Can Digital Printmaking be Fine Art?
Think Digital prints, think: Fine Art Archival Prints.
Printmaking is among art's most agile mediums and in the digital age, this is truer than ever with artists fast forging computerised techniques. To be clear however, digital printmaking is not your average ‘ctrl p’ print. Like all printmaking, fine art digital printing requires serious skill, creativity and far more than your HP office printer.
Peter Bainbridge - 'Elizabeth'
While not all digital printing is an archival pigment print, typically these terms are interchangeable. To create an archival pigment print, an image or design is digitally rendered and then printed with an inkjet printer using archival pigment inks and archival quality paper. How the initial image is created however, differs; some artists scan or photograph their designs, while others create via their computer.
The digital printing process is nuanced. It requires archival grade materials and technology, as well as expert printers. It can be employed to create reproduction prints (where an existing image is expertly re-printed) or an original work of art. Perfecting the artist’s palette can be tricky, but the results are first-class.
Check out these digital prints if you like:
Clarity. One of the advantages of digital printing, is how crisp and rich the image can be. In Peter Bainbridge’s ‘Elizabeth’ (above), a queen's regality is matched by an exquisitely rich colour palette.
Timothy Silver - 'Untitled (Adrift) 1 - 3'
Printing Fun Fact:
Techniques like composite printing - of which Tim Silver's 'Untitled (Adrift)' is an example (above) - bend reality. By converging analogue drawing with digital manipulation, digital print-makers are creating visual landscapes that could have never previously existed.