Hand-painting A Black And White Image


Hope Linhof 4x5 Super Technika V with Polaroid back, Schneider 150mm f.5.6, f/11 @ 1/30, Polaroid print was scanned with an Isomet 455 scanner, image has been reduced to 1635 x 2400 pixels, 11.2MB .tif

The image of the girl in the window shown in Figure 20.1 is just one of many wonderful black and white photos that Scott Dingman has taken. As Scott often uses freelance graphic artist Tammy Kennedy to edit his images, I asked her to provide a technique and tips for digitally hand-painting Scott's image of Hope.

I really like traditional hand-painted black and white photographs that have been painted with traditional photographic paints. However, painting with these traditional paints is time-consuming. Even the smallest mistakes can often not be corrected. Painting a photograph is a major job and lots of workspace is required. You have no way to make multiple copies without having to hand-paint each one. Color palettes are limited and I hate to wait for the paints to dry. Using this technique and tips by Tammy Kennedy, all those negatives are gone! The results of using this technique can be fantastic — try it on this image and then on one of your own.

■ Choose File ^ Open (Ctrl+O) to display the Open dialog box. Double-click the \20 folder to open it and then click the hope-before.tif file to select it. Click Open to open the file.


■ To enable subtle hand-tinted colors to be more visible, lighten the image by choosing Layer >-New Adjustment Layer >- Curves to get the New Layer Dialog box. Type lighten background in the Name box and click OK to get the Curves dialog box.

Click the curve to set a point with Input and Output values of 50 and 68 respectively, as shown in Figure 20.3.Click OK to create the adjustment layer.



The best approach for creating a hand-painted image is to create a separate layer for each color you use. Set


Scott Dingman is an advertising photographer who specializes in photographing people both on location and in the studio. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Scott has a BFA in commercial photographic illustration and an exceptional talent for discovering the personality of his subjects and portraying it in unique ways in a photograph. He has a growing list of prestigious clients that include: Blue Cross-Blue, Fast Company, Progress Energy, Duke University, Eastman-Kodak, Ericsson, Interpath Communication, Nortel, Siemens, Sprint, and Vector Group. Scott's Web page is www. scottdingman.com.

the Blend mode in the Layers palette for each color Layer to Color. Figure 20.4 shows how Tammy creates folders and uses colors in the Layers palette to help her keep track of the paint colors and any adjustment layers that are added to the color layers.

The advantage to this approach is that everything is reversible! You can easily delete a layer, clear a layer, or add an adjustment layer to change color or increase saturation. If you paint with a soft brush with Opacity set to 10-15%, you can gradually build up the colors and they will look smoother than if you used a higher Opacity setting. If an entire layer of color is too dark, you can easily scale it back by reducing the Opacity of the layer in the Layers palette.

Should you have a question about what color to use, open up a similar color photograph and use the Eyedropper tool to select important colors, such as skin and eyes; then paint those colors in the working image.

The best hand-painted photos are usually painted with subtle colors. One of the mistakes usually made by those just beginning to hand-paint images is to use colors that are too bold. So go easy on the colors and take your time and paint with a low Opacity setting. Your results will look much more professional.



Tammy Kennedy, The Retouching Fairy Godmother, is a freelance graphic artist who specializes in photo editing. Besides working directly for clients, she has become the photo-retouching expert of choice for many photographers who need some editing magic performed on their images.As she is a highly organized expert in working with layers, her work may be easily adjusted at any time throughout the design process. Tammy uses a dual processor Mac G4 with a 21" monitor and a pen tablet.Tammy may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] nc.rr.com or by telephone at (919) 662-9387.

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