Big Vinyl Art cut-outs are very complex and benefit from being big to make the most of the techniques used in their construction. Like the Giclées they are hand drawn, and digitally tweaked, but from then on the production is very different. The digital files are split into layers and the generally black 'lines' are plot-cut as described below. This layer is stuck over the coloured digitally printed background to create the finished artwork, which is mounted on foamex board and protected by a layer of UV archival matt varnish to prevent fading and to protect the surface.
Unlike the lightly textured printed surface of the Giclees, Big Vinyl Art cut-outs have a unique form which reveals a subtle 3D effect rather like embossing. They are supplied ready framed in either black or raw aluminium but are not behind glass so you can touch them if you wish.
The process of cutting-out the line element of the image rather than simply printing it, is what makes these artworks so unique. This extremely time consuming process honours a hand-made ethic which is missing in much digital art and is why Big Vinyl Art pieces are more expensive than similarly sized Giclees.
To help you visualise the complexity of the cutting-out process, imagine a capital 'A'. If you were to make a dot-to-dot outline of this character you would need 11 dots. To cut this out you would need to cut 11 lines. On a plot-cutter it would take a couple of seconds to cut from a vinyl sheet, plus a few seconds to peel away the excess revealing the letter. A typical peice of Gary's Big Vinyl artwork contains 90,000 dots and takes 6 hours to cut out plus another few hours to peel away the excess. This production process is in addition to the time spent on the original drawing.
Big Vinyl Art is made from a combination of high quality Avery 800 series cast vinyl and Fuji C-Type Matt digital printed backgrounds. The images below show the plot-cutter, an animation of the assembly process and and the application of protective varnish.
Giclée printing is a print-trade / art-trade term for extremely high resolution digital inkjet printing using specialised equipment, high quality ink, and an archival substrate such as acid-free "art" paper or canvas. With drastically improved image sharpness, brighter colours and high fade resistance, it's the method of choice for reproduction of artwork. Professionally produced Giclée prints are much more expensive on a per-print basis than the four-color offset lithography process traditionally used for such reproductions.
We chose this method of production for our prints because they offer the best possible results in terms of colour reproduction and longevity. Giclées have a more traditional look than Big Vinyl Art cut-outs with lovely saturated colours and deep blacks.
Giclées have no vinyl layer and are supplied as on 285g lightly textured semi gloss Hahnemuhle rag paper. They are printed professionally at 1440dpi using Epson UltraChrome HDR wide gamut Inks which have a life expectancy of upto 100 years in bright daylight. They are not framed but are conveniently sized to fit off the shelf frames from stores such as Ikea.
We guarantee the authenticity of all Giclées we sell. :-)
Gary is the founder and resident artist at Big Vinyl Art.
He grew up in Oxford with it's eclectic arts scene, galleries and fascinating museums. He spent endless days in England's oldest museum, the Ashmolean, the Museum Of Modern Art and the amazing Pitt Rivers Museum with its Victorian ethnological collections. The influences of the ancient, old and contemporary show up in his art, which reflects the tradition of formal portraiture, but with a very modern form.
After a BA in Flim and Photography Gary worked in graphic design and became the designer at a commercial sign making workshop. A few ago he started using the techniques and materials from his day job to transform his small pen drawings into huge pop-art inspired portraits. The resulting project was titled Big Vinyl Art.
Initially, Big Vinyl Art only made really big plot-cut vinyl art, but Gary soon realized that not everyone has that much wall space, so began to make smaller works in the form of professionally printed Giclées.
His work has a strong visual identity with graphic lines and layered colours creating complex images with depth and detail. As you will have spotted, Gary is a major animal lover and his particular passion for dog's is at the core of Big Vinyl Art.
Jon Lowe, TheLoweDown
A little info about artist
All Gary's artwork starts off with a hand drawing from a photograph taken by you, or if you're near enough to Chester, by Gary.
His drawings are digitised turning the pen 'lines' and 'dots' into 'strokes' and 'points' which can be tweaked to produce the 'lined' element of the artwork. This approach keeps the essence of a traditional sketch while adding the benefits of a digital file. The upshot of this is that his bespoke artwork can easily be altered to accomodate how you'd like your picture to look. Minor changes to facial expressions or big changes to colours or size are all possible.
The artwork ends up as a hugely complex scaleable 'vector' which can then be cut-out or printed and can be produced at any size without losing detail.
Work is either constructed as Big Vinyl Art, or more traditionally produced as Giclée fine art prints.
It all starts with a great photo........
All My portraits are bespoke. They are digitally hand drawn from your photos before being tweaked to allow for creation of the eventual artworks.
The two distinct formats are created by digital processes and in the case of the vinyl cut-outs, labourious hand assembly and finishing.
Traditional Giclée fine art prints, which need to be framed have distinct saturated colours and look great in any home. The signature touchy feely Big Vinyl Art cut-outs, which are made from layers of plot-cut vinyl over a digitally printed background, are very contemporary. They are protected with archival ultra-matt or high gloss varnish and come ready framed without glass so you can fondle them. The Big Vinyl Drawings What is a Big Vinyl Drawing?These works are made in the same way as the cut-out's above, but instead of applying the vinyl layer to a digitally printed colour background, they are constructed using a layer of thick matt fine art paper. These works look like a very large traditional drawing and like the Giclées, they need to be framed.
You can read all about the differences at the What Is Big Vinyl Art? page and view a gallery of recent work in my Archive.
My portraits have a traditional familiarity, and the very modern use of line, colour and unusual materials make my portraits and artwork talking point's in any room. The format, colours and size can all be made to fit your decor and all commissions go through a proofing process to ensure everything is exactly how you envisaged.
The much less formal portrait caricatures are drawn in the same style, and cast your pet as anything from a man-about-town to a supermodel! Just send over a photo with your thoughts and leave the transformation to me. :-)
To commission a portrait or a character portrait please visit Commission A Portrait where you will be guided through the process and can make your purchase in the mini-shop. Every commission also comes with a free digital copy for use on social media or for making extra small prints.
What is Big Vinyl Art?
What is a Big Vinyl Art cut-out?
What is a Big Vinyl Drawing?
These works are made in the same way as the cut-out's above, but instead of applying the vinyl layer to a digitally printed colour background, they are constructed using a layer of thick matt fine art paper.
These works look like a very large traditional drawing and like the Giclées, they need to be framed.