Hand coloring photos

Paris photo painted with chalk pastel colored pencils

Montmartre, Paris 2015. Black and white photo print painted with chalk pastel colored pencils

As I’m working on a new PDF tutorial about hand coloring photographs (inkjet as well as traditionally printed) I’m having quite a lot of fun coloring my photos and experimenting with different materials.
The photo here, taken in Montmartre, Paris (2015) was inkjet printed on Canson sketch paper and painted with General’s Pastel Chalk pencils.

Just a quick update: The file Easy Guide to Hand-coloring photos is now available for download.


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Simple mixed media image transfer

Combining photography with other forms of visual arts has the capacity to produce a very interesting and appealing final piece. Therefore blending mixed media and image transfer, two methods that are often done independently, is probably the ultimate union and can generate some exciting results.

Mixed media image photo transfer

Mixed media image transfer on wood

What you need:

• Inkjet photo or laser photocopy
• Collage materials such as: newspaper clippings, designer or hand-made papers, stamps, ticket stubs, brown paper bags, wrapping paper, etc.
• Acrylic or water paints
• Mod Podge or gel medium
• Gesso
• Spray fixative
• Canvas or wood panel
• A water spray bottle
• UV-resistant clear finish

 Church in Richmond, VA.   Mixed media with photo transfer on canvas.

Church in Richmond, VA.
Mixed media with photo transfer on canvas


1. Gather your collage materials and lay them out in a design of your choice on any size canvas or wood panel. Adhere the collage pieces onto the surface using Mod Podge.
2. Make sure to cover the collage pieces with Mod Podge so it not only adheres the papers to the canvas but also protects it for all eternity (or at least a few years).
3. Next, cover the collage layer with watered-down gesso. It will mute the layer a bit and also will tie the pieces together.
4. Optional: add a thin layer of acrylic or watercolor paint of your choice. Don’t over do it so it doesn’t overwhelm the other layers.

Learn how to image transfer your photos to any surface

Image Transfer Pack

Learn how to image transfer your photos to any surface. Download includes 2 files:

1. Introduction to Image Transfer
2. Advanced Image Transfer

5. Let the collage thoroughly dry.
6. Convert the photo of your choice to black and white (not grayscale) by adding brightness and 100% contrast. If you prefer to use a color photo (like the one used here) make sure to mute the colors.
7. If you are using an inkjet, print a mirror version of your image onto standard printer paper and protect it with spray fixative.
8. Cover your image with Mod Podge and press it face down onto the collage. Rub gently with your fingers to smooth out any air bubbles.
9. If you are using an inkjet photo you will have to wait only about 15-30 minutes for the Mod Podge to dry and for the transfer to complete. If you are using a photocopy let it set for a few hours, preferably overnight.
10. Spray the back of your photo with water and gently remove and rub off the excess paper with your fingers in order to reveal the transfer. If you are using a photocopy you will have to repeat this step until all the excess paper is completely gone.
11. For the final touch you can add text, letters, gesso and paints.
12. Preserve your art work with a protective finish such as “preserve it!” by Krylon for inkjet or Krylon Crystal Clear if you used a toner based photocopy.
Applying the UV finish will help minimize the foggy appearance created by the leftover paper.
13. Clean up the mess!


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Spice up your photos ebook download

NEW eBook: Spice Up Your Photos

103 pages of creative photography practices such as image transfers, texture layering, alternative photography and hand coloring photos. In no time you will be able to take your ordinary pictures to the next level > > > >


How to apply textures and layers to your photos

Boost your photos with textures and layers pdf tutorial file download

Boost your photos with Textures & Layers – download

Boost Your Photos with Textures and Layers is a PDF tutorial containing 22 pages of detailed instructions accompanied by images which will guide you through the world of photo textures and layers.
This file contains processes such as:
quick Photoshop texture tutorial, aging a color photo with coffee (or tea), canvas background layer, adding a digital texture to a photo, make your own textures, texture from a mixed media collage etc > > >