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Hand Painting (tinting) Photographs

Updated on March 11, 2011

Hand Tinted Photo (And Her Hat)

by JR Hager II
by JR Hager II | Source

I've been a photographer ....

.... for about 40yrs - which means, other than being 'old fashioned,' I'm very familiar with Darkroom procedures instead of PC "Darkroom" procedures.

* In the book 'Hey Day' by Kurt Andersen, a character, a photographer, said, "the new devices permit the unskilled and untrained to impersonate artists."

I feel there's more of an artistic talent when hand meets paper, cardboard, canvas or whatever, with ink, paint, watercolor, oil or pastels - than when hand merely meets a mouse and a keyboard, and watching a monitor.

But having said that, what I bring you today is a way to use both of those mediums to your advantage instead of buying some special, expensive software, at least as far as hand painting photographs goes. This is the way I've done it.

There's nothing new to this process. It was done this way long before color photography came on the scene. And the effect, I feel, is quite remarkable, and as far as I know, no software can compare.

My Photo here 'And Her Hat' was one of the first hand-tinted pieces I did. It was the first nude assignment I had at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. And wouldn't you know it, when I got to the darkroom after the 'shoot' I noticed I forgot to put film in my camera. But hey, she got a chuckle out of it, and didn't mind posing again. In fact, from that time forward till graduation, she always asked me if I needed her to pose again. Quite a gal.

I start out by printing a photograph with my PC in black and white or gray tones, or close to it. I use InfranView, and under image I bring up color corrections. This way I can control how much color I want in my print, if any.Then I can add the color I want manually after I print it with my PC.

All you will need is oil paints, Q-tips, and cotton swabs. Pastels dry too quick and water color fade too quick, unless of course you like that effect. You can also use crayons or most anything else us you desire; but the final outcome looks as if you painted on the photograph. With oils it doesn't, and to me it takes on a 3D quality. Some photographs of mine, as you'll see in time, I only tone a certain area and leave the rest plain Black and White.

My Greeting Card Blog

Hand Painting (tinting) Photographs


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