Terms Glossary - Thomas Kinkade Studios
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Thomas Kinkade Studios
Sep 04, 2014
9 min read

Terms Glossary

From art styles to frame attributes to edition definitions, this is a comprehensive collection of terms associated with Thomas Kinkade Studios Artwork.


Allegory has been used widely throughout the history of art, and in all forms of artwork as a devise in which characters or events represent or symbolize ideas and concepts. A reason for this is that allegory has immense power of illustrating complex ideas and concepts in a digestible, concrete way.

AP – Artist Proof

The Artist Proof canvases are individually hand-highlighted and are designated with the letters A/P during the numbering process.

Archive Collection

Images published years after they were originally painted.


Literally meaning “workshop”, atelier came to define a group of craftsmen or artists who learn from a master. Several years before his passing, Thomas Kinkade began his own Atelier to pass down his honed artistic skills and iconic style. This Atelier became the Thomas Kinkade Studios.

Canvas Classic

A collection of popular Thomas Kinkade Studios titles in an Open Edition format, masterly crafted using premium canvas on board and museum quality frames.


Literally translated as light-dark. This painting technique utilizes both light and dark areas of the scene to help convey mood. Thomas Kinkade used the clear contrasts prevalent when he incorporated numerous light sources in his paintings. it was an aspect of Thom’s Kinkadian style which eventually helped define him as the Painter of Light™.


A group of images which share a subject matter. Even after a painting was finished, Thom liked to continue to paint particular themes which he was fond of.

Early Works

Early in Thom’s painting career, the influence of his trip to Alaska and his childhood in Northern California was heavy and his Kinkadian style was just beginning to develop. In these early works, Thomas Kinkade loved to paint grand landscapes and awe-inspiring vistas in the Albert Bierstadt tradition.

EP – Examination Proof

The Examination Proof is a special canvas edition offered to our participating Limited Edition galleries as an opportunity for collectors to preview select new releases. The canvases are individually hand-highlighted, have the designation of E/P in the numbering process and have a small edition size.

Estate Edition

The Estate Edition is an extremely limited edition created with a textured process. It is then finished by a Master Highlighter with additional highlighting, and a special hand sketched remarque is applied to the verso side of the canvas. Each Estate Edition is designated by a letter E/E during the numbering process.


A frame component that goes between either the wood outer frame and the art or the linen liner and the art. Usually gold, though it can be any color or style, it serves to add a visual element that highlights the art and gives the eye a smooth transition from the frame to art.

Gallery Wrap

The style of presenting an image for display where the canvas is pulled over the sides of the stretcher bars and is secured in the back. There is no frame used, which creates a contemporary, modern look. Many of Thomas Kinkade Studios’ images have been published in this style.


The process by which a Thomas Kinkade Original or Thomas Kinkade Studios print is created through an extremely meticulous and high quality practice of print making. The latest large format printers, lightfast inks and light calibrations are used to achieve the finest color replication of the original.


The brush painting process by which extensively trained Master Highlighters apply extra luminosity, texture and dimension to a Thomas Kinkade Studios Limited Edition canvas.


The Impressionism art movement originated in and around Paris, France in the late 1800’s. It is marked by the open composition of common subject matter. Impressionism emphasizes natural and accurate depictions of light.

International Editions (I/SN, I/AP, I/GP, I/PP, I/EP, I/AN, I/EE, I/RE, I/SP, I/ME)

International Editions are reserved for distribution outside of the United States and generally are comparable to the corresponding domestic editions.


The style, or genre, of art for which Thomas Kinkade pioneered and made popular. The Kinkadian style is marked by beautiful and quaint scenery and inspirational subject matter – often depicting a simpler time. Thomas Kinkade became known as the Painter of Light™ due in large part to his focus on the light sources in a painting. Quintessential examples of Kinkadian works are Foxglove CottageThe Garden of Prayer, and The Cross.

Limited Edition

Images published by Thomas Kinkade Studios in a finite or limited number. Limited Edition images cannot be printed beyond their predesignated edition quantity. Limited Edition prints will have their specific print number and their edition designation displayed by the signature block, usually in the lower right corner of the image making each Limited Edition print unique.

Linen liner

The frame component that goes between the wood outer frame and the art. The liner is made of either linen or silk wrapped wood, usually white or natural but can be black. It provides visual relief between the frame and art, as well as provides a design element that brings the eye in from the frame to the art. This is a very traditional technique.

Lithograph Canvas Transfer

The process by which images are taken from paper lithographs and transferred onto canvas. This process was widely used before the Gicleé process became standard.

ME – Master Edition

The Master Edition is the ultimate expression of detail, artist involvement and collectability of any edition issued by the publisher. Each master edition was extensively hand-highlighted by Thomas Kinkade, and he hand sketched a highly detailed remarque on the verso side of the canvas. Enhancing the exclusivity of the Master Edition is the personal touch of the artist’s unique thumbprint and Master Edition seal located on the back of the canvas. To signify authenticity, the Master Edition was hand-signed in metallic ink by Thomas Kinkade. Each Master Edition is designated with the letter ME during the numbering process. This edition is now retired.

