I do have a variety of Prismacolor pencils already, but are there different types for photo coloring? Mine are basically opaque which I bought for drawing. Are the Marchall's pencils different in some way, maybe being translucent. Can I use the Prismacolor pencils to get started with or am I buying new? And what is the PM(S) liquid for? Thanks for the help.
Originally Posted by Shmoo
Last edited by waynecrider; 04-07-2005 at 08:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The normal Prismacolor pencils are fine...they are a bit opaque (never used the marshall pencils), but you can use them to either "color inside the lines" or "do your own thing". Save a bit of money if you already have them. The PM liquid gives you a smooth base that will allow both the oils and pencils to adhere to the photograph. You can use a combination of both pencil and oils...
Oh yeah, a neat trick you can do. Before you put the PM liquid on the print, you can use Spot Tone to draw outside the borders of your print. Then PM the piece and paint/pencil. I once had a photo of daffodils against a black background where I had clipped the petals of some of the flowers in printing. I Spot Toned the rest of the petals in and painted them with the oils. The flower petals now fall outside the normal border of the print. Kinda' neat.
Last edited by Shmoo; 04-07-2005 at 03:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: add'l info
I use everything. Prismacolors, which thin with mineral spirits, Caran 'd Ache, which are water based. Marshalls oil colors and all oil colors that are pigment rich, meaning there isn't a lot of filler in them (white). Experiment! One more thing. I like glossy photo paper for hand coloring. There is a knack to laying down the color on the paper, once you lay down your first layer of color, the print will then accept pencils and more oil color easily. Matte paper easily accepts color, but my feeling about matte photo paper is it makes dead prints, and you don't want to hand color a dead print
to avoid the dead print look, you can spray coat it afterwards with a uv protectant to make the colors last longer. Those sprays come in glossy to matt formulas.
The dyes that I spoke of are fun, there are so many photo dyes out there. I took the caps off the sports bottle style bottled water. The little clear cup thingy that is on top of the pull up spout. I epoxyied them together and then took a sheet of old plastic off something I bought and further epoxyied them to that so I have a whole bunch of little cups for cheap. You take a toothpick and dip in the dye, then add that to a little drop of water in one of the cups. you can make it as strong a color as you want, and you can also mix them for new colors. I use various brushes, and literally paint the print with them. One problem is, the dye is not able to be covered or eliminated with the Marlene solution. I use brushs starting at 05 and going up.
Marshal's has a very good video on the basics if you want to get that. I think it is $20 from B&H.
There is some nice work on the website of Elizabeth Opalenik and is something that I have in mind to try.
Cogito, ergo sum.
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You can use different paper surfaces for different looks, such as E or pearl will give you a pastel look depending on how hard you buff out the paint. Glossy fiber will give you a faded out color look that you can build upon once it dries. Matt fiber has the most vibrant color and eaisest to use.
As far as paint, you can use Marshalls or any transparent, semi-transparent oil paint found in art supply store, color charts tell the opacity you can find almost any color that is trans. I started with marshalls and have for the most replaced with artists oils, Gamblin, Old Holland, Hollbein, ect. They also have more colors and are cheaper in the long run. I do like Marshalls Sky Blue though. Marshalls makes a PM solution that primes the print, makes the color flow, you rub it into the print with a cotton ball and then buff it out, then apply color. Also use it to thin out oil paint. I find this way too expensive and make my own using 1/3 artists turpentine, 2/3 Safflower oil. You can get both at any art supply like Utrecht Paint or Pearl Paint. Marlene is used to clean paint off areas you don't want any on. Another way too expensive item, $10 for 4oz bottle. I make my own using Sunnyside brand Carbosol found in hardware store about $8 for a quart. http://www.sunnysidecorp.com/clean_grease_stains.htm.
The chemical is Trichloroethylene and is found in other products such as some disc brake cleaners found at auto supply if you can't find Carbosol.
Apply paint with cotton balls or swabs and lightly buff to desired finish. Take toothpicks and wooden scewers and wrap them with small strands of cotton. Roll em up with your fingers till they look like swabs. Apply paint and then use clean ones to rub out.
As for pencils, I find Prismacolor pencils work best of all and like someone posted you can dip them in the PM to soften a little. Apply then lightly rub with cotton. I use for details and are my favorite medium with photos.
