Color checker issue.

Here's something that's throwing me a little. I match a color on my still life using the color checker, then put a spot of that paint on the canvas. Then when I hold the color checker next to the spot on the canvas, it doesn't match (the spot on the canvas "appears" to be a lower value). If that's true, then the whole painting will end up appearing darker than intended.

I'm using Mark Carder's vertical easel, and I believe I have the lighting installed at the proper angle. What's going on here, and does it matter?


 

Summermarieb

Comments

  • Jbuckley

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Perception of colour on the canvas is strongly influenced by the toning and values already placed.
    If your whites are balanced and the light distribution fairly uniform, then it must be a perception issue.

    Denis
    marieb
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited January 2016
    dencal said:
    Jbuckley

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Perception of colour on the canvas is strongly influenced by the toning and values already placed.
    If your whites are balanced and the light distribution fairly uniform, then it must be a perception issue.

    Denis
    Actually this is incorrect. The whole point of the color checker is to remove these kinds of perception issues. 

    @Jbuckley Mark addresses this here: youtu.be/bxLfwlWWYPU?t=42s

    Everything is relative, so it doesn't really make a difference if everything is a tick lighter or darker on the canvas as it will apply to all your colors. What matters is the "white point" and the "black point" — the extremes of the value range you can match in your subject. Since you balance your lighting on the subject for your white paint (if you're following Mark's instructions), even if you had a Color Checker with a vertical paint area instead of an angled one, it wouldn't change the colors you ended up painting with, it would just mean you would decrease the light slightly on your subject. The end result, on the canvas, would be the same.
    Summer
  • Thanks. I suspected it really didn't matter. But I thought that with correct studio lighting, the values on canvas would match corresponding values in the still life. Evidently not. Anyway the final painting will depend on the light it's displayed in, I guess.
  • The reason it doesn't match is because the color checker paint area is tilted, and also because light is generally far less even than you think it is. For example, on most easels in most studios, the top and bottom of the painting will be lit VERY differently. You don't notice it much in person, but if you take a photo and have to adjust the light distribution in Lightroom, we're talking about multiple clicks of exposure difference in many cases. A color checker is really good at what it's made for, so it's extremely sensitive — your eye is very sensitive when it's simply comparing two colors with a hard line between them out of context — so no doubt the color on the canvas is going to be different than what you see in the color checker.
    marieb
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