I’ve referred in the title of this post to the patterned top the woman’s wearing. That top took me a long time to do, much longer than I’d thought it would. First I couldn’t decide on the colours, then thought I’d picked out the centres in a different colour than I ended up choosing and found I had missed some. Then realised that parts had outlines I hadn’t, at first, spotted. Eventually, I told myself “you’ve got to buckle down, Val, and put on the grid!” Urgh. The Grid. It superimposes a grid of sub-divided squares onto the image and I use it sparingly because it’s too much like the sort of discipline my dad would have approved of but which my wayward/free spirit, doesn’t care for… But I did it. And I suspect I have still missed bits here and there…
Because… well… I’m human. Yep, there I said it!
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I don’t know the date of this photo. The child’s dress is Broderie Anglais, again, I think (but again, might be some form of crochet.) The woman’s top (blouse? Tunic?) could be anything from the 1930s to the 1960s. I don’t know if the woman is the child’s mother or grandmother – her hands look too old for her to be the mother, possibly an aunt. Her skirt’s fabric is reminiscent of a type of lining material. I’m sure it has a name (the lining material and the actual material of this skirt) but I can’t recall it.
And where is it from? I bought it from a British seller (on Ebay, I think) but of course it might have come from anywhere. To me, the woman’s hairstyle looks Germanic or Scandinavian.
I chose the hair, skin and pattern colours based on how light the hair was, and what details I was able to bring out. The green for an older look, the turquoisey-blue for a later look, blonde or light brown hair for that more Scandinavian look.
My collection of photos and my colourings have a way of giving me a chance to time-travel, so why not have the option of going back a little way, or back even further?
What looks like something knitted that the woman’s partly sitting on is probably the child’s cardigan and maybe should be in a different colour, but I didn’t want it to distract the attention away from the main subjects. This is the thing of colouring people in unknown situations – one can choose colour to give or avoid giving a particular effect… but that’s not the way to do it if trying to achieve a proximity to reality in family photos where a sense of connection and familiarity is more important.
I’ve done this one darker than the one in my previous post. My choices in this one had to do partly with the quality of the photo and partly with it being a studio photo. Light indoors and outdoors has different qualities.
I like this photo – particularly the way the woman is just barely concealing a smile (that could probably turn into a laugh at any moment) and the way the child has been surprised by something – probably the intensity of the studio light, or maybe someone to the side of the room, out of our view.
The woman’s hands are loose, showing she is fairly relaxed, and the child is in an “oh my!” position.