Hand-colouring photographic prints

It has been so long between postings I almost forgot I actually had a blog.  The last few months have been quite hectic but I have managed to squeeze in a couple of photographic workshops.  Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a hand-colouring workshop with the amazing artist Nici Cumpston.  An artist of Irish and Barkindji Aboriginal heritage, Nici has a resolute passion for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the recognition of their various artistic practices.  She is also an accomplished photographer, writer, curator and educator who managed to take a few hours out of her very busy schedule to teach a small group of photographers the art of hand-colouring monochrome prints.

There are many mediums that can be used to handcolour prints including pencil, acrylics, watercolours, oil paints, pastels and crayons.  Over the course of five hours, Nici demonstated her techniques and tips on using the various art mediums and encouraged us to experiment.  I have included examples of Nici’s work, Kate Breakey’s work (another wonderful hand-colourist) and my attempts during the workshop.

Nici Cumpston Leopard Tree 2011 archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Nici Cumpston
Leopard Tree 2011
archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Nici Cumpston Shards 2012 archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint.

Nici Cumpston
Shards 2012
archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Kate Breakey Butterfly from the series "Small Deaths" 1995-2006 silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

Kate Breakey
Butterfly from the series “Small Deaths” 1995-2006
silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

Kate Breakey Still Life 1995-2004 silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil an pencil

Kate Breakey
Still Life 1995-2004
silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

I have included a couple of my images prior to my attempts at hand-colouring.  These are 8 x 10 in. hand-printed silver gelatin prints on Fomaspeed Variant 312 Multigrade Matt paper.

Almond Blossoms 2014 silver gelatin print

Almond Blossoms 2014
silver gelatin print

Under the Bridge 2014 silver gelatin print

Under the Bridge 2014
silver gelatin print

silver gelatin prints handcoloured with oil crayon and coloured pencil

silver gelatin prints handcoloured with oil crayon and coloured pencil

Apologies for the clarity of the above image as it was taken with a mobile phone.  I was quite pleased with my first attempts and I found that pencil was the most receptive medium to work with.  I plan to continue experimenting and practicing the various techniques in the hope to become proficent enough to possibly exhibit some images in the future.

The materials that were used during the workshop were:

  • Stabilo ‘woody’ pencils
  • Prismacolour Premier pencils
  • Lukas Studio oil paints
  • Golden High Flow Acrylics
  • Golden High Flow Refillable Acrylic Markers
  • sea sponges, cotton wool, ear buds and taklon brushes
  • Krylon Preserve It! spray for inkjet prints (inkjet prints must be sprayed prior to hand-colouring to avoid smudging)

all of these can be obtained from most reputable art supply stores and Ebay.  Thanks go to Aurelia and Alex for hosting another great workshop (and awesome lunch) at the Analogue Lab.  Hopefully it won’t be this long again before another post.  Cheers!

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Filed under black and white, hand-colouring, photography, workshops

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