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What is an Artist's Proof Print?

Posted on January 18, 2021 by Laura - | 0 comments

Last week we talked about limited edition prints, and explained the process of creating them from start to finish in our Fordingbridge workshops. This week we thought we'd shed some light on the term 'artist's proof' prints.

Traditionally, an artist’s proof was a print made during the print-making process, in order to understand the progress of the printing plate the artist was working on. As a result, it was termed a ‘work in progress’ print. 

With the development of modern printing techniques, however, the term is now used to refer to a number of finished prints that are available in addition to the main limited edition, and are reproduced to the same exact high quality.

Because there are fewer of them in existence, art collectors often favour artist proofs, if they are available.

An artist's proof (or ‘AP’) can be produced in exactly the same format and size as the main limited edition, or it can differ. For example, for our artists Debbie Boon and Anthony Dobson, we produce large-scale Artist Proofs which are printed onto canvas and stretched onto a wooden frame. And we print Dominique Salm large-scale APs on paper, then close frame them. This offers our customers an opportunity to enjoy a print which closely reflects the look, finish and scale of the original paintings. (Don't worry, we know not everyone has the wall space for such large prints, which is why we produce their main limited edition prints in a smaller size.)

For identification, each artist proof is signed and numbered ‘AP’ by the artist. The first number indicates the edition and the second number indicates the artist proof edition size. For example, a print is marked AP 2/25 is the 2nd edition produced of a total run of 25 artist proofs.

The number of artist proofs in an edition is determined by the rule that it should not exceed 10% of the size of the main limited edition - so if the full limited edition size is 250, only 25 artist proofs will be available.

As with all of our prints, our artist proofs are provided with a Certificate of Authenticity to validate the print.

Visit our website to view our range of special artist's proof prints which are printed at a larger size than the standard limited edition. Only a very small number of each image are available, resulting in stunning exclusive prints which replicate the look and feel of the original.

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