Technique: Coloring Black-and-White Photos

It’s Thursday and time for another Technique Thursday.

I love the look of black-and-white photos with just a few items colored in. I’ve tried a variety of products, but never seem to get the look just right.

Then, I discovered a new technique from Claudine Hellmuth. She uses her Studio Paints and Extra Time Slow-Dry Medium to paint in portions of her black-and-white photos. The Extra Time Slow-Dry makes the paints even more translucent without changing the color.

Now, I am no artist. I can’t paint anything small and have trouble even coloring in the lines most of the time. But the paints are so soft that even I can manage to color in a small portion and have it look good. Absolutely amazing!

This is an old family photo … my dad is the baby held by his Aunt Faye.

Click here for Claudine’s video to show you how.


This is my daughter and my niece on my wedding day.

And here, you can download a color-mixing chart that teaches you how to make 51 colors out of the 15 colors available.

A few tips to share:

Use a LOT of Studio Extra Time. It gives you time to manipulate the paint and goes on sheer.

If there isn’t enough color, go back and add another layer. It is easy to make it darker, but you cannot fix it if you put it on too thick to start with.

I found detailed photos, like the clip art at the top, worked better than ones where all I had to color was clothing, like in the family photo. It’s hard to blend those lines around the skin.

If you would like to try this for yourself, I’ll be at Capture-A-Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 p.m. today, paint in hand, ready to help you create a unique look on a vintage photo. See you there!