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Mark's photo that he paints from

In the portrait painting DVD Mark is painting from a photo that he took and sized in photoshop to correct life size dimensions. My question is, it appears that he has it behind glass in order to check his color on the video and then he wipes the glass clean.
1. Is it actually glass or something else?
2. How does he have it setup? (for example, is it taped to the glass or what)?

Thanks again,


  • I bought that exact product from Staples and although it's fairly clear (not absolutely clear) I find that it kills some of the contrast by elevating the blacks the tiniest amount.
    In the portrait video I believe Mark stated that he paints his blacks/shadows a little darker than they appear when color checking although he also says that we "the students" shouldn't do that. ( I do it anyway)
    I'm assuming that this is because of the same issue with lamination
  • @jcdr - do you know why/how that happens with lamination?

    By the way, I want to compliment you on your ability to observe and analyze. I think you have a pretty impressive skill. On several threads when you've made an observation, I've then been able to see what would otherwise blow right past me. It's really been helpful. One of the great things about this forum is having the opportunity to learn from others.

    In addition to learning to mix colors accurately, I think learning to "see" is an important ingredient in being able to paint well. You've got the knack!
  • @Harrell - it quite straightforward really (the lamination thing) In order to adhere to the photo the laminating film has an ultra thin layer of adhesive. This is quite evident when the product is backlit as in the 1st image. You can also see that there is a slight texture to the product as well. In the 2nd photo I've laid the sheet over part of a photo so you can see the difference. The difference is quite noticeable - day & night. Which is why you need to find a smooth plastic or metal device (I used the end of my palette knife handle which is smooth & rounded so it wont tear the film) and burnish (rub) the film until it becomes "clear" as in the 3rd photo. However on close inspection you'll see that the black areas are no longer black but a very dark grey instead. (inside the oval) - an added issue is that if you look closely it also cools the image from a color standpoint ever so slightly - look at the white border which now has a blue tinge.

    As a result and because I'm well versed in photoshop I remove a little blue from whatever image i'm laminating before I move forward. I don't recommend this for the uninitiated.
    Also very important is your printer and paper. I use a wide carriage epson stylus photo inkjet - (best printer awards since the beginning of time :-) ) ALWAYS print on a glossy medium or you will never have true blacks - their premium glossy photo paper is unparalleled.

    As far as having a 'knack' or critical eye - i put that down to 30+ years working in film where details are scrutinized at a very high level, on top of my 4 years of training at art college in London so many moons ago. If you find my observations & comments are of use or helpful to you then I'm pleased that I can be of service. :\">
  • I have my images heat laminated at Office Depot . It cost about 6 or 8 bucks but there is no impact on the colors at all. Love it.
  • "Really? I will look into that." says doubting thomas
  • I looked at heat lamination machines on Amazon. From reading the reviews they sound like more trouble than they're worth. Some catch fire. I guess the glue builds up on the rollers as well and grabs and ruins your document. I read a couple reviews where the photo colors were changed from the lamination process.

    I have an HP5440 desk jet and I am not fond of it. Even though I set everything to manual and uncheck all the auto garbage, it still changes the image. Sometimes it's okay but most of the time it isn't. It's not uncommon for me to have to print something 2 or 3 times to get a copy I like.
  • Not surprising - no disrespect to Scot, but any process like that MUST have some impact on the photo as you are looking through a layer of plastic to the image. I would wager that if you printed two photos that were identical and heat laminated one and then did a side by side comparison you would then realize that the process had in fact changed the image - however subtly.
    Even the best clear glass (as Kingston mentioned ) will alter the value/color of an image.(They tend towards green) We use color corrected glass or Lexan (a high density color corrected plastic) in front the HD cameras to protect them from practical special effects such as explosions and debris. Usually this requires color timing/tuning in post to compensate.
  • I have an Epson printer which prints A3 size, absolutely love it and I heat laminate my photos and I haven't had any problems at all ... in fact I love my laminator it works really well for me.
  • I have heard nothing but good things about Epson printers.
  • What model Epson do you have Pop? Same question on laminator. Thanks
  • @jcdr Hrmmm, I suppose there might be some kind of impact but it isn't an impact that I can see with my eyes. I tried to use those sheets of adhesive laminating plastic and I could visually see issues. I returned the roll of adhesive laniunating plastic to the Office Depot where I bought it and while I was there I noticed they offered the laminating service. I had two photos I wanted to laminate (one with grid, one without). I had them do one first and then I compared the laminated one to the un-laminated one before I had them do the second one. If there is an alteration in color, I can't see it.
  • @opnwyder - well if you've already done a side by side comparison then you have my apologies - I stand corrected. I'll give it a go on my next canvas.
  • tjstjs -
    edited July 2013
    I always toss my reference photo when done. I use the HP premium photo paper in Matte finish. I can dab my color right onto the photo and it wipes right off. The glossy finish does not.

    What I like about the matte finish is that 'my values' have a softer shift and are easier to see. Just preference and what I'm use to working with :)

  • @jcdr Well, I hope I can trust my eyes enough to not lead you astray. The laminating machine that they use at Office Depot is THIS one. I called the company that makes this thing and my call was, oddly enough, quickly elevated right to the owner of the company. He said there should be no perceptible shift in color but that there is a glossy version and a matte version which can change the "appearance". I think the one I got was glossy. I'm tempted to try @tjs approach next time and see if the 'no lamination' idea would work for me too.
  • @opnwyder - maybe instead of buying a power blue I should spend my money on a heat laminating machine and one of these. (I totally sucked at the "hue test" - got a 12)
  • @jcdr I have a feeling you may have had some light in the room when you took that test. Your color matching is fantastic.
  • tjstjs -
    edited July 2013
    jcdr said:

    @opnwyder - maybe instead of buying a power blue I should spend my money on a heat laminating machine and one of these. (I totally sucked at the "hue test" - got a 12)

    First time I did I got a 26. Just adjust your monitor. Darken it :) The light of the monitor may be too bright for your eyes.

    The reason I never did the laminate as per Mark's suggestion on the old forum was first, limited work space - no room to store more paint stuff like a laminating machine. And second, the closes place that laminates is a good 40 minute drive from where I live. I did try it with my first painting from a photo and had problems with glare off the laminated photo and had to reprint it to finish the painting. The only photo paper I had was the matte finish. So all of this was by accident :)

    Hope it helps someone.

  • @jcdr I can't argue with @opnwyder who is now Xrite certified, I got a 4 on the test so if he can't see any discrepancies no one can. X_X
    To show that I'm not lying here is a copy of his graduation certificate
  • @Castillo - Still living up to my moniker - "Blind Lemon Pledge''
    maybe you can use this old photo of me for the next portrait swap.
  • Uh-oh, I got a 43 and that was after taking again.My first score was a 46!
  • @Melissa, turn off all the light in the room before you take the test.
  • Thats cool. never seen that before. Got a 7.
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