As well as hand painted fine art reproductions on canvas, there are several different mechanical methods of fine art reproduction – none however come close to accurately replicating the color and texture as hand painting does.
Aquaprint: Is a printing process which uses color separation. The colors can be bright but the texture of the finished reproduction art is flat and does not mimic the artist’s brushstrokes.
Artagraph: The artagraph is a special printing method which recreates not only the color of the original, but also the surface texture. This is achieved by taking a silicone mould of the original oil painting and using it in the fine art reproduction. The problem is that not many museum curators or collectors are willing to have their prized masterpieces smothered in silicone, therefore the range of artagraph fine art reproductions is very limited.
Canvas transfer: Canvas transfer art reproductions are basically prints on canvas rather than paper and remain flat, unable to recreate the texture of the artists brushstrokes. First, a lithograph on paper is coated with acrylic emulsion, then when the acrylic is dry, the print is covered with a solution that helps to separate the image from the paper it was printed on. The image is now bonded to the acrylic and free of paper. This film is then carefully bonded to the canvas. Canvas transfer art reproduction’s flat texture can be enhanced by the artist adding some brushstrokes. Canvas transfer reproduction art is subject to color fading, yellowing being a particular problem.
Etchings: The art reproduction image is etched into a copper plate, ink is then applied to the plate. Dampened paper is then laid onto the plate and under extremely high pressure from an etching press, ink is forced onto the paper. This is a popular method of art reproduction for drawings but is not suitable for reproduction art oil paintings
Giclees: Are produced from a color transparency made from the original oil painting usually by taking a photo or using a drum scanner. Today many giclee art reproductions are made with ink jet printers attached to computers and consequently they suffer from inconsistent color reproduction. They are expensive while remaining flat and untextured reproduction art.
Hand painted: This method of fine art reproduction involves a trained artist carefully copying the original oil painting. The artist mimics the exact colors, texture and brushstrokes of the original masterpiece to produce a fine art reproduction that is a stunning replica of the original oil painting.
Lithograph: Basically this is standard offset printing. The art reproduction image is drawn on a litho - limestone or exposed to a light sensitive litho plate. The printing surface is kept wet with a sponge; the ink is then rolled by hand onto the plate or stone. This is a popular art reproduction method for posters but falls to recreate the brushstrokes and texture of oil paintings
Serigraphy: Also known as screen prints. Serigraph art reproductions are produced by creating a stencil on the fabric that is stretched across a frame for each color by a master printer. They can have a thin texture but cannot mimic the heavy texture of oil painting.