Tuesday, April 13, 2021

What’s a giclée print? (And what can it do for me?) by Tracy Zakraysek

A giclee (zhee-clay) print is a great option for artists looking to offer fine art reproductions of original art at a lower price point to customers, while retaining the quality of the original work.

Giclee is the French word for “to spray” or “to squirt,” and it refers to ink being applied to a substrate. In effect, a giclee is a top-of-the-line inkjet print.

So what makes a giclee print so much better than an inkjet print from your desktop inkjet printer?

Early Snow Nocturne, ©2021 Tracy Zakraysek


Giclees are printed using pigments, as opposed to the inks used in the consumer desktop inkjet printer. These archival pigments produce superior color tones, last 100 to 200 years, and resist smearing and staining.

A desktop inkjet printer uses 6-8 inks, while a large format giclee printer uses 10-12 pigments, providing more accurate color reproduction, more vivid hues and depth of color, and finer gradients.


Resolution refers to the dots of pigment per square inch, or pixels per inch (ppi). The more dots in a print, and the finer they are, the more accurate your reproduction will be. Giclee printers use a finer spray than a desktop inkjet, so the print is substantially smoother, more saturated and more accurate.


Large format giclee printers can print on a huge variety of substrates with various thicknesses, finishes and textures. You can print your watercolor on a heavy, “cold-pressed” paper to create the most realistic reproduction. You can choose to print on canvas or other materials. Good giclee printers sell a sample pack of substrates for a small fee (typically $5.00), and it’s worth having.

Here’s a video (not mine) of the unboxing of a sample pack from giclee https://youtu.be/zW2nnxmiBc8 who I use for printing all of my artwork. It’s a good preview of the available substrates.

Longevity / Archivable

Giclees are meant to last 100 to 200 years without color degradation or fading, and the substrates are archival, as well. You can be confident that your print will look beautiful for a lifetime.

As an artist, are giclee prints worth it?

Once you sell an original artwork, it’s gone. You can’t make any more income from it. With a high quality print, you have a chance to make more from each print, and you also have a larger market of potential buyers to sell to. With your digital file, you can create different products - differently sized prints, greeting cards, mugs, textiles etc. 

The market of potential buyers for original artwork is small, due to expense. There is a larger market for affordable, high-quality reproductions. These days, many people are less interested in having an original piece of art. They buy art because they love it, and want to decorate their space with something that resonates with them. You can reach this larger market with affordable prints in a variety of sizes and price points. And with more sales to a broader market, you increase your chances of your work becoming more well-known, thus raising your profile.

How do I convert my original art into a giclee print?

Prepare your artwork for printing
All giclee prints start with a digital file of the artwork. Your physical artwork must be photographed. I have no experience in this – my art begins as a digital file – so I can’t share my personal process, but I can state confidently, “garbage in, garbage out.” You can’t expect a high quality, accurate reproduction without a high quality photo. You can have your art professionally photographed, you can have the giclee printer handle the photography, or you can do it yourself. If you go the DIY route, I suggest searching Youtube for “how to photograph your artwork for prints”. If you prefer to read, here are a couple of links to tutorials:

Where do I find a giclee printing service?

Online giclee printing services
I use gicleetoday.com for all my prints. They’re cost-effective, the prints look fabulous, they package the prints securely, they drop ship to my customers, and they’re in Pennsylvania, so ‘relatively’ local. I’ve never had a bad print from them!

African Queen, ©2021 Tracy Zakraysek

Below are a few links to other online giclee printers. I haven’t used any of these, so I can’t make any recommendations. I do advise avoiding photo printing services like Walgreens and the like because they are not fine art printers. A fine art printer is much more rigorous about producing an accurate, archival print. Research, check services offered and their costs, get sample packs and try a single print. An important advantage of giclees is that there is no minimum order; you can order a single print.

Should I get a proof print?
When a printer works from a photograph of your art, they are flying blind; they don’t know what the original looks like. Every device – whether desktop, mobile or tablet – will display color differently. There are many factors involved in accurate color reproduction, so getting a proof print is probably advisable.

Local giclee printing services
Paul Duda Gallery
My first ever giclee was printed by Paul Duda Gallery, and I recommend them highly. I went to their Brecksville location where the printing is done, and met with Simon, who actually makes the prints. He was extremely helpful, and I had a great experience. NOTE: they will photograph your artwork for you, if desired.
http://www.pauldudagallery.com/(Select “giclee” from the menu)

I have never used JakPrints, so I can’t vouch for them, but they are another local (Cleveland) resource you can investigate.

