Introduction to Hand Coloring

terri

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Oh, and check out B&H Photo for hand coloring supplies, too. (Not sure if they carry the new Arista stuff, but they might.)
 

Gavjenks

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This is a really cool and comprehensive guide! I can't say I'm very enamored of the results, though. They are skillful, but the look it creates has an inextricable connotation in my mind to old post cards and forced, banal commentary on vacationing experiences to acquaintances.
 

terri

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Thanks for the comment! :) When I did this guide, I collected images that included landscapes as well as people for the purposes of example. As I mention in the article, not every B&W shot needs color or is improved by it - kind of dealer's choice there. I usually avoid color in my bromoil work, for instance, but I liked it in this particular image. Color certainly changes the mood and feel of certain images completely, not always for the better. You must think about what you want your image to convey. And sometimes it is quite deliberately exaggerated for expressive purposes, so I included examples of that, too.
 

StudioIndiana

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I just started hand coloring with a small set of Marshall's oils, and I like them a lot. Because Marshall's aren't made any more, can you tell me if there would be any problems with using older sets of them? (as long as the tubes aren't hard and dried up). "Vintage" sets seem to come up on eBay regularly.
 

vintagesnaps

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I haven't tried an older set of those. I did buy a vintage Kodak Velox set of 'watercolors' I think they're called; they're old enough to be in gray packaging instead of school bus yellow so are probably from pre midcentury. Those are dried powdery tints that come on sheets of waxy paper that are perforated and you dip a wet brush like you would watercolors. Those blended in beautifully and I suppose time will tell how they last but I was astounded at how well they work considering how old they are.

I experimented on prints (*edit - I mean traditional glossy darkroom prints) I saved that were 'duds', ones that I may have not been able to tell from just a strip if I was quite 'there' yet and did a half or whole sheet of paper that turned out too light etc. So I suppose I might try the vintage Marshall oils on strips or whatever you have to practice on if you decide to try them.

I found I needed to use a very tiny amount on the tip of just about the smallest brush size you can buy!
 
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terri

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I just started hand coloring with a small set of Marshall's oils, and I like them a lot. Because Marshall's aren't made any more, can you tell me if there would be any problems with using older sets of them? (as long as the tubes aren't hard and dried up). "Vintage" sets seem to come up on eBay regularly.

What will really start drying up the tubes is exposure to heat or air; if you can be assured that none of the tubes have been punctured, and they haven't otherwise hardened by poor storage conditions, they should last for decades. There is a lot of oil mixed into the pigment in these tubes. I can also say I'm using the same tubes I bought over 10 years ago; punctured or not, they're all fine. Keep the caps clean. ;)

"Vintage" is a tired word that can mean anything. Look at the tubes themselves and the packaging to help determine when they were produced. Your main concerns will be that the tubes are still intact, soft, and that the seller can attest to storage conditions (and has a good rating!).

If it seems sketchy, you can always go with the new line of photo oils from Arista. Check them out!
 

terri

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I haven't tried an older set of those. I did buy a vintage Kodak Velox set of 'watercolors' I think they're called; they're old enough to be in gray packaging instead of school bus yellow so are probably from pre midcentury. Those are dried powdery tints that come on sheets of waxy paper that are perforated and you dip a wet brush like you would watercolors. Those blended in beautifully and I suppose time will tell how they last but I was astounded at how well they work considering how old they are.

I experimented on prints (*edit - I mean traditional glossy darkroom prints) I saved that were 'duds', ones that I may have not been able to tell from just a strip if I was quite 'there' yet and did a half or whole sheet of paper that turned out too light etc. So I suppose I might try the vintage Marshall oils on strips or whatever you have to practice on if you decide to try them.

I found I needed to use a very tiny amount on the tip of just about the smallest brush size you can buy!

Sharon, that is so cool!! I'd love to see an entire print done with those. Do you think you have any more prints laying around that would be suitable? You could do a print and post it in the Alt form for us! :)

I'm guessing that powdered pigments would outlast oils, but I'm no expert on pigment longevity. How fun that you could get results from something that old! :heart:
 

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i think your work is fantastic. I love the idea of combining two of my favourite forms of expression….watercolour painting and B&W photography.
 
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Vince.1551

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I haven't done hand coloring for ages. It was the in thing in those days. The pigment in oil or any medium will deteriorate over time even if it's still usable.


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StudioIndiana

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Well, I was able to buy a "vintage" set of oils, and the tubes were pliable. I really don't know how old they are, but I can report that they work just fine. I also picked up some "vintage" Marshall's pencils, and they work fine also.

Now, I have another question. You recommend wiping down the entire print with PM Solution before starting to apply oils. I have a print on which I didn't do that. Now, the area where I removed some excess paint around the perimeter of a subject (using PM Solution) has a different appearance, especially when the light hits it in a certain way. It's not like a shadow, but it definitely looks different. I'm guessing that, if I'd coated the whole print in the beginning, this wouldn't have occurred. Should I try wiping down the unpainted areas with PM Solution after-the-fact? Or would it be easier to just spray the print with a clear finish? Thanks.
 

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