Hand Tinting your photos

Tinting your photos is a semi-advanced technique that your average person probably won’t do.  The process involves using paints to color your typical black and white picture.  It was started long before color pictures were available and it became quite popular in the 1800s with people who sold their pics going door to door in mostly rural areas.  Today, people mostly use this technique to add a personal touch to their pictures.

All you need to do this is a black and white photo with either a matte or satin finish and some tinting pens.

Here is the process:

  1. Pick the photo you want to use.  The photo should be a black and white without a lot of all white or all black areas.  For tinting, not having sharp contract can help your results.  So, select a picture without many small details or large areas of one color.  As you continue to do this and improve your skills you can more into more difficult photos.
  2. Gather the supplies mentioned above in order to use them.
  3. Decide on an order to tint in.  Typically it is best to start with the smaller areas you want to color first.  You will probably find that it is easiest to go from the smaller areas you want to tint to the larger areas.  Then, if need be, return to the smaller areas for touching up.
  4. Begin coloring!  You might find this similar to coloring in a coloring book.  Like markers, the pens come with different size tips for you to use.  It is best to hold the pens at a 50 degree angle in order to facilitate a smooth stroke.  This process may take several layers to achieve the desired results.
  5. Review and make corrections.  After you have finished you’ll want to look over the entire picture to ensure you haven’t missed any spots that you want to color.  Furthermore, you’ll want to see if there are any places you’ll want to add more color to.  Then, make the touch ups you see fit.
  6. Let your picture dry.  After you are done you’ll want to let your photo sit for about 24 hours.  This will ensure that the photo is dry.  During this process you’ll want to put the photo in a cool, dry place that is not dusty.
  7. Sit back and enjoy!  Now that you are done you’ll want to take the time to enjoy your photo and perhaps even share it with family and friends.  Don’t worry if the picture isn’t perfect, you are your hardest critic.  The things you see will probably not even be noticed by others.  So give yourself a break!

Extra tips:

  • Do not use an inkjet printer to print the photo you will use for this process.  All that will happen is you will smear the ink the printer puts down.
  • I suggest having multiple copies of the picture you want to use.  This way, if you mess up you’ll have another one ready to go!