Hand Coloring A Photograph

Hand Colored Photograph - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Fountain – Hand Colored Photograph on Archival Photo Paper “8.5 X 11”

I am constantly looking for ways to present my art. Lately I am keen on hand-coloring a few of my photos. It started innocently enough with me coloring a few works earlier in the year. Then I decided to hand-color a photograph I snapped of a fountain at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

I shot this photo as an HDR Image (High Dynamic Range – taking three photos of the same scene but with various aperture/shutter speeds). I imported the images into the Photomatix software to merge the images into a single image.

After Photomatix I used Photoshop and converted the image to black and white. Because the images were originally HDR I had fantastic ranges of lights and darks, which was great for hand-coloring.

For the output, I used Museo Portfolio Rag – an archival digital fine art inkjet paper and printed the image on my trusted Epson Printer. Drying time was immediate but I started hand-coloring a week later.

Because the paper was a smooth cotton matte I was able to lay down the colors with ease. Using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils, I layered and blended colors with great consistency, using vibrant colors to create an animated scene.

The entire coloring process took me about 6 months to complete.


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