I ordered a 12 x 18 inch watercolour print from Posterjack of this image:
The Trent-Severn waterway, with Balsam Lake in the background.
It is outstanding. When I pick it up, it feels like something you would find in a museum. The matte finish and smooth tonality give an entirely professional feel to the image and I would have no hesitation about asking $200 for this unframed, unmatted print. It is archival quality, with 100-year inks, and the finish is unblemished. Of course it is printed without the watermark in the corner.
If you are reading this here and want a print, contact me and we'll talk. The price is negotiable for my readers.
This medium is also outstanding. I made a 12 x 36" pano of my bicycle shot, and here's an iPhone picture of the print, together with a slightly smaller lustre-finish print that I'll talk about below.
Bicycles for Rent, the Old Brickworks in Toronto. The bottom print is acrylic, the top one lustre-finish
When I first ripped open the shipping box with the acrylic print in it, I was initially dumbfounded. It was blue. You couldn't see the image unless you held it up to the light. I thought for a second that I had made a huge error! Then I realized that it had a protective coating on it! I peeled it off and saw the print underneath!
My initial reaction was a little disappointed. I expected it to glow radioactively. It doesn't: until you shine a spotlight on it! The brighter the light, the more it jumps out at you! But it's interesting that it doesn't look very much different than the regular lustre-paper print above it. In the iPhone picture, I had two spotlights from my ceiling track lighting pointing at them from about 10' away. They are standard 50w halogen spots, and because they were off to the left, the lighting was stronger on that side of the image.
I realize now that acrylic is a wonderful mounting medium. The ones from Posterjack come with four brushed aluminium standoff posts and hardware, and the image is pre-drilled to accept them. It will hang on the wall with a gap of about 1/2", perfect for a 3-dimensional look. It's a different, and entirely professional alternative to matting and framing a print behind glass. The manufacturing cost of a frame, especially in a custom size, would be at least as much as the cost of the acrylic print.
This print is available for purchase. It is $300 for my readers and will be listed for sale at the Haliburton Home and Cottage Show for $450. Contact me if you're interested.
Lustre-Finish Giclée Print
The word "Giclée" is a fancy term for "ink-jet". It implies that it's a better quality than your average desktop inkjet printer, and I would only use it to describe prints done on quality paper, with multiple pigment-based inks. The one in the picture above was done on Jim's Epson 7900 printer, on Epson Premium Lustre 260 paper. The paper comes from a 24" wide roll, and the print is just short of that width, so it's practically an 8" x 24" image.
Now Jim is a master at printing. If I hadn't already given Ron the nickname "Yoda", I'd give it to Jim. He walked me through every step of preparing that image for print and didn't miss a trick. I'll be doing many more prints with him, and hopefully I have learned enough to prepare my images for him, but I know he'll tweak them anyway. For I am but a grasshopper...
But I digress. This print is almost indistinguishable from the acrylic one. In fact it seems to have richer blacks but that could be the lighting. It is crisp and brilliant and would be a $150 image if I put it up for sale (let's talk...). Certainly it's worthy of display and I would be framing it if I didn't have the acrylic one.
All three of these are viable, exhibition and art-print quality media. You can't do the acrylic version on a home or small shop printer, it needs huge equipment to produce it. The watercolour and the lustre-finish papers can be run with Epson machines. I might be interested in doing some printing myself: Jim made me understand that the Epson 4900 is the better machine to buy than the 3800 but I probably can't afford one right now. If someone has either of those for sale in good shape, I'd be interested. Please contact me.
In the meantime, I have a lot of work ahead of me to prepare images for the Haliburton Show. I'll be doing some canvas as well, and some smaller card-sized pictures.
More to come when I learn more!