It's no secret that navigating the different types of art can feel overwhelming. When you're looking for art, especially online, what does it all mean? Original art might be pretty straight forward, right? But then what is a print? How is it made? What's it printed on? How much should it cost? Now that Sorelle offers fine art prints in addition to a selection of original fine art by over 40 artists, we thought it was a good time to break this down a little further. So, let's jump in!

What is original fine art?

Original fine art is art that was created by the artist, by hand. It's a one-of-a-kind, and the value is dictated by the market and body of work of the artist as a whole. 

What is a print?

A print is a high-quality image reproduction of an original artwork, that is then printed onto a new material like paper or canvas. For the prints sold through Sorelle, for example, a very high-resolution photo or scan is taken of an original artwork, and then printed onto the new material. This allows us to offer highly customized options on artwork (like size, for example) to clients at a lower price. 

What are the different types of prints?

At Sorelle, we offer both Limited Edition and Open Edition prints. Limited Edition prints are those where only a certain number of them are made, and as they sell, the value of the next number in the edition increase. Once the last print sells, there are no more. You can find the total edition number in the description of any limited edition print on our website. Open Edition prints, which we refer to as "fine art prints," can be printed indefinitely. This means that the price is often lower than an original artwork or a limited edition print.

What about giclée prints? 

Giclée is a French word for "spray" or "squirt," coined in the early 90s by printmaker, Jack Duganne. Today, the term is used to to loosely describe any high-quality print made on an inkjet printer. Therefore, while at Sorelle we do not describe our prints as giclée prints, they are effectively made via the same process and can be considered one in the same. 

What is the benefit of buying each (original and print)?

At Sorelle, we want everyone to be able to have art in their space. Original artwork is an excellent option both aesthetically and from an investment perspective, as it usually has qualities like a painterly texture, for example, and value that a print won't. At the same time, though, prints provide a more budget-friendly option for art lovers, and a sometimes more consistent revenue stream for our artists, so they can continue to create! For those looking for artwork with a budget as low is $30, a print is a great option. 

I see art labeled as an "Embellished Print" on your website. What is that?

Embellished prints are printed reproductions of an artwork, on which the artist has then painted overtop, usually in paint, ink or metal leaf. Very often, artists will embellish using metallic paint so that the piece achieves a true metallic shine and they don't have to rely on an image to capture the sheen.

Once a print is embellished, some even consider it to be an original artwork because it's been altered by hand, by the artist. For this reason, we note that it is embellished in the product description, as it may hold slightly more value depending on the materials used and artist's body of work. This also means that no two embellished prints will be totally alike. The artist will embellish similarly to the first, but there will always be slight variation, making your print completely unique, while still listing at a lower price point than an original. 

You can shop art prints by Julia Contacessi to see options of both fine art prints and hand-embellished prints (as marked). Click here to see the collection. 

How do I buy original art on Sorelle's website?

To purchase an original artwork on Sorelle's website, simply click in to view the piece, view detail images and the artwork staged in a room, and click the 'Add to Cart' button. Have questions about the art? Just use the button underneath the product images to send us a message, or click the Contact us button in the main menu. We'll get back to you within one business day, and can even send you an invoice directly for a quick payment process. Click here to view all original artwork. 

How do I buy a print on Sorelle's website?

Buying a print on Sorelle's site is very easy. Click to view your print, and wait for the print customizer options to load on the right. Depending on the print, you will be prompted to select your style (paper or canvas), size, and mount. For canvas prints, you can choose to have it rolled, stretched, or framed and stretched. For paper prints, you can opt to have your print ship unframed, or framed with or without a mat. Complete the checkout process, and your custom print will ship to your door. Click here to shop prints, or to visit our Prints Explained page for more information on custom options. 

I've never bought artwork before. Should I start with originals or prints?

The most important thing when it comes to art is that you like it (or better, love it). We always recommend starting with an artist, style, or subject that you love, and browsing from there. If you love the ocean, you can start with Coastal artwork - you may even find you like a style you never considered before. If you love a specific artist, look through their collection and use the filters at the top to sort by size, color, and type. You should have an idea of budget as you browse and that can dictate to a certain extent, but remember to start with your favorites! And when in doubt, contact us - our team of advisors is here to help. 


Two landscape art pieces hang on a wall.


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