Original, Giclée or Embellished Giclée… What's the difference?

In a perfect world, we could all own nothing but original art. But let’s be honest… originals are often (rightfully) priced much higher, and that can put them out of reach for many of us. As an artist, one of my main goals is to spread joy and happiness. In order to do that effectively I want to reach as many people as I can, so it is important for me to be able to offer my work at a range of price points. While nothing will look QUITE as good as an original, I think everyone deserves to surround themselves with art they love! That is where prints come in.

I offer two different kinds of prints at ArtByDora.com: Paper Giclée Prints and Canvas Giclée Gallery Wraps. The Gallery Wraps can be plain or “embellished”. Great, you say, but what does all of that mean? I’m so glad you asked…

Paper Giclée Prints

Paper prints are pretty straightforward. Prints, on paper. They are made by taking a super high resolution photograph or scan of the original artwork, and then printing it on paper with an inkjet printer. There is a big difference between these and a poster or wall art you’d find at Hobby Lobby, however, and that is for two reasons:

The first reason is the ink. In order to be considered a “giclée” (pronounced “zhee-clay”.... or “jee-clay” around these parts!) it must be printed using highly-pigmented, archival inks. That means that 10, 20 or 50 years from now, the colors of your print will look exactly the same as the day you purchased it.

The second reason is the paper. 100% cotton is a must. My favorite right now is Hahnemühle Photo Rag. The bright white color makes the vibrant hues of my art pop even more, and since it is acid and lignin free you can rest assured that your print will stand the test of time and not turn yellow. Plus, it has the most yummy, felty texture!

Paper Prints by Dora Knuteson

Paper giclée prints waiting to be signed!

Canvas Giclée Prints

Giclées don’t have to be printed on paper. They can also be printed on 100% cotton canvas material and wrapped around wooden stretcher bars, giving you a "gallery wrap." Right off the bat, giclée production methods are going to make these prints superior to your standard wall art from a big box retailer. But to make your artwork even more unique, you can choose to have it hand embellished.

What is an embellished giclée?

“Embellishing” refers to painting over areas of the image to apply brush strokes and enhance color. After receiving the giclée back from the printer, I add a hand painted signature. Then I grab my brushes and palette knives and go over the entire surface with a combination of paint and a thick, clear acrylic medium in order to increase texture on the surface and make some of the colors stand out. The extra dimension makes it look more like an original, at a fraction of the cost. Plus, since these extra steps are done by hand by yours truly, no two embellished prints are exactly the same!

The image on the left shows a plain giclée before embellishment. The surface is smooth and not too shiny. On the right you can see more texture has been added and there is a bit glossier finish.

I hope this helps you understand your options when it comes to fine art prints! If you have any questions about the prints available on this site, or you would like to see something in a different size or with custom framing options, please contact me.

Sample of
Sample of
Black Frame
White Frame

"Brighter Days Ahead” Fine Art Print

Preview of
Preview of
Preview of
White Frame
Black Frame

"Port Royalty” Fine Art Print

Preview of Margarita Morning print by Dora Knuteson
Black Frame
White Frame

"Margarita Morning” Fine Art Print

Preview of
White Frame
Black Frame

"Three Little Birds” Fine Art Print

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Preview of
Black Floater Frame
White Floater Frame

"Flamingo Float” Gallery Wrap

Preview of
Black Floater Frame
White Floater Frame

"Perched Pals” Gallery Wrap

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Preview of
White Floater Frame
Black Floater Frame

"Hope Springs Eternal” Gallery Wrap

Preview of
Black Floater Frame
White Floater Frame

"Pool Party” Gallery Wrap

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"Set Sail" Signed and Framed Print

Beach Blues by Dora Knuteson
Beach Blues by Dora Knuteson
Wall Preview of Beach Blues by Dora Knuteson
Corner detail showing edge color and signature

"Beach Blues" Embellished Giclée

Seaweed Soak by Dora Knuteson
Seaweed Soak by Dora Knuteson
Installation of Seaweed Soak Giclée by Dora Knuteson
Signature and Edge Color Detail

"Seaweed Soak” Embellished Giclée

Flamingo Float by Dora Knuteson
Flamingo Float by Dora Knuteson
Wall Preview of Flamingo Float by Dora Knuteson
Corner detail showing edge color and signature

"Flamingo Float" Embellished Giclée

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