The Undercoat

The Undercoat

Painting anything is either fun or torture…in my retirement I am finding it more the former than the latter, but I’m painting model airplanes instead of the walls of a house. But one way or the other, both activities have things in common*…they both require a good undercoat to begin with. It smooths over rough patches, grips the raw surface, and allows further coats of colour to adhere more easily. It can be the difference between a rough mess and a smooth finish.

I was talking to Adam Monk at the recent Photo Live 2018 and we debated whether it might be the same with some of the courses and lectures that deal with colour management and the process of printing from digital images. He’d finished giving a talk about the subject but was wondering if some of his listeners had really been up to speed with the information. I can understand his concern.

Adequate colour theory, colour management, printing theory and management, and some of the artistic aspects of a technical subject are a lot to cram into an hour, or a couple of hours. He thought that three might be needed…but how to get that much time on a one-day event…

We thought that it might be useful if people came to his courses after getting a good undercoat – of knowledge. A basic layer of understanding before the complex technical terms and interlocking factors start to be laid out. A basis to lay on the colour coats, as it were.

Well, that’s a good idea. I got just that a few years ago when he ran a printing course in the southwest…a printed workbook was issued that set out what the course would cover and defined the basic terms a week in advance. I wasn’t ready in a week to tell Adam how to print, but I was ready to listen to him tell me how to do it. Time wisely spent, and a good undercoat.

* They also ruin yet another good pair of trousers…

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