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  1. #21

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    I tried Marshal oils and really didn't like the look of them at all. What I really like is using colored pencils - mainly prisma colors, and use them with the two solutions that Marshal makes (P.M. Solution and Marlene). The solutions allow you to blend the colors easily because it tends to disolve the colors and lets you work with them better. Most of my hand coloring is only spot areas in a print, not the full print.

    Prints should be on matt or semi matt surface (I use Ilford MGFB warmtone). Use a fine brush to apply the P.M. Solution onto the area to be worked on and let it soak in a little - maybe a minute at the most. Then just draw on the image with your pencils and work them in together allowing the solution to do it's thing. You can use many different colors at a time. You have to work quickly and only coat a small part with the solution at a time because it starts to soak into the print after a few minutes. When your coloring is complete, let the image "cure" for a little while. Then use the Marlene solution to remove any of the P. M. Solution that has spread outside the area you have worked on.

    Note that the P. M. solution is an oil based product and the Marlene solution is a solvent. What you are doing is applying the oil based product to the print to allow it to take the colored pencil better then using the solvent to clean up the edges. This is needed because the oil based product spreads out a little after it starts soaking into the paper. All you really need are some Q-tips and a tooth pick with a little cotton from a cotton ball rolled/spun onto it's tip. The Q-tips will do most of your clean up and the tooth pick is for really tiny areas.

    Here is one of my hand colored images. Print was sepia toned a little first.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Zoe melon colored.jpg  
    Dan's website: www.dandozer.com

  2. #22
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Hand coloring is very difficult. It takes lots of practice. Don't get frustrated in your attempts. Just keep plugging!
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #23
    Focus No. 9's Avatar
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    It's nice to know there are other colorist out there. One of my H.S. graduation pics was subtly handcolored by the photographer; a standard practice in the last century. My real interest in the technique was piqued when I purchased a slightly damaged but affordable Thomas Nutting print. As I understand the history, Mr. Nutting made a living in the Great Depression of the 20th century in photography and handcoloring the prints for sale. I dunno, but I enjoy looking at it hanging on my wall.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomalophicon View Post
    Well, I took a print that I hated, and made it more bearable.

    The pencil marks at the top right actually don't show on the print, the scanner seems to pick everything up.

    Anyway, there'll be a lot more where this one comes from, I think.
    I never tried hand colouring, but it looks fine on my monitor.
    I have seen hand coloured prints by Kathy Harcom that looked good and I also have a book called Painted Ladies by a photographer called James Wedge who hand coloured his prints.

  5. #25
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Any oil paint will work although I generally use Marshall's. The Marshall oils are nice because they are transparent. However, that has more to do with the pigment than the brand. As you get closer to titanium white, the colors generally become more opaque. Darker colors like violet are going to be the most transparent.

    The PM solution is essentially linseed oil and turpentine (or a similar solvent). I spend most of my time removing the color and use the extender on a toothpick wrapped lightly in cotton. For absolutely blank white areas I might use Marlene similarly to remove all the color. Smear the color on and take it off carefully, then add details with the oil pencils is basically my technique. Pencils other than Marshall's (e.g., Prismacolor, etc.,) will also work. Don't be afraid to apply a lot of color or have it bleed a bit. I think the key to hand-coloring is the skill in removing the oils. It's a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon. And good therapy...

    Others have mentioned the toothpicks, cotton balls, blue tape, etc., and I use those too. I generally print a little flat and then boost the contrast when tinting. The Navy Blue and Cobalt Violet pencils are great for that. Just a little outline along a contour with those colors can make an image pop. It's also important to remove all color from specular highlight areas in the print. Otherwise it takes on a weird, unnatural pastel tone. There are also lots of different colors in what might at first seem to be a single hue. For example, when painting grass I use reds, violets, blues and yellow pencils as well as the green variety to make the area look more realistic.

    My favorite paper was Ektalure G-surface, now long discontinued. A very close second was the original Foma 532 Chamois but that paper has changed. I think the newer version (532-II IIRC) would still probably be my favorite of the remaining suitably textured papers for hand-coloring.

    If you ever get a chance to do a hand-coloring workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik, take it. You'll learn a lot by just watching her. I've taken two workshops from her as well as other popular photographers who hand-color and I must say I learned everything from Elizabeth combined with a lot of practice and patience. I was also fortunate to live in the same town as Rita Dibert long ago and saw her work all the time in local exhibits. I'm sure that also impacted my hand-coloring technique.

    A couple examples are below. Both are around 11" in one dimension. There are several other examples in my APUG gallery.




    "Polyphemus"


    "Noam Stompsky" (of the Killamazoo Derby Darlins)

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