Color Managment Work Around for Corel Painter 11

Color Shift on Clone Source
I had been going a little crazy with the Clones and Quick Clones shifting colors in Painter 11. I had tried everything in color management to fix the problem and match up the profiles. I’m just so “not a techy”. I paint and usually it prints just like my screen which I do color manage. So this was out of my league until it hit me……
Why Bother Color Managing AT ALL?
I solved the problem and it’s really EASY! Just watch this short (really short) movie on how to avoid this problem quickly!

10 Responses to “Color Managment Work Around for Corel Painter 11”

  1. Bob M Says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    I think I understand what is going on with your color shift when cloning. I created a video to try to explain how to fix this (actually to explain what is going on)…. believe it or not it appears that Painter is working correctly, however I will show how you can setup color management to handle the issue.

    The short answer has to do with a color profile mismatch between Painter and the file you are opening.

    Hope this helps….

  2. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for taking the time to explain fully to everyone what is happening. I have known all these issues since being a beta tester for Painter but the trick is, it’s not working all the time. Really, honestly, it is a known Painter 11 issue that is on the list for a fix. It all makes sense it SHOULD work but it just doesn’t do it on a consistent basis. It’s sort of hit and miss.

    Turning off the color management for now until the fix comes in makes it fool proof.

    Great video and so others do know what is really happening I highly recommend they watch it and try it out for themselves and when it does “fail” they know the fast work around.

    I am sure you also used Painter X and if you go back and check working in Painter X…it was always a perfect color match with no setting it up and having these problems. I like fast and easy and want it to work like a version back instead of having to add extra steps.

    Thank you so much and please feel free to add to any of the topics posted here and let us know where to find more of your education on Painter.



  3. John Derry Says:

    Marylin, the worst thing you can recommend is to turn color management off. All this does is to promote an ignorance of color management. The visual color shifts seen between the original and clone images have no effect on the image-making process.

    Let me say this again:

    The color shifts a user sees between a source image and its clone due to color management has no effect on any image-making activity utilizing the clone.

    The two images are identical; only their appearance is different. You can easily test this by sampling the same color from a source image and its color-managed clone: the values will be the same.

    How can this be when the two images are visually different? Because color management is attempting to display the color managed clone by applying a color profile to it, thereby adjusting its onscreen appearance.

    Let me say it one more time: the two files share identical RGB values; only the onscreen appearance has been altered by the clone’s color management.

    All of this fuss over the apparently different clone image is due to a lack of color management understanding by users that have not previously worked in color managed environments. It is certainly counterintuitive to look at the same image with apparently different colors, but the fact is this is only a visual effect of color management. Color management never changes the values in an image; it only alters an image’s visual appearance.

    Those of you that wish to ignore color management can do so by simply ignoring the apparent difference between a source image and its apparently color-shifted clone.

    Once you embrace color management, it is a powerful tool for ensuring accurate color upon output to printers, the web, and other displays. Those who choose to view color management as a “bogey man” and a nuisance are in fact shutting themselves off to a powerful solution for accurately predicting an image’s color appearance in other mediums.

    If you are content to simply view your images on your own display, then you can successfully ignore color management. If, on the other hand, you intend on sharing your art with others on the web or in print, then color management is a tool that guarantees your art will be reproduced as you intended.

    This whole uproar has prompted me to write a color management in Painter 11 informational article. I will have it available as soon as it is finished.


  4. marilyn sholin Says:

    Great that you will write a new article John! That is a great idea! I look forward to it.
    Unfortunately not everyone can understand easily the color management issue so a detailed
    article would be most welcome to pass on to users.
    It would be helpful though if the results in managing the color management for !! were consistent which I have not found them to be yet.

    I print all my work and and also post and also have published in books ….the colors are fantastic and perfect and I rarely ever had any issues with color management in Painter X. This is the issue really to get it to all work automatically and cleanly like it did before. As anyone who has my book will tell you, the color reproduction is fantastic and the book, quote frankly, perfectly matched my screen and print outs from Painter X and Photoshop faithfully. So to get Painter 11 to do the same would really be a gift to us all!

    Thank you for taking the project on!


  5. marilyn sholin Says:

    BTW…just another note.
    I totally WELCOME John and Bobs comments and help for everyone.
    If we don’t bring these issues up no one will discuss them. I know so many have been frustrated by this exact issue in Painter 11.
    One thing I did NOT know is that the statement that John makes about the RGB being really the same.
    “Let me say it one more time: the two files share identical RGB values; only the onscreen appearance has been altered by the clone’s color management.”
    I had no idea about this and totally admit that I am a visual person and want my image to look the same as I paint….yes, it is counterintuitive as John says to us as painters. But I really did not know it WAS the same.
    Thank you for pointing this out and helping us to understand that issue!