About the author
Tracy Zakraysek is a digital artist, painting her artwork on an iPad Pro and selling her vibrantly colorful giclee prints at Stella’s Art Gallery in Willoughby, Ohio, and on her Etsy shop, www.tracyzakraysekprints.etsy.com

Friday, February 19, 2021

Perris Mackey Reporting to you Live

With Perris Mackey, life is never dull! Checkout his jingle "Art, Art, Art is Everywhere" and our Love Is...Show. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

So Much Art to See! By Luanne Bole-Becker

Greetings from Stella’s Art Gallery in Willoughby, OH! I am an artist who joined the gallery in November 2020.  Right now my work focuses on multimedia assemblages, photographs, and jewelry using vintage objects.

In these short few months at Stella’s, I’ve marveled at the diversity and talent of all the artists at the gallery.  The art exhibitions and inventory change regularly.  It’s a real treasure!

Here are several in-person and virtual exhibitions where you can currently see my work.  These juried shows highlight great art, and much of it is being made and shown right here in Northeast Ohio.  (Note: If you are interested in purchasing any of the items shown, please contact Stella’s Art Gallery directly.)

Fourth Annual Black & White Show

Stella’s Art Gallery, 38033 Euclid Ave., Willoughby, OH  

January 8 – February 6, 2021

My three pieces include two assemblages and one photograph:  Guardians Above and Below (winner of 2nd place, 2D in this exhibit); Ghosts of Cleveland Past (featured prominently in a recent News-Herald article about the show); and Piercing the Heavens (a former 3rd place winner at Summit Artspace on Tuscarawas).  The exhibit is open now during normal gallery hours.  https://stellasartgallery.com

                                                               Guardians Above and Below

                                                                Ghosts of Cleveland Past

Piercing of the Heavens 

FRESH 2021 (17th Annual)

Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St., Akron, OH

January 15 – March 27, 2021

Art selected for this show was asked to be “innovative and challenging to both the viewer and the artist…push[ing] he boundaries of what art can be.”  My artwork in the FRESH show is Miss Lily’s Fabulous Flying Machine, a 6-foot tall assemblage that celebrates whimsy, exploration, vintage craftsmanship, and the birth of my first grandchild!  Miss Lily’s Fabulous Flying Machine previously won 3rd place in Assemblages at Stella’s Art Gallery Bricolage show in November.  The FRESH exhibition is available online, and can be viewed in person by appointment or on Saturdays, 12-4, beginning Feb. 6.  I will be staffing the gallery Feb. 13 from 2:30-4:00 if you wish to stop by and chat.  ☺  https://www.summitartspace.org/fresh-2021-juried-art-exhibition/

Miss Lily's Fabulous Flying Machine 

Black & White

Art Room Gallery, international virtual exhibition, https://artroomgalleryonline.com

January 2021

The Art Room Gallery, an online contemporary art platform in existence since 2018, received entries from the following countries for their 4th Black & White exhibit:  USA, Canada, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Belgium, Oman, Egypt, Cyprus, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Finland, Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Austria, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Israel, China, and Serbia.  So I was especially pleased to be accepted for my photograph Bicycles and Arches.  You can see the photo in their Finalists section, the 31st image shown.  There are 162 works included, so take your time enjoying the selection!

Bicycles and Arches

NewNow 2021

Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

February 18 – April 17, 2021

This biannual competitive art exhibition will be held exclusively online due to the prolonged

closure of Tri-C’s Gallery east.  It features the creation of 63 regional artists.

Juror Cat Sheridan, curator of the Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery notes, “They range from quiet and intensely introspective to tempestuous clashes…but they are always touching, in some way, whether through communication, relation, or contrast to one another.”  My piece is a photograph entitled Scraps = Life / Haiti.  Hard copy exhibition catalogs showing all works will also be available for sale.  http://www.artistsarchives.org/event/newnow-2021/

Scraps = Life/Haiti

2021 Bryn Du Art Show 

Bryn Du Mansion, 537 Jones Rd., Granville, OH

March 4 – 27, 2021

The 116-year-old Bryn Du mansion is seated upon 52 acres near Columbus, providing cultural, educational, and recreational activities for the surrounding community.  This 17th annual juried show is family friendly and will be available both online and in person.  My Ghosts of Cleveland Past assemblage will travel next month from Stella’s Art Gallery to this Columbus area show, with a brief stop between to meet its new owner, who recently bought the piece sight unseen!  https://Bryndu.com

Ghosts of Cleveland Past 

What’s a giclée print? (And what can it do for me?) by Tracy Zakraysek

A giclee (zhee-clay) print is a great option for artists looking to offer fine art reproductions of original art at a lower price point to c...