Digital Fine-art Prints Are Truly The Next Best Thing To The Original!

RICH THISTLE STUDIO is pleased to offer a DIGITAL FINE-ART PRINT SELECTION of original Thistle images. Subjects include military and general aviation, Canadian landscapes, tractors, horses, automotive images, sailboats, canoes wildlife and more. This process produces spectacular results. If you have questions not answered in the information provided on this page please

1. What is a digital fine-art print?
Digital fine-art printing is a highly advanced method of computer-controlled reproduction using archival, dye-based inks. A sophisticated ink-jet printer, designed specifically for this process, creates a near-continuous-tone image on fine-art media such as watercolor paper or canvas with greater permanence than previous processes used to print lithographic art reproductions. Rich Thistle Studio prints only on paper and NOT canvas. Digital fine-art prints were originally referred to as Giclée Prints.

For reproductions of original artwork, the technical part of the process typically begins in one of three ways:
  • a scan of the original art
  • a scan of a large-format photo transparency of the original
  • a high-resolution digital photo of the original

2. How does a digital fine-art print differ from a lithograph?
DIGITAL FINE-ART PRINTS are created from a high-resolution digital file, using high-tech, sophisticated, computer-controlled printers using specially formulated inks on archival watercolor paper or canvas. Rich Thistle prints are reproduced on Hahnemühle paper. The result is an exceedingly high-quality, near-continuous-tone print, which better reproduces the surface qualities and integrity of the original art than any other printing process.

PHOTO-MECHANICAL LITHO PRINTS are created by generating a large-format, positive transparency of the original art using specialized camera equipment, or by scanning paper originals on a large drum scanner. Color separations are created from at least four - or more - printing plates developed for each color required. These plates are used on a color-offset printing press to produce several hundreds or thousands of prints during a press run. The result is an image comprised of a series of very small dots, visible under magnification, which recreate the original's colors. Most newspapers and magazines are printed by this process. The full edition of prints, if limited, is then signed and numbered by the artist and stored as inventory.

3. How large are the print editions?
  • AVIATION IMAGES are limited to editions of 100 signed and numbered units.
  • LANDSCAPE IMAGES & ALL OTHER SUBJECTS are limited to editions of 300 signed and numbered units.

4. How long does it take to produce a digital fine-art print?
Prints are produced individually as ordered and not pulled from an existing edition inventory. The proofing and printing process takes 2 - 3 weeks to create the finished print. We will keep you informed througout the process.

5. What about fading & permanence issues?
Information gained from extensive research over the years has led to the development of fine-art inks offering all the permanence expected of a work of fine art. Properly matched inks and archival papers can last up to 85 years under continuous lighting conditions.

6. What print sizes are available?
  • print sizes vary depending on the size of the original image
  • all sizes shown in the catalog indicate the image size
  • all prints have white borders

7. Who prints Rich Thistle fine-art prints?
Our printing partner is TORONTO IMAGE WORKS, a highly respected Toronto company which has served the corporate, museum and visual arts community since 1985. TIW uses only the finest archival watercolor papers and is constantly upgrading their printing equipment to stay current with emerging technologies as they become available.

8. Why is a digital fine-art print more expensive than a litho print?
The cost of printing a single fine-art print is substantially higher than the unit cost of printing an edition of photo-mechanical lithographs. Our prints are printed one at a time, as ordered, on premium archival watercolor paper. The resulting print reproduces the original painting with amazing clarity, color, image quality and sharpness, placing these prints in a league of their own. Rich Thistle fine-art prints are offered in very limited editions creating a more exclusive product than larger litho editions. The technology is sophisticated, requiring skilled technicians, expensive specialized equipment and premium paper stock.

9. How do I look after a fine-art print?
  • prints on paper should be framed behind glass using 100% archival materials
  • glass surfaces should be kept clean BUT NEVER spray cleaners directly onto the glass
  • professional de-framing & cleaning of the inside glass surfaces & mats should be done every few years to keep your print looking pristine
  • hang your print in an area NOT exposed to direct sunlight, strong artificial light, high humidity or a smoky environment
  • fine-art reproductions will give a lifetime of enjoyment with proper care