Hand Coloring

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Aacia

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Has anyone used "SpotPens" to hand color? Any examples I could see?
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Marshall's photo oils aren't that hard to use and produce a natural looking result, if that's what you're after.
 

brimc76

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I have been using Marshall's Oils and pencils for a few years now and really like them, but a friend of mine put me on to a much cheaper and easy to use alternative. It's Nicholson's Peerless Water Colors (transparent and self blending) and they're great (not trying to sound like Tony the Tiger). They can be found in most art supply stores, they're made in Rochester New York, and the patent goes from 1902 to 1996 so I assume they've been around for a while. It's a book of colored cards that you cut a small piece from and drop it into water. I use empty 35mm film cans and masking tape to label the different colors. You can also just wet a brush and use the color straight from the card for very vibrant color. The book of colors I have is yellow colored (labelled "Complete Edition") and they are made for films (color slides) and paper. The nice thing about this medium is that it is absorbed even into RC paper where the Marshall's Oils tend to sit on the top and can be scratched if you're not careful.
You do have to practise a bit at building up the colors as you will tend to have over colored your print once it has dried.
 

BobF

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I had the same puddle like effect from the greyscale spot pens but found that if I dabbed at the print making a series of tiny spots they dried out quite well. I actually like them as they are always ready for little quick jobs even on Ilford RC.

I have never used Marshalls oils or any color and would like more info as I have a couple of prints I would like to add a small accent to. Where is a good Net site for info?

If cropping causes the turmoil of those recent long threads what might this topic start????? OH THE HEARESY!!!

Bob
 

SteveGangi

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"I bought a set of the greyscale pens to use for spotting. Total waste. I found them useless on RC paper, and close to useless on fiber."

I'm glad I am not the only one who had serious problems with those pens. The results were awful - no pen matched any shade close enough, the dots were way too big and course (even working with a magnifying glass), and the print looked worse afterwards.
 

cjarvis

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I also hated SpotPens, but I love the Marshal oil pencils. I've been handcoloring Pt/Pd prints for a while now to great effect. I must admit that I sometimes use them simply to rescue an underprinted neg, but oftentimes I just like the effect.
 

brimc76

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Aggie, you're more than welcome. I have posted one of my early attempts at hand colouring in the Technical Gallery. This is a picture of my neice that was done with Marshall's Oils. The print was toned before I used the oils and the background was left untouched.
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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I started handcoloring seven or eight years ago, before I ever picked up the camera for myself. I was handcoloring for other photographers (yuck.)

Personally, I despise spot pens for handcoloring. Might as well use a magic marker. I've use peerless watercolors, and I like them for some things, but they are much harder to use until you get the hang of them, and they're a whole lot harder to fix if you make a mistake, or just plain want to start over. I dislike pencils except for fine detail, because they can't be layered very effectively without spraying the print in between.

Nope, for me, good old Marshall's oils are best. I never have to let the print dry between layers, I just put it down gently and work carefully. I don't handcolor much any more, but I used to do tons of it, and I always finished a print i one session. I didn't use Marlene, because a grey kneadable rubber eraser does the same thing, and much more neatly and precisely.

My background is in oil painting, so that came in very handy when learning to handcolor. Still, with oils, it's a very easy skill to learn. Of course, like any art, it's quite another thing to completely master the technique. :wink:

Incidentally, you can find just about anything you want to know at handcolor.com.

- CJ
 

BobF

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Incidentally, you can find just about anything you want to know at handcolor.com.

- CJ[/quote]

Cheryl - Thank you, that is just what I was looking for.

I am interested in just doing a small area in muted translucent color. I have seen prints that had so little color added that you had to look twice to be sure there was color added but on second look you realize that the unexpected color is what grabbed you attention. If you can visualize what I am saying, what is the best way to get there?

I am probably looking for "the pastel selective bits" that Aggie apparently doesn't like. :D

Bob
 

brimc76

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Thanks for your comments Aggie. Where did you find pointed Q-Tips? I would agree with everyone else that the Marshall's Oils are very easy and nice to work with but north of the border here you can almost count on paying twice or two and a half times the price you would pay in the states. This is what makes the Peerless Water colours so inviting.
 

brimc76

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One problem I had with hand coloured prints was trying to put some type of protective coating over the print after it was coloured. I have the Marshall's sprays but the colours (red mostly) seem to splatter when the spray hits the surface. I haven't tried anything since. Any suggestions? Should I even bother to coat a print after colouring?
 

BobF

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As I am doing a lot of reading right now about hand coloring I just read something that may be of help.

It was emphasized that you should use a couple of light coatings of "workable fixative" as one heavy one can cause bleeding. Also that if a coating of "final fix" is applied before using the fixative, you may loose the entire thing.

To be honest I don't know if this is true or not but just wanted to give you the heads up.

Bob
 

brimc76

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Thanks Bob, the bleeding of the colours was exactly what I was getting so I had stopped using a protectant spray altogether. One thing I have noticed about using the pencils over the oils, was that the colour seems to fade a bit over the years.
 

manbuck

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Hi Brian: I'm new to this Forum , but here goes: you can use several light sprays of workable fixatif -ie Krylon-over the watercolouring . You'll find that other materials such as pencils can then be employed over the watercolour.

However, the techniques I worked out for myself in the mid 80's worked best if the final spray was laid on after all colouring was done. That meant toning the FB print in sepia ( sometimes selectively) , carefully adding watercolour to selected areas or details by either brush or airbrush, and then completing the entire artwork with Marshall's oil colours. After drying, a final light varnish spray cohered the piece.

BTW: I can't believe the cost of Marshall's products now! I used to use the High-Intensity Set of 16 tubes, which are now only available singly and at 10 bucks a pop! $160.00 ! ..and I still have a small cardboard Marshall's box from my original set with a sticker label on it for $17.95 !! The tube size hasn't changed! :sad:
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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Just a note: if you're using fiber paper and marshall's oils, you really don't need any kind of spray or varnish after you've finished the piece. Behind glass, any marks or 'floating' will disappear. I just don't like to put anything on my print that isn't absolutely essential.

FWIW, you don't need marshall's oils if you don't want to pay the price. You can use regular artists oils -- just have to be a bit more careful with them and thin them down so they're not so opaque.
 

brimc76

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I have stopped trying to spray a any kind of protectant onto my finished prints as a solution. I don't frame all the prints I colour which is why I tried to protect them but I use the the water colours on RC paper and oils on FB paper and that seems to work out ok.
I have also used office highlighters on RC prints for a pretty wild look as well. Definately not for every print!
 
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