I did this colorization just a few days after my Jean Harlow colorization. I’m not sure where the original photo came from, but the project was requested by a user on Reddit. A photo from the 1800’s provides a unique challenge in comparison to one from the early to mid 1900’s. Admittedly, a fairly easy challenge to work past, but a challenge nonetheless. Unlike more modern photography, early photographs frequently aren’t actually black and white. For a variety of reasons that I’ll try to cover in another post, many early photographs are brown, red or even purple hued. This makes immediately coloring the photograph difficult, so the first step in coloring these early pictures is to actually strip the existing colors so that we’re working with a true black and white image.
I’ve never really been a big fan of Reddit. Actually, I’d never actually posted to it until a few weeks ago. After my last colorization, I did a ton of research and studying, particularly in terms of how to properly handle skin tones. As a result of that research, I discovered that there’s actually a colorization group that does weekly group color challenges. Each week, a black and white image is chosen, and the group is challenged to submit a colorization of the image. It’s not a contest, but rather a chance for everyone to learn, practice and challenge themselves to improve.
This colorization was done almost a month after the 54 Cutlass Concept colorization I discussed previously. In that month I did a fair amount of studying in regards to the techniques that go into recoloring an image. Obviously, I still hadn’t mastered skin tones (to be honest, I’d say I still haven’t mastered it), but my overall technique had changed.