Fun with Antique Photos

I’ve been collecting old photos from the late 1800s and early 1900s for years.  I’ve had big plans of painting on them in a way that built up a little background story for the individuals captured within.

Here is a post about one I did last year.

Here are a few that are finished, many more are underway and awaiting new life.

photo-4The Woodsmen: 3 Generations

photo-5“Tend the garden of your heart”


photo-7 “Lover”

I’m looking into getting them scanned (better quality than the pictures above!) and made into postcards and stickers.  The originals will eventually be for sale in my etsy shop.

In trying to decide what to paint on them… I just stare at them for a long time and ‘ask’ the people what they’d like in the painting.  Imagery usually starts flowing in after I ask.  Sometimes I just get bits and pieces so I paint what comes, wait a while, ask again, paint what comes, wait a while…..

I mostly think these few are done, just a few touch-ups to do with them like making the text in the “tend the garden” one clearer and possibly more foliage in the woodsmen.

My love of gold leaf is as strong as ever!

Anyone know the proper name for these types of old photos?


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Heidi Kouri says:

    are you thinking of daguerrotype?

    1. harperleich says:

      I think daguerrotypes are printed on metal?? Not sure!

  2. jimleich says:

    That’s it Heidi. Very cool images and what you are doing with them.

    1. harperleich says:

      Thanks, it’s a lot of fun!!

  3. amelianutter says:

    I don’t know the name of those type of old photos, but you could call the painted photos “antiqueries”


  4. Forgotten NZ says:

    Lovely art from these photos! Thanks for sharing!

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