see you back soon.


  • March 5, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Great post. It was detailed and easy to read, especially for a layman such as myself. Your definitions were clear and concise

    I also liked the way you started the post with humour – it got me hooked right from the start. Overall, the post was easy to read and enjoyable.

    I also liked the overall layout of your blog/site. Well done.

    • March 5, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      Hello, Aziz,

      Thank you very much for you kind remarks. Be my guest to stop by anytime and share you opinions.


  • March 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Very nice and informative site.
    I inherited a few lithographs ( nothing valuable unfortunately) and don’t really know much about them. I see from what you wrote above that they are similar to monotyping. I haven’t really looked at them closely but I thought they were made relief style like a woodcut but obviously not rough….so I learned something about them today!

    • March 5, 2016 at 11:41 pm

      Hello, David,

      Thank you for your appreciation. Printmaking is vast and complex subject. And with the advent of computers and printers it became even more diverse as fine art prints play a big part in it. I suggest you try to make an appraisal of those prints you have. Who knows, right?



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