Today I’m sharing two ways to hand color black & white photos. Before I had a digital camera, I used to use black and white film every now and then when taking photographs of my children. I liked the old fashioned look of the photos, plus I thought there was more scope for imagination. One of my favorite things to do was to hand color a few elements back into the photo using Prismacolor pencils. They work well because they have a lot of beeswax in them and the color goes down smoothly on the matte paper. Here’s a buried treasure I recently uncovered:

hand colored black and white photo using prismacolors

The tricks for doing this were to print the photo on matte paper, then choose light spots in the photo to add color. The dark spots don’t show as well. It requires thinking about the photo in a different way, like choosing things that weren’t necessarily colored that way in the first place. In my photo, the boys’ shirts really were green and blue, but the parts that I colorized were the white parts, because they showed the color better than the grey would have showed color. The pink in the dress was light enough to color it in the same spots where it really was pink, and the bricks were colored all over, but the color doesn’t show on the darker parts of the bricks.

Here’s another photo I found. This one was printed on glossy paper. I thought it would be fun to try another way of hand coloring a photo, so I stitched this one with embroidery thread.

hand color black and white photo with embroidery thread

For this one, I chose the elements I wanted to colorize, then poked holes around them with a pin. I held it up to the window so you could see the holes better.

colorizing black and white photo with embroidery thread

Once I had pre-poked holes around each leaf and the rake I wanted to color, I used fall colors and backstitched around them. I didn’t tie off the ends of the thread, I just left about an inch hanging out the back.

hand color black and white photo with embroidery thread

These are fun ways to add more creativity to your photos. I think they’d be great gifts, too. Isn’t it funny that as technology gets more and more advanced, we still long for the simple, un-techy days as well? I certainly like a balance of both the old and the new in my life.

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