An Airstream Caravel

Color Matching is everything

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich, Prints, RLC Design, Wide Format Printing 2 Comments

Carolyn Alexandar is one of the many painters who choose to do reproduction work exclusively with me.

The past few weeks have been…..well, quiet. And quiet is never something you want when operating a small business. It also gets a little discouraging.

Fortunately, just when you’re feeling a little too discouraged something usually happens.  Sometimes it pushes you over into the “dismal” zone beyond discourage, and sometimes something happens that makes you remember why it is you enjoy doing what you do.

This morning we went toward the happy side, not the dark side.

Weeks ago I met an internationally known and recognized painter who had stopped into the gallery to ask about giclee’ reproductions.  For the bulk of his works he doesn’t do reproductions as they never come out like the originals and to him, that’s beyond disappointing.  But he’d heard about the work I do here, and he wanted to see for himself.  We talked for well over an hour the other week, I walked him through the process and how I achieve color matches, and we left it with him coming back sometime in the near future.

Go figure, haven’t seen him in weeks and wondered if he’d lost interest or found someone better.  Well, that wasn’t the case.  He showed up this morning, and he showed up with something that made my day.

The painter was carrying a print with him along with a disk.  One of his clients who purchased an original work asked if a few reproductions could be created from the original.  Friends, family, and a few employees really like the painting, so it was agreed that a limited number of reproductions could be made.  The original was sent to a lab in California to be imaged, and then a proof print was generated for my new client to see.

The proof wasn’t even close to the original.  Light blue with a touch of teal was translated as an extremely dark blue with no teal.  Pinks were turned to deep red.  Dark blue was nearly black.  And worst of all (in my mind at least) the brush strokes from the original were totally lost in this proof.

This is exactly why this particular painter doesn’t like doing reproductions of his works.  I can’t blame him at all.  It’s either so close to the original, or don’t do it.

Allison Kantor's "Cyber Jungle," a new piece that I've started running reproductions of.

Well, we spent about 15 minutes together, I took the files of the imaged painting, and ran my own test proof.  We got a match in under 20 minutes easily.  And I mean a match.  Brush strokes, proper color, proper contrast, everything you’d want in a reproduction in order to be proud of it.

So, the painter is off to call his client.  And tomorrow I’ll most likely be running a few 30×40 Framer Wrap canvases for him.

There is something to be said for the hands on approach when it comes to reproductions and color matching.  Without it, you’re blindly sending your work off in the hopes that your “printer” is detail oriented enough, and doesn’t run a print while saying to themselves, “Well, it’s close enough……”

If nothing else, today’s newest client reminds me….. I do great work!  Now, just need to scare up a few more clients!  🙂

Comments 2

  1. Be proud of your work Rich, and know that when the going gets rough, rest assured the cream always rises to the top…you’ve definitely got the cream!

    I am almost complete in my own color management cycle:

    Got the calibration device for the monitors…check!

    Got the walls painted an 18% gray…check!

    Got the desk lamp (today) for a daylight balanced bulb…check!

    Tomorrow, a couple daylight balanced bulbs and cover for the window…check!

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