.originals  .commissions  .workshops

My technique of hand painting photography is a painstaking process beginning with Old-School black & white film printed on real silver-gelatin photographic paper.

Thin veils of transparent & translucent oil paint allow the grain and tonality of the print to shine through and create a multi-dimenional image that is part photograph, part painting.

Look Ma, All By Hand!

Before there was Kodachrome, before there was digital wizardry, there was Hand Colored Photography.

With the invention of photography, photographers quickly added color to the monochrome image to create a more realistic product. Hand coloring was extremely popular among portrait studios, commercial photographers and photo artists alike. The technique maintained its popularity until stable color films and prints became available in the early 1960s. Hand coloring fell in and out of favor for roughly the next fifty years.

Since then, many portrait and fine art photographers have become bored and began exploring alternatives and re-discovered the magic of hand coloring.  But then . . . .

In the Beginning . . .

One Lens   – Hasselblad 60mm

One Film – Kodak T-Max 100
One Paper – Ilford Gallerie
One Vision – Rosemary Pipitone

Hand Painted Photography     Rosemary Pipitone    


The photograph serves the same function as a grisaille underpainting. A Grisaille is a term for painting executed entirely in monochrome or near-monochrome, and is used as an underpainting for an oil painting in preparation for glazing layers of color over it. Grain and tonality are controlled and provide an intentional base foundation to acheive depth in colors. This technique was favored by the Dutch Masters as well as many contemporary painters.

Digital Killed The Photography Star

The Lost Art of Hand Painted Photography

I wanted to make my photographs more painterly quality. I found in the works of my favorite painters, the oils glowed from within and I wanted to capture that quality of light and color from within.

Why Add Color?

Many photographers and artists flocked to digital capture, PhotoShop manipulation, and the desktop darkroom leaving behind and forgetting the ways of the photography pioneers.

Few photographers shoot with film and silver gelatin prints are expensive and difficult to do at home.

I Photograph Reality; I Paint What I See

Is This Like Paint-By-Numbers?