Marshall's Photo Coloring System...colorize B&W?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by BetterSense, May 3, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I got these color dyes at a garage sale. I don't do color darkroom so I was going to sell them but I was wondering if they could be used to colorize black-and-white prints. The instructions mention briefly using them on black-and-white prints but don't elaborate. I know people colorize prints but I have always heard of people using pencils.
     
  2. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    They're the same color dyes that color prints are made with. You can spot color prints with them or colorize b&w white prints. The colors are worked into the emulsion layer, combining with it, not painted on top. You mix the colors the same way you would with a color head when making color prints (CYM). The color is built up gradually, similar to doing a water color painting - large areas are colored with a wash. It's not reversible but you can reduce, or delete, somewhat with ammonia. You can also neutralize a color by adding its complimentary color, I think, and make Grey. It's delicate work, I tried it with little success, but I gave up too easy. I've seen prints colored that way by those who mastered the technique and they looked magnificent. The company that made SPOTONE (Retouch Methods Co. Inc) also sold a set - the one I have.
     
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  3. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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  4. Photo Engineer

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    They are not the same color dyes that color prints are made of. Sorry PAN.

    The only dyes that are compatible with color prints are Kodak Retouching Dyes. AFAIK, Kodak made 3 sets. One was for Dye Transfer, one was for Flexicolor and the third was for Ektacolor. These sets had to be updated every time the papers were updated. The Marshalls retouching pencils will not fade at the same rate as a normal color print and therefore in about 10 or so years, the retouching marks will become evident.

    OTOH, to answer the main question, Marshalls coloring pencils are excellent for coloring B&W prints.

    PE
     
  5. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Marshall's also makes oils for coloring photos. IMHO, I think they work better than the pencils.
    I don't know the product shown in the OP, but why not try them.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

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    Bethe;

    My mother loved to oil paint and did some very fine paintings and photos, as did my aunt with straight oil paints. My mother also did a lot of coloring of my early work in both oils and pencil using the Marshalls products. I totally agree with you, both are fine products.

    PE
     
  7. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    But here's a quote from the instruction sheet for color print retouching colors offered by the SPOTONE/Retouch Methods Co, Inc:

    "Though these colors have been designed for use with the Ektacolor and Eastman color print papers they can be used with the same confidence on other color prints made with the color papers of other manufacturers."

    "...They will penetrate into the emulsion, becoming a part of it and leave no surface residue. The retouching and corrections will be invisible."


    I assumed they were similar to Marshalls. And Kodak Retouching Dyes for that matter. I've used them to colorize B&W prints, unsuccessfully. I'm not good at it, I don't have the patience.

    There's a masterfully done still life B&W photo colorized by an artist named Clint Eley, using retouching dyes, found in the book: Handtinting Photographs; by Judy Martin & Annie Colbeck. He spent two weeks on it.

    I've done much work with the oils and pencils on restored photos, people pay double for it. Not for the ones done with photoshop - no FB paper.
     
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  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Spotone and similar products are not meant for the same purpose as Marshall's photo oils. The former are meant for spotting out small imperfections like dust spots, small scratch marks, and the like. Marshalls photo oils are meant to hand color the print. Two different applications. Here's an example of something I did with a similar product. It's not a great photo, to be sure. As a proof of concept thing, it illustrates the point that it can be done.
     
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  9. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    Frank,
    It can be done by both methods and a few others. Photo oils are actually very easy to apply, I'm sure you know. It's my preferred method because of the permanence. As PE said, the retouch dyes will fade over time just as color photos do because of there unstable nature.

    Nice colors! What paper did you use?

    Paul
     
  10. Photo Engineer

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    There are several methods of retouching color photos and hand painting or coloring B&W photos.

    The retouching dyes or colorants are blends to match the dyes used in color papers and films and in the case of Kodak dyes, are revised for each version of product so that they match well in all regards. The oils and pencils used for coloring B&W prints are a different product line but may contain many of the same colorants.

    If you note in Paul's post above the product names are given and are quite old. If it were a newer product it would probably note that they match Endura or CA papers. The retouching dyes, as I noted, if not matched will shift color with illuminant and fade differently giving the print a spotty look. There would be no problem if used on a B&W print AFAIK, as it would just act like any other applied dye for retouching but being color would be subject to fade.

    PE
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    OP, you may well have thought of this but here goes. B&W prints often look better if only parts are coloured. The flower is an example. Doing it this way is quicker and you are less likely to run out of patience, make mistakes etc. One of the best examples I have seen is a red double decker London bus going over Westminster Bridge. Only the bus was coloured

    pentaxuser
     
  12. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Unfortunately due to the proliferation of selectively colorized digital images (and my general hatred for the undiscriminating practice of desaturating digital images in the first place), I don't think I could stomach selectively colorizing one of my prints.
     
  13. Jack Fisher

    Jack Fisher Member

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    Many years ago, when color films were not so prevalent, portrait studios made black and white photos, and colored them with Marshall's oils. I worked in that medium for a studio in 1952, and achieved some nice results. It usually helped if the prints were sepia toned before coloring. Used a lot of cotton swabs doing it, and also wound the cotton on larger, pointed sticks. I still have a portrait of me that my parents had made when I was a small child at age 18 months. The color still holds up after 74 years as it was back then.

    So, give that kit a try. If you goof, the oils can be removed before drying using the medium in the kit.
     
  14. Dave Pritchard

    Dave Pritchard Member

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    We are off on taste here, but that's okay. Selective toning or coloring can become a real cliche. I do like portraits or figure photos in b&w with just the skin areas toned. It looks almost natural. It is also usual to have little visual clutter with edge bleed of the selective toning. Imagine photos of a dancer in leotard in the studio. Various poses against studio psyche, with only skin toned. It looked really good.