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Question Hand tinting un-colored engravings

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Melinda Tennis

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Hey Grumblers, I have a gazillion engravings that could use some color. Any of y'all know of a book on how to hand color prints on paper? I have Mayer's Artist Hanbook and it gives some advice, but I need more. Thank you for any help.
 

Finest Fabric

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Don't know of a book on the subject, but I do a lot of hand-coloring.

Best advice is to play around with watercolors on cheap prints such as old woodcut illustrations. Develop a simple go to palette of blue, yellow, green, red, sepia.
One trick to make the colors a little antiqued is to add some sepia to each of the brighter colors to tone them down.

Some papers need to be sized before coloring to prevent bleeding.... you can use a spray fixative for that.
 

Melinda Tennis

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Thank you all. I have heard of using agar to keep the watercolor or gouache from bleeding but I have also heard it is not good for the paper. More research. Very dry brushes. I would never use spray fixative on anything.
 
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Mary Beth van der Horst

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Gouache and watercolor are essentially the same thing, except gouache is much more opaque. I think marble dust was a popular additive to make watercolors into gouache. If tinting an etching, watercolor is the way to go because you just want to color between the lines and not blob opaque color on top of the fine rendering, losing the original image. Gouache would be preferable to watercolors in the context of calligraphy however--more solid characters because your ink isn't as translucent.
 

Pat Murphey

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The hand colored engravings that I purchased from Thomas Ross do not show black lines except where they a necessary part of the image. I had an antique contemporary hand colored engraving of "Crossing the Loch" showing the same. Thomas Ross has the original plate and sells a hand colored version done exactly the same way. The paint is mostly opaque covering any ink shading. The same is true of the many hand colored engraving that I sold in my shop. They were perfect for wall samples of the beautiful antique reproduction frames that I carried from Munn Frameworks.

hunt.JPG
 

Melinda Tennis

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Hey Pat, I have had Thomas Ross prints in my shop for 25 years. They are beautifully hand tinted. I mentioned using agar on the paper and I think what I should have said is alum?
 
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Melinda Tennis

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Well, reading carefully in Mayer, I answered my question. 1/2 oz. of gelatin dissolved in 1 gal. of water. This is to size the paper so the watercolor or gouache will not bleed. Pictures later.
 

JFeig

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All of the hand tinted antique prints that I have seen were "colorized" with diluted water colors and not gauche. The opaqueness of gauche might hide the fine detail of an engraving or woodblock.
 
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