Colorization of Ava Gardner

This is the second colorization I have completed of American actress Ava Gardner, the first can be seen here. Ava Gardner gained notoriety for her performance in the 1941 film “The Killers”  after appearing in small roles for several years. Ava went on to win an Acadamy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1953 film “Mogambo” in which she co-starred alongside Clark Gable. Ava continued to star in multiple films until 1986, four years before she passed away at the age of 67. The American Film Institute lists Ava Gardner as 25th among the Greatest Female Stars.

I was initially drawn to colorizing this photo because of the simplicity of the photo, which allowed me to spend more time on the details and keep it really tight and clean. I placed rust on the slide in select areas and used multiple dark and light layers fro the wood on the slide to give it more depth. The backdrop(yep, that’s a backdrop and not the real ocean) gave me a bit more of creative freedom since it is not real and most likely hand painted. The clouds seemed a bit dark and stormy, which is different then the fluffy clouds I generally work with. Combined with a bright blue sky that has been adjusted with the gradient tool, the photo has some opportunities for cool colors to work with.

I used 27 layers for blending Ava’s skin tone alone, which really makes the difference in the realism of skin color. Laying subtle shades of blue, orange, purple and pink over the multiple base skin colors can be time consuming but the details are what really make the colorization appear three dimensional rather than flat.
My full size colorization is below as well as the original black and white photo.

Black and white photo of Ava GardnerColorization of Ava Gardner

All photo colorization found within Metacolor is completed by hand using a Wacom Graphic Tablet and Adobe Photoshop CC software. All website design, writing and photo colorization/restoration found within is the sole work of Wayne Degan.

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