Bromoil First try - Fail

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by esearing, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. esearing

    esearing Member

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    So I ordered the bromoil bleach from Bostic and Sullivan, mixed it up and successfully bleached and tanned 3 sheets of Ilford Art. Fixed with TF4 fixer and washed for 45mins. Let it dry for about a week.

    After gathering up my bromoil supplies of inks, brushes, rollers, and stuff, I cut one of the sheets in half so I could work a small area to get the inking process down. It looks easy online.

    I soak the half sheet for several minutes in about 75* water. Then I remove the sheet and dry it both sides gently with paper towels. I ink the half sheet all over with the brush is all directions and have a nice muddy grey until I use the foam roller to redistribute the ink. Still a little muddy but I can now see the image faintly. I drop it back into the water and presto the image forms, but without much detail in the shadows. I gently rub it with a cotton ball in the water and it moves some of the ink out of the white areas and lightens the shadows. Wow this is really easy. So I set my test strip aside and go about soaking and inking the full sheet.

    This is where things fall apart. The sheet does not perform the same way the little strip did. It inks up blackishly but then fades and gets muddy when rewetting. I work it in and out of the water several times but can never really get the image defined.

    I switch to my third sheet soaking and getting ink ready. Though this time I am trying a sepia ink. Things start out ok but when I put the image in the water - I have a negative image. No Idea what caused that since I bleached and fixed at the same time as the other two. Except this is ilform MGFB image. But the stained matrix was a positive. So wondering if maybe the sepia ink is water based and not oil based. But can is same brand as the black and says oil on it. Gamblin Relief Ink - artists oils.

    In summary, Ilford art probably not best choice or at least not a semi busy image on Art , Sepia reversing image, and I smell like mineral spirits. Other than that it was kind of fun.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What did the contrast of the negative you used to make the print look like?
     
  3. OP
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    esearing

    esearing Member

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    My pyro negs are somewhat flat but I printed about grade 3 on Ilford papers.
    Iphone pic: Original on left is a little lighter than my final print used to try the Bromoil process.
    The image on right is the initial bromoil test strip using Gamblin Portland Intense Black.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. GregW

    GregW Member

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    I have not used this ink, so don't have familiarity with it. But I suspect the ink is not stiff enough. Your test is a good first effort. Be super careful with droplets of water. make more matrices next time to work on. The stiffer the ink the better. Try super drying the paper before inking. So you would soak the paper for a couple minutes then let dry and follow up with a hot hair drier, you want the paper to curl up on it's self b/c it's so dry. Then soak and ink...keep at it you'll likely wreck a lot of paper before you get the hang of it but the effort is worth it.
     
  5. mitch brown

    mitch brown Subscriber

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    Are you sure that the paper you are using is workable with the Bromoil process? it is not one of the papers most common for this process
     
  6. GregW

    GregW Member

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    To explain my feeling about the ink being too soft. One has better success if you apply a stiffer ink to build up the contrast and darks in a bromoil then move to a softer ink to pull detail out of the highlights. With the darks the softer ink is lifting out too easily.
     
  7. OP
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    esearing

    esearing Member

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    What brands are "Stiff Ink" available in US? I always see references to stiffness but rarely any brands mentioned. Is there method to stiffen what I have?
    Also what is 1803 vs 1796 ink?
     
  8. ced

    ced Member

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    Check bottom of this page:http://bromoil.info/PEARLS/collotype experiment.html
    Browse that site for more info.
    Here in Europe bromoilists like these inks. Lefranc & Bourgeois: Encre Typographique Noir, Same Manufacturer: Encre Taille Douce (Etching Ink) Noir (Carbon Black) 58995
     
  9. GregW

    GregW Member

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    I use 1803A Sennfelders black from Graphic Chemical. Supposedly 1803c is even stiffer which might be a good choice for you. Takach press sells it. Try and get a 1/4lb you'll never use a whole pound in a lifetime. Save the softer colored ink for later. once you have some proficiency you might try using it over black as a final inking, apply carefully with a roller instead of a brush. You can slightly stiffen ink with Calcium Carbonate.
    try this, ink a matrix up with a brush as if you're a typewriter, taptaptap across the page then the next line till you're at the bottom. turn the paper 90º do it again. don't add a lot of ink, you want a light gray. Then take a dry brush with no ink and go over it again hopping the brush, the image should be appearing now. go back to adding ink if need be or soak again if dry. you don't have to wipe it in the water. blot it thoroughly on both sides, wipe down your work area, there should not be any drops of water anywhere. look at the paper at an angle to see if you've gotten all the water off. Best practice is to soak and dry in another area from your ink area. another table even. water droplets are the devil when it comes to this. they can wreck a nicely inked matrix after you've been working on it for hours. Sometimes you can fix the spots but it is a pain in the ass. Now ink again to build contrast as you did the 1st time follow with a cleaned brush. Now take a brand new white roller and go over the matrix to bring out the highlights, picking up ink from the high spots. Be careful with pressure to prevent creating roller lines. Start with a stack of matrices to work with to build your sense of touch and process. Good luck.

     
  10. mvs

    mvs Member

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    From Ilford website:
    Based on advice from members of the UK Bromoil society, the below gives an indication of which FB papers work most effectively - for Bromoil printing.
    MULTIGRADE FB Cooltone glossy is reported as giving excellent results.
    MULTIGRADE FB Classic glossy and matt surfaces are reported to work well, although perhaps not quite as well as MGFB Cooltone. The matt surface is more receptive than the gloss.
    MULTIGRADE FB Warmtone - available as gloss and semi-matt. Works, but not very well. The semi-matt works better than gloss.

    MULTIGRADE Art 300 - This was mostly deemed unsuitable for Bromoil printing.

    Well, classic glossy that I tried was a struggle. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to proceed with bromoil process in this unfriendly market?
    thank you for any help
     
  11. joshua029

    joshua029 Member

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    MVS, fellow bromoilist here and I'm glad to here others are trying it! As far as papers go, I've had success with fomabrom variant iv 123. But the best paper that is still around, although in limited quantities now, is David Lewis' paper. Its musch easier to begin with because I believe it's the only non supercoated paper around. Once you get the hang of inking you will have an easier time with the supercoated papers. You can easily email him on his website bromoil.com and he'll set you up.

    Here is my most recent bromoil done on David's paper...
    FB_IMG_1527834528732.jpg
     
  12. Tom Taylor

    Tom Taylor Member

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    Excellent Joshua!

    Thomas
     
  13. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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