There are many steps involved in reproducing a painting, and each detailed one requires our utmost attention to ensure a quality product.
Firstly we have to decide on the brand, weight and size of paper best suited for the painting, considering the colours, medium, final print size etc. We have to be confident the stock is 100% acid free and readily available to us and then the paper is ordered.
Now with an important step behind us we are ready to have the original painting scanned. This is a slow and accurate process. The painting is delicately attached to a glass drum and the procedure begins, digitally extracting information from the painting into an electronic file for viewing at a later time. When completed, the operator is able to view the image on a large monitor and make any necessary adjustments.
After everybody is happy with the monitor rendition, a digital hard proof is produced to be examined by the artist. Generally there are still minor adjustments to be made after seeing the image in a more familiar state. These adjustments will be conducted back on the computer and another digital hard proof will be produced. The artist approves and signs off for the next step in the printing process.
While all of this taking place a different department is working on the layout for the promotional material and any text that may appear on the print itself. Going through similar proofing procedures, this can be a timely aspect of the project.
When all of the ingredients have been individually proofed and accepted, everything is merged into place and a miniature laser proof of the entire job is produced. This is the first time you get an idea of what things look like in their appropriate address. After this has been approved, we get to see a full size, full colour proof and the film is generated. From the final film printing plates have to be produced and we move yet into another department.
Now we are ready to book a press time when the artist, ourselves, the press operator and a representative from the initial stages can attend.
That day is here now and the press is clean, the environment is right, the ink is in, the paper is loaded and everyone is anxious but before we get to see anything, hundreds of sheets are run through the press until the ink mixture is accurate. Finally we see a press proof. The artist suggests some small adjustments, everyone agrees and were ready to run the press.
At this point we are only a short time away from job completion but our duties have yet to cease. We stand close by and examine the job in progress, meaning frequently pulling a print from the press and inspecting it. If something has changed from the original press proof, adjustments are made, the altered prints are disposed of and the job continues.
Upon completion of the printing, the prints will be moved to a different area and left to dry flat for two days. One more inspection and they are ready to be trimmed, packaged and shipped. In receipt of the prints the artist will now inspect each one and sign only those which pass. Now they are numbered in pencil (limited edition only) and repacked for distribution.
The printing process is a very accurate and meticulous endeavor from start to finish but it is the only way to ensure a quality product.