Hand coloring

Hand-tinting monochrome prints allows you to choose to leave some parts uncolored and suppressed, with others picked out strongly like the girl's eyes in Figure 43.5, irrespective of original appearance. Have your print made on fiber-based paper (if possible, make the print yourself and sepia tone it). The print should be fairly pale because underlying dark tones desaturate your colors. Choose paper which is matt, not glossy - the latter's extra gelatin top coat often gives uneven results. Remember too that big prints take longer to color than small ones. Begin with a size you know you can finish in one session.

Figure 43.3 Constructed landscape.
Figure 43.4 Montage (courtesy Graham Smith).

Work with either transparent photographic dyes or ordinary watercolors. Dyes give stronger hues and you can build them up by repeated application, but unlike watercolors they are hard to blend and mistakes cannot be washed off. (A dye remover pen will erase small color areas.) Start off by slightly damping your whole print surface to swell the gelatin, and firmly attach it on all four sides to hardboard with gummed brown tape. Work on the largest areas first, with a color wash on cotton wool. Then color in smaller parts using a brush, size 0-4, or a hand-coloring dye pen. Explore local coloring by computer too.

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