What follows is a typical example of embellishment techniques used by the artist and the process it goes through in stages >

PRINTING (see top image)
Professional pigmented inks are used in a giclee printer to print the image that has either been scanned from an original painting or, if the painting has been sold, from an archived image on CD or from a large format transparency of the work.


MOUNTING ON WOOD PANEL
After printing, the print is mounted on MDF framer’s panel (below). It is then cut by hand with a craft knife to ensure accurate size wanted. It is then turned over and guillotined to give a slight extra clearance for insertion into a frame.
Framer's MDF panel is used because it can easily be cut with a craft knife and guillotined and so ensures the edges of the print when glued to the panel are flush and neat and tidy. It also facilitates placement into a picture frame since that is precisely what it is manufactured for. It is also lightweight so is useful when the picture is hung on the wall which reduces the risk of excess frame weight pulling on a picture pin and falling from the wall.


INITIAL VARNISHING
To enable the application of both oil based and acrylic paints and especially allow smooth glazing, the print is very lightly hand painted with an acrylic coating specially prepared by the artist to be very thinly spread across the print to seal the ink and paper surface. This coating then allows the application of paint either in water-based or oil based forms, offering the artist the flexibility to match the embellishment to the original oil or acrylic techniques used in the original painting. Essentially, it is the exact same technique that the artist uses in the original art itself.



EMBELLISHMENT WITH (RARE) PIGMENTS
All manner of pigments can be used but always, without deviation, they are of the purest quality obtainable and where the imagery suggests it would be appropriate rare and expensive pigments are incorporated, such as >


Gold
Gold Powder (or Rouge) 22.9ct speaks for itself.

Simply what it says, real gold powder, and mixed by the artist into a binder to fix it to the surface of the print. Due to its expense it is typically used to highlight small specific or decorative elements in a painting where the image suggests such addition would be appropriate.
Lapis Lazuli
is a deep blue semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color.
Lapis lazuli was being mined in northeast Afghanistan as early as the 7th millennium BC, and Lapis beads have been found at neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania. It was used for the eyebrows on the funeral mask of King Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BC).
At the end of the Middle Ages, Lapis lazuli began to be exported to Europe, where it was ground into powder and made into ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments. It was used by the most important artists of the Renaissance and Baroque, including Massaccio, Perugino, Titian and Vermeer, and was often reserved for the clothing of the central figure of the painting, especially the Virgin Mary.
Orpiment
Orpiment (recently replacing Gamgoge Powder in the studio) is a stone, found throughout the world as a low-temperature product of hydrothermal veins, hot-spring deposits, and volcanic sublimation. In its natural state, it has a mica-like sparkle which recalls the luster of metallic gold. An ancient pigment, used throughout the Middle East and Asia through the late 19th century. During the Renaissance, orpiment was imported to Venice from Asia Minor. Its color is light, vivid yellow in colour, sometimes pure yellow but often inclined toward orange. When mixed with zinc or titanium white, it loses its yellow tones becoming a pale brown/beige.
Application (and choice) of the pigments to the print
Areas of the print's imagery are selected to be glazed over, and occasionally may be more impasto in nature if the subject matter of the original painting was such, and successive layers of paint are applied until the appearance of the print is more like an original painting, bringing out particular chosen areas.
In the example shown the spiky aspects of the foliage are accentuated with a fine sable brush and the sword hilt and decorations on the cloak are highlighted with pure gold bound with just enough acrylic medium to make it tractable and fixable to the print's surface.
The cloak itself employs Orpiment which, as stated above, takes on a pale beige appearance when mixed with titanium white, which in this case is used to model the surface of the gown.
The illuminated globe which the Gryphon emblem is carved into is rendered in a different blue, ultramarine, which is less intense and this is to differentiate it from the intensity of the Lapis Lazuli areas.
In all areas of application, regardless of whether translucent glazing, opaque or even impasto areas, the technique used is to gently apply the paint in a careful manner to harmonise with the nature of the print and yet move it forward to being a work of art in its own right because each print differs simply by the fact that it has had individual attention.




FRAMING
An art in itself, and all the above techniques can be applied to greater or lesser extent as dictated by personal preference, by the subject matter of the image, the area in which the final work may hang and any other consideration the purchaser considers suitable.



FINAL VARNISHING
Since the late 1970s the artist has used Liquitex Gloss, Matt, or Satin finished varnishes to finish-off the final presentation.
There are many ways in which the final varnish can be applied, the actual choice typically suggested by the way in which the original painting was created, which varied from time to time over the many years the artist has been working.
It may be applied with a soft brush and more, or less, brushwork can be shown if the picture suggests this should be the case, mainly in terms of its subject matter if more recent. If on the other hand the print if of a painting done many years earlier, perhaps as far back as the 1970s, then the finish applied is usually sprayed on to emulate the way in which the artist delivered his paintings to publishers, usually coated with a now long defunct spray lacquer called Frisklac and so a modern Liguitex spray varnish is used which approximates and in fact is a better option than the original Frisklac in that it is a professional artist's varnish rather than a lacquer.
Like his paintings in the 1970s through to late 1990s prints of works of that era are presented in a matt finish as they were then to enable the publisher's photographer at that time to photograph the paintings for reproduction, the matt finish being effected to avoid glare and hotspots on the final transparency. In the same vein, the prints of works of that era are finished matt to avoid refection from domestic room lighting.
In the case of more contemporary works the matt effect is produced by vigorous brush work to emulate the effect f presentation in an art gallery.



CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY
A printed certificate of authenticity (usually mounted on the back of the print but sometimes by preference in a separate smaller accompanying frame) details the title, edition length (never more than 250) and date of hand embellishment. It too, as with the print itself, has the artist's signature on it.


UNIQUENESS AND ORIGINALITY
The whole embellishment process is designed to turn each individual print in a print run into a piece in it's own right and although part of an edition is unique since each print differs simply because each is treated to individual personal attention during the embellishment process.


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