  6. John Derry Says:

    Painter 11 now behaves like Photoshop: you can’t turn color management off—it is always working (although you can control how it functions via color management policy choices). Yet, I don’t hear an uproar of user dissatisfaction over Photoshop’s “always on” color management.

    To go back to a Painter X color management behavior would simply serve to keep users ignorant of color management. The only problem I see with Painter 11’s implementation is that a clone does not mirror the user-defined color management setting (turning CM off above the scroll bar)—which is causing user confusion when one notices the apparent color difference.

    Perhaps Painter 11’s always-on color management is upsetting to a user who has never dealt with CM—it adds an additional layer of required knowledge and responsibility to the art-making process. But the only class of user that does not benefit from color management is one that only views their Painter art on their own display. Beyond this situation, anywhere else the art is displayed (print/book/web), the user has no guarantee that others will see the image as intended.

    Rather than advising users to work around Painter 11’s color management, I see it as an opportunity to educate users about this useful tool that is critical to accurate output.

    BTW, I have not seen any profiles fail to properly load with an image that you describe; perhaps it is a Windows-specific issue.

    Hopefully, educators like you and I can help users embrace the benefits of color management and not see it as a necessary evil.


  7. Marilyn Sholin Says:

    John….I am getting the CORRECT color now on one of my computer when I color manage it, but not on the other (the 64 bit Vista one). I will keep trying to be sure I have it set up right. I am wondering if in the article you can also approach the color shift that most get when they open the image in Photoshop to get ready to print and tweak it. I have color management set up exactly the same for Photoshop and Painter (to go to my Photo Cal calibration) and I still get a shift when opening the painting in Photoshop.
    In CS4 if I tell it to NOT manage the color when opening a painting I did in Painter 11, it matches my Painter 11 color perfectly and has the correct color space. So it’s saying it’s NOT color managed and yet it really IS being color managed.
    This is awesome to have the colors match up in both software!
    More detailed information on this would be greatly appreciated and I will be able to help my students so much better with their own color management then.
    Thank You!

  8. Twitted by msholin Says:

    […] This post was Twitted by msholin […]

  9. Tim Shelbourne Says:

    Well, that’s a relief then! As an artist I no longer need to worry that the colours in my painting “look” different to the colours of the subject? Huh? And Colour Management helps???
    Incidentally, having worked (and taught) Photoshop for more years than I care to remember now, there has always been much “uproar” about PS colour Management issues amongst novices.

  10. Bob M Says:


    Thanks for looking at the video…. If Corel has identified a problem then hopefully there will be a fix coming out soon. I’ve wanted to do this video since I have help several people that described the same issue you mentioned in this blog, and they were able to resolve their issue by understanding the mismatch of profiles. Obviously I can’t address an actual programming problem with Painter and to simply say I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist (especially since you have encountered it)…. I do have Vista 64 on one of my systems and haven’t yet experienced the problem “yet”.

    John’s comments about the RGB values being the same really do hold true… even when the screen shows an apparent mismatch. But I can fully understand that appearance is problematic if you are using that representation to select colors. I can see choosing a color (based on the visual feedback from the screen) only to have it visually shift when I view it on another platform. So John is right about the RGB numbers not changing but I can see (no pun intended) how the color shift (visually) can still cause a “perception” problem.

    If I can muddy the waters up even more…. color management is always happening EVEN if you turn it off… let me explain… not all devices (LCD, Printers, etc).. can show / represent all colors possible. So there is always going to be some “conversion” done to represent the color on the device, whether or not you have color management off, the device will make the choice for you. Some colors will just be beyond the capability of the device. Color Management is simply an attempt at “translation” between devices so the “perceived” colors will match other devices that are using the same “translator” (or we would say “profile”). This is why it is very important that color management is just not “turned on” without also “profiling” or otherwise calibrating each device/software in the image processing workflow. Each device needs to “tuned” to know how to translate correctly…

    The way I’ve tried to simply explain it (and the real tech person won’t like this explanation) is this way… you have a group of people that all speak the same language (let’s say English)… (sort of like saying we all have devices that can do color)… now if I say to this group of people the world “cat”…. each one can and may interrupt the world “cat” differently (some will see a kitty, others will see a lion, but to them that is what “cat” means — they are in the same general “cat”egory as the others — sorry had to do it)… It isn’t until we are “profiled” and agree what “cat” means to each other that we can understand what each is talking about. So when the person that thinks “lion” says cat… I can use that profile to interpret the right image for “cat”. Ok I know that there are “technical” flaws with this explanation but I find it helps those new to color management to start to get the concept.

    Color Management can seem complicated at first… but most things are when you have “middle-men” / translators trying to make everything in the workflow play well with each other…. and unless they are calibrated you really won’t be able to accomplish that to any great degree.

    Wow probably more than I anyone cares to read…. Marilyn thanks for having this blog and this conversation! Hopefully it will spark more to get the concepts of color management correct and identify any “bugs” that plague us…

    Take care,


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