The essence of drawing
Offset reproduction is a mechanical process by which an artist's original drawing can be reproduced on a large scale. It offers the possibility of producing a large number of faithful renditions which can then be hand-colored. Thus, quality art images can be offered to the public at a relatively low cost.
First, the artist carefully produces his original drawing. It can be done with art pen and china ink, with charcoal, Conté crayons or any other kind of drawing implements. The clearer the picture, the more faithful the rendition will be.
The original drawing is then photographed and transferred to an aluminum plate. This critical step must be executed with care, or the image will not retain the clarity of the original work. This photograph shows the printing plate, with the drawing appearing in blue.
The printing process uses an offset roller print. The aluminum plate is wrapped around the main cylinder. Rubber rollers are used to automatically ink the plate, which then rolls on a piece of paper, printing the image. The artist must carefully adjust the amount of ink used for each print. If not, the image will be either smudged or too pale to be acceptable.
Once the print is made, the artist then uses paints (such as watercolors) to make it come to life. Each print is colored separately, and the artist can vary his color schemes to produce unique works of art. Note that, while color offset prints are feasible, they require too little intervention by the artist to be allowed on the rue du Trésor.
All offset prints on the rue du Trésor are first printed in black and white, then hand-colored by the artists. The following seven artists use offset reproduction as their main mode of production: