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Gettin’ Giclée Wit It

Visit Duncan Grant’s gallery
For some time now, thanks to the high quality images taken by my good friend, photographer, Roger Crosby, I’ve been able to offer prints of all my artwork, as well as selling the originals. These high quality photographs were good. They looked pretty close to the originals, especially when they were mounted and framed.

But from now on, if you order a print from me, it will be a Giclée print, produced by renowned East London-based printers, The Print Space. The quality of their work is fantastic, so I think you’ll be very pleased with the result.

Duncan Grant: Books
Books: A giclée print I sold recently

Giclée printing has a number of advantages:

1.   The quality will be better. Often with a Giclée print, it is almost impossible to distinguish the print from the original.

2.   You’ll be able to order your prints in different sizes.
Most of my ink drawings are A4. Because I draw them on my lap, often in my van, it’s just a more manageable size. But now I will be able to offer prints in A3 or A4 formats.

I’ll be putting a price for A4 and A3 prints on my website but if  you’d like a bigger size, contact me and I can let you know if the quality of the original image will allow a bigger print and, if so, how much it will cost.

Duncan Grant: Kitchen
Kitchen: A giclée print I sold recently

It might take me a whle to update all the art on my website – there are hundreds of pictures up there and I’ve made a start – but A4 (mounted prints) will be £65 and A3 (mounted prints) will be £80. Add £8 for an A4 frame and £12 for an A3 frame. If you find you can’t order the option you want online yet, just get in touch and I’ll add the options to the one you want.

Similarly, if you would like a print of a picture that is a non-standard shape – there are a few – just let me know and I’ll see if it can be done.

3.   With giclée printing, the print stays in mint condition for longer. Because the type of ink and paper used for giclée prints, they won’t fade when they are displayed in normal conditions indoors. The colours should stay true for decades – I’ve heard 80-200 years from different sources.

So what is a giclée print?

Jack Duganne
Jack Duganne

The term ‘giclée’ comes from French and means ‘a spurt of liquid’. It was coined, in 1991, by  American printmaker Jack Duganne, who died last year.  He wanted to find a word that would differentiate fine art prints from commercial printers’ proofs.  Today, it is used to describe a printing process that uses large-format inkjet printers that can match colours and apply ink precisely, to produce exceptionally high quality prints of original artwork.

The ‘recipe’ for a commercial quality giclée  print requires four ingredients.

Duncan Grant: Norfolk Sun
Norfolk Sun: Another giclée print sold recently

First you need an image of  the piece of art that you want to print. That can be a digital image from a camera or a scan. The important thing is that the resolution must be high. Most digital images have a resolution of 72 DPI (dots per inch). For giclée printing, the image file will need to be at least 300 DPI. The greater the DPI, the more detailed your print will appear. If the DPI is too low, the print will lose detail and reproduction of the colours will be less accurate.

When it comes to printing, the type of ink you use is also very important.  Giclée printing requires ‘archival quality’ inks. These  are pigment-based,  rather than the dye-based inks that are usually found in inkjet printers. Pigment-based inks are permanent and are resistant to  light, heat and water.  So you can expect a giclée print to last a lifetime without fading or staining.

©ThePrint Space
©The Print Space

The quality of the paper used is the third element in achieving a successful giclée print.  My prints are  on Hahnemühle German Etching paper, which is a heavyweight, acid-free paper with ‘a slightly warm base tone’ and ‘a strong mottled texture’.  I have been really impressed with the finish. The texture of the paper means that it can hold more ink and it captures the light, resulting in a print that has strong colours and deep blacks.

The final ingredient to make your perfect giclée print is a great big inkjet printer – but not just any old inkjet printer. Traditional inkjet printers use the classic cyan/magenta/yellow/black (CMYK-4) colour combination, whereas inkjet printers used to make giclée  prints are able to hold up to twelve different coloured ink cartridges.

If you order a giclée print from me it will be despatched directly from The Print Space, but before it is sent, I get to see it online in a virtual room. I also get tracking details so I know when it has been delivered safely.

So there you are.  Happy Easter!

Here is a link to my gallery – off you go!  😉

©The Print Space
©The Print Space

Links to the images featured in this blog are:
Norfolk Sun

All  printing images are  ©The Print Space
Contact them at or call them on +44 (0) 207 739 1060











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Lino print workshop and a big bike

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I’ve been working on the roads pretty much full time over the last few weeks so not much time for doing art or blogging about it. So it was really good yesterday, to kick back with a few others for a day of lino cutting at St. Andrew’s Arts Centre in Gravesend  It was a mixed group in terms of previous lino cutting experience but, as you can see from the pictures below (with thanks to Mandy Wooding and Amanda Groom Davies) everyone had got the hang of it – with minimal blood letting – and everyone produced some great work by the end of the day.  

