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Color correction for giclee prints

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:48 pm
by myprisms

I am a painter and graphic artist. A moderate Photoshop user and I am trying to get giclee prints made for my oils on canvas paintings. What drives me nuts is how much colors change from the original to a digital photograph and then further onto a canvas or paper print.

What is the best way to match colors to look the same as my original paintings, instead of retouching and taking prints again and again. Also I'd like to avoid taking the printer's time to color correct each painting.

I tried matching it thru the info pallette as monitor calibration can mislead your eye, but I still don't seem to quite get to the right place.

Can anyone please give me a solution to this problem? I'm a fast learner and slightly Photoshop biased :)

If interested, you can take a look at my work at

Thanks in advance

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:39 pm
by plugsnpixels
That's beautiful work you're doing!

As far as a color management workflow, that's a whole world unto itself and I don't pretend to be anything near expert at it. However, others are and have made their expertise available.

You might want to check into the Beaux Arts Printing Mastery DVD Workshop (assuming your workplace can foot the cost!). This is probably the top-end instruction for fine art printing (it's an actual seminar put on DVD).

Otherwise, check through the various photo forums linked from this page.


Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:02 am
by myprisms

Thank you for the link. Expensive tho :( and I'm not making too much money Yet!

But will continue diggin in. This would be something most artists would want to get their hands on.


Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:18 am
by plugsnpixels
This book has some information about "Color management for predictable results and reduced headaches" and "Preparing your images for print and getting top-quality results". Much cheaper, too!

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:31 pm
by HaraldHeim
My two cents: Your workflow includes three very different media types, so I don't think you will always get the best results if you only rely on color management alone. Color management is not magical thing that will always get the colors right for you, because some colors in your painting can't be displayed on your monitor and some colors on your monitor can't be printed on paper. Of course you should calibrate your scanner and monitor, but if you want the best results, you will sometimes need to do a few test prints until you get the colors more or less like they are in your original painting.

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:23 am
by plugsnpixels
FWIW, here's an interesting article I just came across today:

Color Management is for Wimps

Take it for what you will!

You Might Want to Try this Book

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:00 pm
by susanlane

My wife is a professional artist, and once her paintings started to sell north of $1K, I delved into the art of giclee reproductions. I can honestly tell you that to generate museum quality giclee prints, you are faced with a steep learning curve coupled with relatively significant equipment costs.

All that aside, there is no magic bullet re: producing consistent color for fine art reproduction. To generate a product that an artist would be proud to sell, you will need to spend a few hours of work on each piece.

There are some tools that can help you, however. Monitor calibration is a MUST. However, even a calibrated monitor will not display what will be produced on paper, even if you go so far as to have custom profiles generated for your printer, inkset and paper combinations. That is because your monitor is backlit (e.g. transmissive) and the paper is reflective. The best you can obtain is a reasonably close image.

Try this book before you go any farther down the road feeling frustrated: Mastering Digital Printing by Harald Johnson

It's available on

I'm off to peek at your work - please feel free to drop by my wife's site at

Good luck in your adventures!

Giclee Art

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:29 am
by Edwin
We have been doing these repros for over 10 years here in Dublin. As posted in the previous messages this is not easy. Monitor calibration is essential as well as predictable output profiles. Do look into the subject of soft proofing so you will be seeing the approximated output results. Probably your best way foreward would be to find somebody near to you who does this as a bureau service. I always say to our clients that we make our money out of what we don't throw in the trash.