Matching black paint with printout

Hi all, just a quick technical question. Does anybody know how to make sure that when I print a photo, the blackest black is the same as the blackest Geneva black? I hope that makes sense, thanks. 


  • I hope this applies...but I always remember what Mark Carder’s said about adjusting monitor brightness. It may apply. He said to worry about matching the whites. So get pure Geneva titanium white and make it so that the whitest part of the photo or screen matches the paint value. 

    So basically, I wouldn’t worry about the blacks. Anything blacker then the pure Geneva black just paint with straight black! 
  • peterhill

    I agree with. edavision. Check that your printer driver is up to date. Try some fresh, genuine inks.
    Have a look at Mark’s photography guide at Section 7.

  • Thanks both, this makes sense, it would just be nice if the blackest black on the photo was only as dark as Geneva black but I'm sure I'll manage 
  • I hope, when you get to the point where you are not just copying a photo, but you are painting a song about the photo, you will start to realize that blacks have color.  Black can be warm or cool and I have found that a photo will not convey that reality.  Look at the color surrounding the darkest darks and know that it will have the surrounding color invested in it.
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    You don't have to match black.  Just paint everything of equal or lower value black, preferably a chromatic black.
  • Yes! I second what @oilpainter1950 said! 

    It’s easy to forget that even the best photographs greatly compress value range. Try looking outdoors in the sunlight and see the huge variety of color and value in the shadows. Then take a picture. No matter how well exposed the photo all that variety is lost! Interpret the photo...don’t copy. 

    The only exception should be your very first few paintings for the DMP method. Then the best way to learn is to copy exactly. That being said, your painting should mature past copying quickly. 
  • Thank you everyone, all has become clear 
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