Was good also to see ‘Penny Les’ New who dropped in on his massive bike, pictured here outside St Andrew’s and the magnificent LV21


If there’s enough interest I’d love to run another workshop soon and am happy to come and work with groups if anyone would like me to. Just contact me via the website. If you haven’t already subscribed to my website, please do, then you’ll get regular updates of forthcoming events. Just put your email in the subscription box and click on the link it sends. You won’t get bombarded with stuff, I promise.

In the meantime, here is an earlier blog I wrote about lino cutting.  If the summer holidays are beginning to drag maybe try a bit of Dry Point with the kids to get them started.

Enjoy the pictures from yesterday. And if you are interested in seeing more of my limited edition relief print work, you can find them all here

Amanda Groom Davies
Amanda Groom Davies










Amana Groom Davies
Mandy Wooding
















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What a relief – a blog about lino cutting!

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Last weekend I did a lino cutting workshop at Northfleet Central, Northfleet Big Local’s community centre  After a short demonstration, everyone got going and produced some amazing work – see the slideshow below. Thanks to Mandy Wooding and Mandi Knight for the photographs.

Don’t worry if you missed the workshop, I’ll be running another one at St Andrew’s Arts Centre on August 11th, 11am until 5pm-ish. Tickets are £10, including materials. Proceeds will go to the Cafe 84 Community Christmas Dinner fund. If you want to come to the workshop, please let me know as soon as possible, as places are limited. More information here:

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Lino cutting is a type of relief printing. It developed from wood cutting, which was the main way of illustrating books before hot metal etching plates were used.

Lino (linoleum) was invented and used as a floor covering in 1863. It’s a natural product made from solidified linseed oil, pine rosin, ground cork dust, sawdust, and chalk. The name was coined by Frederick Walton who combined the Latin word for flax, ‘linum’ with the Latin word for oil, ‘oleum’.

The lino cutting technique wasn’t really used by artists until the 1900s. Some of the first examples of lino printing as art came from artists in Die Brücke, Germany, where the technique had previously been used for printing wallpaper. In 1911, ‘linoleum art’ by Vojtěch Preissig made its first appearance in a gallery in New York City.

When Picasso and Matisse used lino cutting in their work, it became an established professional print medium.









The lino cutting technique is quite simple. I start by cutting my lino squares. Because it is a natural material, if it is cold, lino can be brittle and break. So I work with two pieces at once. I sit on one to warm it up while I work with the other.

Lino is a great medium for printing because, once it is warm, it is soft, pliable and easy to cut. Also, unlike wood, it doesn’t have a grain so you can cut in all directions equally easily. Before you start to cut, sand the lino gently with a fine grade sandpaper. This helps the ink to stick and makes it easier to get a consistent result when you print.

In the UK , lino was made in Kirkcaldy, Scotland by the Nairn family. It is still used as flooring in hospitals and prisons because it is so durable and hardwearing, but it has been largely superseded in by vinyl and laminate flooring for domestic use. This means it is now quite difficult to get off-cuts to use for artwork, although there is still a major lino stockist in East London. You can, however, buy alternatives to lino in art shops. So, for example, children often learn relief printing using ‘dry point’ on thin polystyrene tiles.

Anyway, once you have your lino ready, you cut your design with sharp V- or U-shaped tools. Be careful, lino cutting is a blood sport! Remember, the uncut (raised) areas are a reverse of the image you want to print.

Next you spread a thin layer of ink on a glass plate. I use a glass chopping board from Lidl. Then, you ink up your carved lino with a roller, called a brayer, and then place it on to a sheet of paper, holding it carefully in one position. You need to press down evenly. I do this by hand, using a metal spoon, pressing it all over so I get an even print. Some people use a printing press. This YouTube video gives a good introduction.

I’ve been lino printing now for about five years – I’m not sure how long really. I like it because it is so ‘hands on’.  As a teenager I was always whittling away, turning bits of wood into animals and other objects, and it’s really the tactile nature of lino printing that appeals to me. It allows you to put your ideas directly into your hands as you carve your design and, although you’ve got to concentrate, it’s relaxing because you’re not thinking too deeply, you’re just there in the moment with your design. As far as the prints go, I quite like the monochrome effect and also that sense of never quite knowing what you’re going to get when you peel that first print off the lino.

Here are a few of the limited edition prints I have done and which are for sale in my gallery.  There are loads more. Just go to Specific links to the image feaured at the top of this blog and the three you can see here are given below.


The image featured at the top of this blog is Fear of Falling it is part of a series I did about the Tube

Those above are:
Washing Day

UPDATE (18/6/19)
Interesting article on the Times today The artists who printed the modern world – Cutting Edge: modernist British Printmaking at Dulwich Picture Gallery