The first fact everyone needs to know is that one cannot make a print from a painting. Never. Never. Never. All that can be done is to take a photograph of the painting.
A REAL Print is one of a kind. Lithograph stones, copper etchings, silk screens… even potatoes that have been cut leaving raised images can be used to produce prints that are one of a kind… but not paintings. True prints use surfaces that are etched, cut, oiled, and then inked and applied to paper to create images that are each unique and change each time they are re-inked. They change because each printing wears out the surface of the stone, or the lacquered silk, or the cut copper, or the cut potato, etc. True print makers can only make a very small number of prints (all unique} before their screen wears out as opposed to the greedy who print hundreds of exact copy photographs that can be printed on and on forever.
A true print maker notes that each print is assigned a number in the edition. For instance, on the lower edge of the paper there would be a number noted as 4/6 meaning that print was the fourth printed in the total series or edition of 6. Each print would be unique because the stone or screen (depending on method} wears and the ink/paint has to be reapplied for each “pull” of the printing process.
Why is this important to the consumer or purchaser of the art print? It is vital that purchasers of art being sold as prints not be fooled into thinking that photographs of paintings are of any value beyond the cost of the sheet of paper and the very small amount of ink/paint used to reproduce images that are exact copies of the painting. If one pays a high price for what is called a limited-edition print of a painting, you have been scammed! You have simply purchased a photograph. Greedy artists have fallen into this practice and have taken advantage of greedy consumers who are lacking knowledge of the print making process and who have been scammed into thinking they have purchased a work of great value.