Colorizing Black and White Photos

2012-10-25 4

Here’s a tipster on how to diversify and make highlights in b&w photography. Included are methods of manual coloring pictures as well as coloring with pens.

Photography – this is art. And no matter, digital or analogue photography, passed through Photoshop or not, it is still art. However, with respect to Lomography, we are interested only in analogue techniques. Color is not so simple as it may seem unsophisticated to the naked eye. There are many tricks that the photographer will be able to express his feelings on the film, but my soul is in black-and-white photography, and that’s what we’ll talk about.

I want to tell you how you can diversify and revitalize some black and white pictures without the “digits”. It’s simple – they should be painted! I may be wrong, but I heard that painted pictures are called “illustrations”. Even if it is not, I like the word “illustration”, and I’ll use it.

With the colorization process among pictures, it is important not to get carried away and not to make an imprint in children’s coloring, although in this case you may end up with something original and worthy of attention. Still, I suggest using this method as it does not turn a black and white photo into a color, but only to create focus on an object or group of objects.

There are different methods of painting pictures. This can be used when using special paints retouching color photographs, and the use of other paints. We, as experimenters with materials at hand are given an interesting second method, however, and it offers us a choice. You can paint the picture with oil paint or gouache, then we can get a real picture, but it should be remembered that the use of such paints in the photo is evident – the very visible paint and not the painted object. My opinion is that painting the black and white photo should not strive to make it a color – just toning the object that I want to draw attention to, but which for various reasons has turned slurred. Photo ultimately remains black and white, but it will become the highlight. Use dull pastel colors if you want to keep the volume and pattern of colorable items.

That’s what we should strive:

Photos by Oleg Vanilar

Or this:

So, choose what color the picture (please train with damaged ones first). As simple as it may seem, the best one will be markers. Choose bright. And get to work!

There are several ways to paint markers. If the photo is contrasty, the use of “dry” method is best, if mild, then – “wet.”

Dry method. Color the object clearly to the border, then take a swab moistened with water and rub our “work” until uniform in color. No need to get out of the object.

Wet method. Soak the photo. Remove excess water from the emulsion and paint until the photo is wet. Color the object. Then washed in the shower imprint and dry.

  • Do not paint all the pictures;
  • Do not paint the whole picture;
  • Everything should be in moderation;
  • The portrait paint lips, eyes;
  • In the photo to the growth touch up clothing items;
  • The scenery make green leaves on a tree or grass underneath. For example:
Credits: alfater
  • Still-life fit bright flower;
  • Do not rush! Think what you paint. For example, my mistake was to paint the entire bottle, while it was necessary to keep the white letters and highlights:
Credits: alfater

And the main thing! Remember, there are no rules. Create your own artwork. Experiment!

written by alfater on 2012-10-25 #gear #tutorials #black-and-white #color #illustration #painting #paint #decorate #tipster #pen #marker #prettification
translated by alfater


  1. victoriaschofield
    victoriaschofield ·

    This is really cool

  2. alfater
    alfater ·

    @victoriaschofield, thanx!

  3. freckleface
    freckleface ·

    i like how your work turned out! Just to understand though, the dry method you paint the print and then you wipe it off, and the wet method you paint it on and wash it off with water? Not sure if I understood this but I really want to try to out! :)

  4. alfater
    alfater ·

    @freckleface, hello. If i understand you right, i'll try to answer, sorry my english ;)
    In wet method you will take out photo from water, shake out water and then paint. Be careful take place before border of painting area.
    Try it ;)

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