Narrative Panorama

A painted landscape or scene, which tells a story. Pinocchio Wishes Upon A StarTinker Bell and Peter Pan Fly to Neverland, and A Victorian Christmas Carol are examples of Thomas Kinkade’s Narrative Panorama.

OE – Open Edition

Prints or lifestyle goods which are not limited in quantity to a pre-assigned edition number. Canvas Classics, Gallery Wraps, gift prints, Inspirationals and Brushworks are all popular Open Edition Thomas Kinkade Studios products.

Plein air

En plein air, or open air painting, is a French term used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Thomas Kinkade thoroughly enjoyed this style of painting and used it to further his understanding of the luminous effects of natural light. In fact, it was his most favorite style of painting, and he would often paint en plein air and use what he learned to illuminate his studio works.

PP – Publisher Proof

The Publisher Proof is a small edition available at the discretion of the publisher. Hand-highlighted and numbered, they are designated PP and carry a back-stamp identifying each canvas as a Publisher Proof.

RE – Renaissance Edition

For images released prior to April 6, 2012, the Renaissance Edition is a reserve edition created with a textured brushstroke process that recreates the artist’s actual brushwork. It is then finished by a Master Highlighter and a special remarque is applied to the verso side of the canvas. Upon satisfactory completion, the artist hand signs the front of the canvas and a foil-stamped silver Renaissance Edition seal is applied to the back. Each Renaissance Edition is designated by the letters re during the numbering process.


A remarque is a drawing or symbol on the verso or reverse side of the image. Thom often used the back of Limited Edition canvases to personalize the image for the edition or for a specific image owner. Master Highlighters, Thom’s brother Patrick Kinkade, Nanette Kinkade and Thom’s daughters were all known to inscribe remarques with varying degrees of detail.

Robert Girrard

In the early 1980’s Thomas Kinkade decided to use the brush name Robert Girrard to have absolute artistic freedom. This freedom led to a joyful experimentation that resulted in numerous breakthroughs and advances in Thom’s artistic techniques and talents. Thom painted as Robert Girrard for over fifteen years and was able to accomplish the creation of mood and atmosphere in landscape and broadened palette allowing new dimensions to be employed.

SN – Standard Numbered

The Standard Numbered canvas is individually hand-highlighted and numbered with the designation of S/N in the numbering process.

Sold Out at Publisher

Titles are considered Sold Out when not available at the publisher in Limited Edition canvas. Titles that are Sold Out may be available at the publisher in International Editions for distribution outside the United States or in Limited Edition paper. Sold Out titles may be available at your local Thomas Kinkade Studios Gallery. Ask for details.

SP – Studio Proof

For images released prior to April 6, 2012, the Studio Proof is created with a textured brushstroke process that recreates the artist’s actual brushwork. It is then finished by a Master Highlighter who hand sketches an original and identifying remarque on the verso side of the canvas. Upon satisfactory completion, the artist applied final highlighting himself and hand signed the front of the canvas in metallic ink. Lastly, a foil-stamped gold Studio Proof seal is applied to the verso side. Each Studio Proof is designated with the letter SP during the numbering process and the metallic authorized signature is applied to the front of the canvas.

Thomas Kinkade Studios

Thomas Kinkade, the famed “Painter of Light,” loved to share his passion for art and his creative process with other artists throughout his career. Thom believed in supporting artist development and exchanged ideas with artists. Through this collaborative environment, Thom passed down his methods and imparted the techniques, concepts and vision for his signature Kinkadian style.

Today, the artists of the Thomas Kinkade Studios apply many of the same techniques created and used by Thom during his lifetime; from sketching to digital and oil brushwork, to image recapture and his use of light. Over time, these mastered skills have evolved into a Kinkadian style of art adored by art collectors around the world.


The back side of a paper or canvas.

6 thoughts on “Terms Glossary

  1. I have found some number print thee gazebo of prayer dogwood sunrise Stillwater cottage all have a0097 a0020 a0044 l would like to know if I have something

    1. Hello Bobbie,

      Those numbers do not mean anything to me. They could be numbers a gallery put on them for their inventory purposes or if you found the pieces at an art auction or estate sale, these could be lot numbers. I would suggest reaching out to a local art appraiser or if you have a local Thomas Kinkade Studios Gallery, reach out to them and see if they can help you with your pieces. An art appraiser should be able to do an appraisal on your items and give you a value on them. If you have a Thomas Kinkade Studios Gallery near you, they might be able to take a look at what you have and help point you in the right direction.

      You can check our gallery locator page here, https://thomaskinkade.com/galleries/


  2. Hi there is a canvas print that is labeled as DSTX..what would that mean? “H/S DSTX” for the Hometown Pride canvas..

    Thank you kindly.

    1. Hello Adrienne,

      Without seeing what you are talking about, I really do not know. It is possible that the gallery you are looking at this piece at could have added a sticker for inventory purposes on the piece with this information. Did you ask where you saw the piece what it means? If it is something the gallery added for inventory purposes on the piece, they would be able to tell you that.


  3. I have a sketch by Thomas Kinkade on the back of my Thomas Kinkade picture. Holiday Gathering. Does that increase the value of my painting?

    1. Hello Jim,

      This would really be a question for an art appraiser. They would be able to do an appraisal on your artwork and could tell if you if having the sketch on the back of the piece increases the value of it.


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