Suzanna Christian
Photography & Art Teacher

Hand Colored Photography

Lesson Plan Published 8/3/18 Last updated on 8/3/18

This lesson explores the historical/alternative method for adding color to a photograph. In this lesson students will create a photograph with stunning composition in black & white and add color to the photograph by hand to create a hand-colored photograph.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

Age Levels
1+ Week
Content Standards
Common Career Technical Core
Custom Standards
VA CTE 1-7, 8-10, 41, 42, 49, 62, 63, 64, 65, 75
Creativity and Innovation
  • dSLR w/ Monochrome setting (or edit to B&W in Ps)
  • Photoshop
  • Watercolor paper - 8.5x11
  • Watercolor Paint, brushes, water, and blotting towels
CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
5 / 5 • 10 Ratings

Resources (3)

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Comments (19)

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Ramos Arias Manuela

Posted on 5/13/19 8:07:41 AM Permalink

​It´s very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

Carly Manhart

Posted on 4/6/19 4:18:26 AM Permalink

​Wow this is so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Julie Kerr

Posted on 4/2/19 3:40:41 PM Permalink

​Excellent material provided!

Thank you!

Ali Imam Reza

Posted on 3/20/19 3:07:02 PM Permalink


yvette Worboys

Posted on 1/30/19 9:32:16 AM Permalink

Great resource thanks for sharing​

Dr. Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 9/19/18 6:48:11 PM Permalink

​Hi Suzanna

Really it's very helpful resource,

Thank you for sharing

Shantel Collins

Posted on 9/16/18 2:33:25 AM Permalink

Very interesting project. I'm going to add this to my visual arts curriculum for my daughter. I homeschool her.

Tony Fling

Posted on 8/27/18 6:42:42 PM Permalink

​Very interesting project! I am going to have to give this a try. Thanks!

Armando Viera

Posted on 8/17/18 6:44:17 AM Permalink

This is great. Thanks for sharing.

augustin sclafani

Posted on 8/8/18 5:10:02 PM Permalink

Are we shooting a roll of film or are we shooting digital which is it ​? Dslr’s are digital.

Suzanna Christian

Posted on 8/8/18 6:17:20 PM Permalink

Hi Augustin! Great question. This project is based on shooting with Digital (Dslr), then printing the images via laserjet printer onto watercolor paper.

Dawn Israel

Posted on 9/4/18 3:46:09 PM Permalink

I'm interested in trying this! Is there a watercolor paper type or weight you recommend?

Suzanna Christian

Posted on 12/17/18 2:21:19 AM Permalink

Hi Dawn! I’m just now seeing your comment! We use watercolor paper, I order the Canson student watercolor paper in bulk from Dick Blick and it works wonderfully! I hope you enjoy the project! ​

James Fairchild

Posted on 8/8/18 4:37:20 PM Permalink

​Many thanks. Sounds like a fascinating project. I teach a course called Writing and Photography (the students take photos then write about it), and I've been looking for something new and exciting to introduce the next time I teach it. I think this will fill the bill.

Suzanna Christian

Posted on 8/8/18 6:20:16 PM Permalink

​Thanks James! That sounds like an amazing course and I can imagine how the end product from this project could prompt some wonderful writing. Best wishes in the new school year!

James Fairchild

Posted on 8/17/18 3:23:15 PM Permalink

Thanks for your kind comment, Suzanna. Writing and Photography is one of my favorite courses to teach. I used to call it Photojournalism, but one of the students was disappointed that I wasn't actually sending them out on interviews armed with a camera (our University is in a small town), so I changed the name of the course to avoid confusion.

Scott Kriner

Posted on 8/8/18 2:28:10 PM Permalink

​Thanks so much for posting this project. Great way to encourage students to see differently and learn something about photo history.

Kendall Adams

Posted on 8/8/18 1:38:32 PM Permalink

​Great Content!

Suzanna Christian

Posted on 8/8/18 1:52:40 PM Permalink

​Thank you!