Anyone hand colour?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Mike Kennedy, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I just picked up a set of Marshall photo oils and would like to have a go at hand tinting some prints.
    A good book would be an asset since my experience with anything but a camera in hand is limited to putting hats on stick men.
    Any advice?

    Thank You
     
  2. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    There is a book and video from Marshalls. I would look for them on amazon. Otherwise here are a couple links:

    http://www.bkpix.com/technique/handcoloring1.php

    http://www.shutterbug.net/techniques/pro_techniques/0903sb_handcolor/

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/pdf/Handcoloring.pdf#search="handcolor"

    I think that infrared images are great with some hand coloring.

    Oh, check out Kathy Harcom's site for some examples.

    http://www.kathyharcom.com

    Once you have tried it, feel free to ask more specific questions.

    cheers,
     
  3. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    I have done a lot of hand coloring with marshall oils and it is important that you have the right paper. It needs to be matte surface and preferably fiberbased since it has a tooth to it. Or you can buy the art paper for hand coloring. the Marshall oils are translucent so it is hard to make mistakes but a small workshop on how to apply them was necessary for me. I enjoyed it a lot. There are also books that will help, those that discuss Marshall oils will help. good luck
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Marshall's even puts out a great video on it. Well worth the price of it, and time spent watching it. From there you can expand, and get daring. Richard Prehn did a lot of the prints in the Marshall's book. Maybe we can talk Robert Hall into getting Richard to join apug. I know Raucousimage would also be a person to help get Richard here as well.
     
  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    One way to practice is to use watercolor markers (Crayola brand work well) on a RC proof print. You use the marker as a color source and simply rub a wet brush against it to get the tone, which you then apply to the paper. It helped me work through the degree to which I wanted the final print colored as well as the process. I found that sublety was elusive at first but after seeing the image with color on it, I could go ahead with the final print with more confidence.
     
  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Mike -

    I've done quite a bit of this - it's fun and not at all difficult. There are a number of books out there, but in my opinion, most take you further than you probably want to go by discussing all kind of exotic techniques. Walk before you run - actually, I learned mainly by doing, although I did take a half-day workshop at a nearby arts center many years ago.

    First concern: paper. Gay is absolutely right - you need a matte surface, and my experience is that fiber works FAR better than RC. I have always used ORWO, but my stock is very limited and can't be replenished. I bought a package of an Ilford matte-surface aftermarket paper, but I wasn't all that excited with the results. Kentmere is reported to have ome good papers for hand coloring, but I don't have any actual experience with them.

    You can buy a dulling spray that supposedly allows you to hand color on glossy paper. Don't bother - it doesn't really work.

    Second issue: I found that pencils were much easier to use than oils. I started with Marshall's pencils, but over time expanded my collection with a variety of artists pencils.

    My method is to tape the print to a sheet of heavy cardboard. I use a smooth, white artists tape and apply it all the way around the print, completely masking the border. That makes it possible to have clean, white borders when I'm done.

    The first step is to apply a thin application of Marshalls PMS solution - which appears to be a mixture of turpentine and linseed oil. I use a bit of cotton moistend in the solution, and simply wipe across the entire image, making sure to cover everything with a thin application. Emphasis on thin.

    Then, starting in the middle of the print, I apply color by rubbing gently with the edge of a sharpened pencil. The tooth of the matte surface helps grind away a bit of the pencil, and the residual turp/oil mixture also dissolves the pencil to create a thin, transparent oil paint-like gel. I use cotton balls, "Q-tips", and even toothpicks wrapped in bits of cotton to rub this gel, ususally in a circular pattern, to smoothly color bits of the image. If desired, I can use multiple pencils and blend their colors to create an intermediate hue. The idea is to rub it smoothly into the surface of the paper - that means lots of rubbing.

    The key is to use a circular motion, coming up to the edge of elements of the image. As additional colors are added to the image, the circular motion up to the edge will cause the colors to blend smoothly. The key is to practice.

    I prefer subtle hints of color, perhaps even on only some elements of the image with the remainder left monochrome. I find that the PMS solution has a tendency to yellow as it dries, especially if it is applied too generously, but that can be managed by applying a very thin gray or white wash in areas that aren't to be colored.

    It can take some time to apply pleasing color to a print - a 8x10 print could take an hour or more to color. After I'm done, I lay the print aside to dry while still taped to the cardboard. After it's dry, I gently remove the tape, being careful to always pull toward the edge of the print so that it doesn't tear the emulsion. CAUTION - drying is very slow. Allow three or four days, and a week is better.

    Marshall's oils are also fairly easy to apply, but a bit of oil goes a very long way. That's why I really prefer pencils. And frankly, having to deal with those tiny lead tubes, that want to dry up so that the caps won't come off then next time you want to use them, it a PITA. On the other hand, using oils is convenient for a wash color for a large area.

    I have also experiemented with conventional artists oils, mixed with a transparentizing gel. That works, but in the end I keep coming back to pencils as the most controllable approach.

    If you have areas in the image where you want to completely remove color, Marshall's Marlene is perfect for that. For example, to brighten highlights in the eyes in portraits. Just be aware that it is generally not possible to apply another layer of color over an area where color has been removed using Marlene. Use it vary sparingly with cotton balls, Q-tips, and bits of cotton wrapped around toothpicks.
     
  7. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Thanks all.

    Great links Robert. Louie,your summery was better than the instruction sheet that came with the paints.

    Mike
     
  8. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Richard has a membership and 3 images in the gallery under the user name ZXORB. To see some of his work do a search for ZXORB on line. His stuff is not your average hand tinted photos.

    John
     
  9. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Louie,

    Indeed -

    An excellent starter-upper! Thanks for taking the time.
     
  10. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    What fiber-based papers would you recommend for handcolouring? I was thinking of trying Kentmere Fineprint VCFB Warmtone in their semi-matte finish. The Foma papers have a wide variety of surfaces, Chamois, Velvet, Matte, but what are the differences and which would take pencils or oils well?
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Chamois really grabs the color in my experience. If you want to lay down some heavier color go with that surface, otherwise stick to the matte/semi-matte surfaces. I've not seen any great difference in paper brands, just surfaces. I like the use the tubes of Marshall's oil, although I have been working a bit more with their pencils recently and kind of like them more now than when I first started. If you are just starting out, I would suggest trying a small pack of each so that you can see what the results are for yourself - it's the best way to answer this sort of question.

    - Randy
     
  12. njelle

    njelle Member

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    Hi,
    i am in Europe and just discovering the joys of darkroom and of hand tinting prints,
    question is does anyone know how i could get my hands on Marshall products in germany?
    would appreciate it
     
  13. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    You don't need Marshall's products, if they're difficult to find. Any tubed oils will work. Same for pencils- Prismacolor, Walnut Hollow, etc. will also work.
     
  14. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I've been restoring old photos and hand tinting many of them for years, for a fee. The best papers were semi-matte FB, most notably, Kodak Ektalure G (designed for hand coloring) and various Forte semi-matte FB papers. These brown toned well for hand tinting as transparent oils will not color black shadow areas, but you can add black, or any color, over brown toned shadows. I haven't found a good alternative for these discontinued papers yet. Matte surface has too much tooth, therefore I recommend a smooth semi-matte surface for best results and avoiding the painterly look - the end product should be a 'tinted photograph' not a painted over photograph - the photo should be visible through the tranparent color.

    Regards,

    Paul