Hand-colouring silver gelatin prints
Old 01-23-2017   #1
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Hand-colouring silver gelatin prints

I would like to try hand colouring b/w silver gelatin prints and am looking for some advice. I was wondering if anyone here has some knowledge about the process he/she is willing to share.

I am usually using Ilford MG IV RC paper. How does the choice of paper affect the colouring process? Is fibre based better? Does the finish affect it as well (i.e. satin, pearl, glossy)?

Afaik various dyes can be used, as well as water colours, oils or even crayons. For a beginner it's hard to choose. I don't want to go too much into skin tones and am not looking for perfectly "natural" colours. I think a basic colour palette of 5-6 colours would be enough. Details in the print should not be obscured too much by the colouring.
What are your recommendations for starting out? Any special kinds of dyes? Or which kinds of crayons are suitable?
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Old 01-23-2017   #2
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Check out Roger's sub group, top thread
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Old 01-23-2017   #3
Jamie Pillers
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A good comprehensive book on the subject is "Handtinting Photographs" by Martin & Colbeck.

In my opinion, a good starting point is a print on matte paper and coloring oils like Marshall's. The matte paper has a better 'bite' for the color to adhere to, and the oils are easier to control.
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Old 01-23-2017   #4
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Aren't oils a bit tricky to work with for a beginner?
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Old 01-23-2017   #5
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In a pinch, you can spray a matte finish on RC pearl and glossy papers, but staring with matte makes things easier and presumably more permanent.
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Old 01-23-2017   #6
Roger Hicks
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Originally Posted by esc_ctrl View Post
Aren't oils a bit tricky to work with for a beginner?
No. It's FAR easier than you might expect.

You apply them using cotton buds, one for each colour, with tiny circular motions. DON'T use a brush.

rodt16s has already posted a link to Frances's "Vehicles as Ruins". At the end of the gallery there's a link to some "how to" information. Frances currently uses mainly watercolour pencils (Faber Castell) but has in the past done demonstrations at trade shows for the manufacturers of both SpotPens and Marshall's Oils. In her opinion, the best paper for colouring, bar none, is Ilford Art 300.


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