tinted by hand 2

I posted a brightly hand-tinted postcard on the site some time ago; this is by way of a follow-up.  The tinting here is fairly crude and as the carte de visit is of what looks like a young lad around 14 or so, it suggests to me that he might be the culprit! It’s certainly not the work of the late Victorian Middlesborough studio (The Cleveland Photo Art Company) where the original photograph was done. But I do like the idea that he got bored one afternoon and just had a dabble, perhaps with his Dad’s tinting kit.

Cleveland Photo Art company, middlesborough

Mention of tinting reminded me to show below this fascinating Kodak Soluble Crayon Outfit, sold for half a crown.  The small box held seven Ikea size pencil crayons, and a bottle of the “solution”.  I picked this up recently hoping to have a go but the product had a huge catch, it would only work on matt paper surfaces; the majority of old photographs of course have a glossy finish!  The process was to apply the solution to the area to be coloured, then use the crayons to scribble over gently, blending if necessary using cotton wool, and the colour would be permanent when it dried. It sounds quite a crude technique.  These sets were on the market in the early 1930s and judging by how many turn up, it suggests people found them difficult to master.

Tinted by hand 1

for tinting photographs, 2/6d

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One response

  1. Val

    I think you’ll find that, if you pop that photo into photoshop and adjust the colour levels, that the only part of it (apart from the scrubby mess below the photo) that is badly done is the skin tint and lips – both are too heavily applied. From what I can see without photoshop, it looks quite well coloured in the rest of it – particularly the boy’s suit.

    You could try scanning and printing a photo and then do a hand-colouring on that instead. And – while it’s waterproof when dry, so not possibly to work on afterwards – there are some strong-dye ‘crayons’ of a kind, called Inktense (by Derwent) that, if well diluted would probably act in the same way as a photo-tint dye.

    I am pretty sure I had a small box of the liquid type photo-tint inks when I was a kid, don’t know if I ever used them though!

    June 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm

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