A lithograph is created using a printing technique that is based on the principle that oil and water don't mix. Image areas on a flat stone or metal plate are chemically treated to accept oil-based ink or a grease crayon. Water is applied to the surface and is repelled by the areas where oil-based images have been drawn. The entire surface is coated with an oil-based ink that adheres to the areas drawn in oil, ink, or crayon. The image is than printed on paper. As the process for creating lithographs can be very time consuming and expensive, print runs are often kept low to preserve their value.
A limited-edition is a series of identical reproductions which are limited to a one-time printing of a predetermined number of impressions. This guarantees that only a specific number of images are created in the size, style, and medium indicated. Each reproduction is signed and numbered by the artist who owns the copyright.
Also known as an A/P, artist proofs are prints outside the numbered edition. Generally the property of the artist, they are usually limited to 10% of the edition and are equal in quality to the numbered edition. Typically the first step in creating a limited-edition print is the creation of the "artist proofs." The artist must approve these before the printer prepares to print the numbered edition. Artist's proofs usually sell for a higher price than the other impressions in the edition.