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Digital Hand Coloring

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  • Digital Hand Coloring

    I wonder if anyone out there has ever heard of Padgett McFeely? She is a local artist who still works in the darkroom and manually hand paints her photos. I own several of them. I used to do a lot of hand coloring but now am digitized with Photoshop 7...any suggestions for recreating her style? She's an artist, I am a rookie so I don't expect miracles...I especially love her backgrounds used with her closeups of her site and let me know.


  • #2
    Hi Deb, looked on her site, I agree her work is excellent. The technique for colouring b&w photos is similar with PS to using paint, but not so messy. But why copy someone else's style, far better to develop a style of your own. You say you're just a rookie, but all artists start somewhere. Best of luck anyway.


    • #3
      I love digital hand coloring. You can probably get close to the painting technique.
      Here's how I would do it:
      Desaturate the image (if it's in color).
      Add a transparent layer, and set the layer mode to multiply. The opacity setting could be set at around 50%.
      Select a paint color, and start painting on the transparent layer. You may want to adjust the paint opacity, so that the color is there, but not totally covering the image.
      You can create layers for each color if you like, or color it all on one layer.
      Also, after you color your layer, you could do a slight Gaussian blur to give it a "soft" look.

      As far as her backgrounds, it looks like she just picked some colors and started painting. I do advise you to try and copy her style. You will eventually find your style, whether with the choice of photographs, or choice of colorings, or both. Color images that you love, in the colors you like, and it will be your own.
      Let us know how you're doing.