Life expectancy, I don't know,but oil paint been around hundreds of years along with Safflower oil which was and is used to make white as it doesn't yellow like linseed oil can.
Correcting mistakes depend on the paper you use. RC pearl can be cleaned off with PM or Marlene, Glossy Fiber almost the same, matt fiber depends on the color and how much pm it was primed with, use Marlene, although I find reds very hard to get completly out. I never had much luck with using an eraser. I really enjoy hand coloring and find it a great break from computers.
Thank you very much. I did read a book yesterday about using the Prismacolor Pencils that I do already have on hand. The author suggested using vegetable oil, but I will try the safflower oil instead. Again the author rec'd a 50/50 oil and orderless turpentine solution. Do you find the 1/3 to 2/3 ratio better?
Originally Posted by gldn
One other question; Is it necessary to coat a matt fiber paper for use with pencils?
I like the 1/3 2/3 mix but you could try both. They sell Safflower oil at the grocery store. I don't know if there is a difference in that, than the safflower oil at art supply. Looks the same as long as the only ingrediant is safflower oil.
If I use Iford matt fiber, I always take a cotton ball and slightly wet it with the solution then rub it into the paper, then rub into with clean cotton balls. If you want to have the paint flow and not suck up into the paper and get blotchy, as in doing a sky with the oil paint, don't rub the PM solution out of the paper all the way after you apply it, leave it a little wet but uniform. I guess the way to describe it would be not to rub the all shine off the primed paper. If I use pencils for detail I rub the solution in with cotton ball then buff it out with a crumpled up paper towel, rub pretty hard as you can't really get it all out and a little goes a long way when you do this for pencils.
It might help to practice with a scap piece of paper as how much to rub out. That is what I did at first. Another thing is to learn to make good swabs out of toothpicks. I buy Johnson+ Johnson medical cotton and pull off a small piece about 2 inches or so long by 3/4 wide, put the toothpick in the middle of it and fold the cotton in half, then just roll it between your fingers until it is real tight. You can make really small ones if you need to with way less cotton for small areas. I make a lot of them as I like to use pencils on prints with a lot of detail, and using a lot of different colors it takes a lot of clean swabs or skewers, to gently run out color you put down.
If you use RC semi matt or pearl use very little PM solution and really rub it out with clean paper towels as RC does not suck up the paint or pencil as fiber does. Now, if you use dyes, that is another technique that does not involve any PM solution.
There are many different approaches to colouring and techniques.
Originally Posted by waynecrider
For fine areas I tend to like best pigment free colours. I use almost exclusively the Posicol system but the Diaphoto Dye-Lasurfarbe from Rohrer and Klinger as well as Schmincke-Keilitz are very good (and significantly cheaper). I'll also sometimes use CMY colours from Spot-One as well as Ilford AZO dyes (I will sometimes dilute it and blast it through fine-needle airbrushes) and even aquarell colours. For larger surfaces I really like Kodak Dry-Dyes. Paper depends upon the effect I'm after. I can get very subtle effects using high gloss papers and dry-dyes but with matted finish papers I can get very deep saturated colours. All these colourings are quite robust and long living.
I save some of the reject prints (I've found slightly lighter prints colourise very well) and colourise them with my kids (pre-school and pre-nursery) to include in birthday and other presents they "give". So while it can demand a lot of talent it too can indeed be kid's play!
Something I discovered in a class with High School kids: Crayola Markers work great at coloring RC prints. I'm not suggesting you make the next great work of art this way, but it is a quick and inexpensive method for working on your technique. You don't use the markers directly on the prints, but touch the wet end of a small sabeline brush to the marker to pick up pigment and then work into a wet area of the print. You can pre-paint even the smallest spot with water or really dilute photo-flo and then work into that with the color, avoiding streaks and spots. Less mess, less odor and no solvents around at all. Not archival, of course, but hey... just practicing, right?
I use brushes, not swabs for coloring prints with oils. My background as a painter didn't leave me much choice, I guess... but I like the edge that I get in a very small taklon or sabeline flat or angled brush - more control in the corners of angled subjects.
However you do it, DO IT! It's great fun to mess around with the prints in this way, and the range of emotional color as well as real color you can supply is a real kick. Have fun