HELP! Is this repairable?
Colin, Welcome to RetouchPro!
You've made a nice start, but it will help to eliminate that dark background. I'm not sure, but it looks like you may have just colored over it, and that leaves some of the dark texture spots showing. Are you using Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, PSP? If you are using a program that allows you to create selections, you can work on different areas on different layers. You can eliminate the ugly background and replace it.
Her face still has a bit too much of the news print (looks like it to me, anyway) texture and needs more clean-up before adding color. Add color in layers, using the Color layer blend (or Soft Light or Normal - with lowered layer opacity). You can find a downloadable image with realistic facial color tones here on the website -- Caucasian skin is mostly magenta/yellow with yellow being about 3% higher than magenta - a bit of cyan depending on the level of tan. If there is no color image of this lady to judge her skin color, use the generic Caucasian tones.
I think you handled her hair better than I did -- (hair is hard for me! ) -- when I eliminated the background, I had trouble seeing just where her hair left off and the background began -- you retained the shape of her head well.
You've got a good start -- you can do it.
getting rid of halftone dots is a nasty problem, especially if the image is so small.
but it isn't impossible. i don't think you can do it without going in with the brush or some other manual tools, but to get a good start, you might try this;
-filter>noise>dust/scratches (be careful you don't over do it)
-set top layer to 'multiply' (some of the other modes might work as well, depending on what you're after)
-gaussian blur the top layer.
now you should have much less dots. to besure, you won't get rid of all the texture, but it should now be easier to pick up the right tone pixel with which to soften the surface. (whereas before, all you had was black and white)
one tip in using manual tools like the brush -- when you're working on an edge of a shape, don't automatically make it a hard edge. use hard edges sparingly, only where you need it.
soft edges don't need to be really obvious, though. sloppy airbrush gradations on an edge of a shape can look as bad as an inappropriate use of a hard edge. it pays to consider the edges carefully.
I took a shot at it as well ....
To minimize the halftone dots I experimented (again) with the Video>De-Interlace Filter followed by Gaussian and Motion Blur.
I applied the colours using different Layers, exactly as explained by CJ.
Everybody did such a great job with this ... RonDon, your is fantastic!
The only thing I'd like to point out is that in both versions: Colin's Colorized and RonDon, the part under the girl's chin has been cut out (made part of the background) leaving her chin a bit too pointed and unnatural ....
I increased the resolution, removed the background, added some noise then used the smudge tool to smooth it and create toning.
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