Have you seen black and white photographs with little “pops” of color added back in for accent? They are very popular, and as pro photographer, I perform “digital tinting” all the time. However, before there were computers, Photoshop, digital cameras, or even color film, folks wanted pictures with color in them. And the photographer would print a black and white image on special paper and use transparent oil paints to add flesh tones, eye color, tint clothing, and anything else they felt needed that little pop. I still perform “hand-tinting” today. It’s definitely a high level skill, especially with oil colors and large sized prints. However, it is a very fun activity for kids and adults alike when doing it on a smaller, more personal scale.
Today you will need a variety of colored pencils, and a black and white photograph printed on matte surface paper or cardstock. I’m including two Halloween photographs of Soda Pop, ready to print out that will be foldable into blank, 5×7″ greeting cards.
(Soda Pop is the star of my book, I HATE HALLOWEEN, which may be purchased here, AND the inspiration for my 31 Days of Halloween projects.) Print them on matte surface cardstock at the highest print quality. Let them sit for a couple hours or even a day before you begin tinting the photos to give the printer ink some time to dry and become permanent.
Now, the next part is easy-peasy. Simply pick some colored pencils, and get to coloring!
Use light pressure and build up your tones gradually.
Have fun making realistic colors, or go crazy and surreal, using weird colors in weird places.
Children especially have fun with this activity—give them black and white photos of relatives and they will have a BALL!
And for the adults who want to really take their time, feel free to explore this art form more thoroughly. There are pencils made especially for photo tinting, as well as a line of markers, and of course, photo oils for the advanced artist.
Have fun with this, and check us out on Facebook at Bug Summer here. Become a fan and post some of your own creative fall projects!