Hand Coloring Platinum Palladium Prints

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berarthbun

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Hopefully this the right place to ask this question. I'm creating palladium prints using digital negatives. Lately I have creating images that could use a hint of color. Back in the day I would use oils to had color silver gelatin prints. I attempted the same technique on a palladium print with disastrous results. The first attempt was with traditional oils diluted with mineral spirits. The diluted oils soaked right into the paper. The next attempt was using watercolors. I diluted the mixture, yet the watercolors soak right into the paper. I have tried various mediums with the same results. The watercolors and oils soak in and cannot be lifted. The real issue is if the oils or watercolors bleed into an area where they are not wanted. This is easily solved when using the same techniques on silver gelatin prints. I have even tried to coat the paper with gelatin sizing. The results were the same. I have seen hand colored platinum palladium prints in the past so I know that this is possible. I have tried both Arches and Hahnemuhle. There must be some technique that works. I would love to hear opinions.

~Bruce
 

Vaughn

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Color pencils?

Of course the digital way to do it now is the create the digital negative from a color file, and then actually inkjet print the color file with the black layer removed -- then platinum print over the injet print.
 

Bob Carnie

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Hopefully this the right place to ask this question. I'm creating palladium prints using digital negatives. Lately I have creating images that could use a hint of color. Back in the day I would use oils to had color silver gelatin prints. I attempted the same technique on a palladium print with disastrous results. The first attempt was with traditional oils diluted with mineral spirits. The diluted oils soaked right into the paper. The next attempt was using watercolors. I diluted the mixture, yet the watercolors soak right into the paper. I have tried various mediums with the same results. The watercolors and oils soak in and cannot be lifted. The real issue is if the oils or watercolors bleed into an area where they are not wanted. This is easily solved when using the same techniques on silver gelatin prints. I have even tried to coat the paper with gelatin sizing. The results were the same. I have seen hand colored platinum palladium prints in the past so I know that this is possible. I have tried both Arches and Hahnemuhle. There must be some technique that works. I would love to hear opinions.

~Bruce
Hi Bruce

I gum print over palladium and have no issues using Daniel Smith Pigments over the print in fact I am about to use airbrush system to do this as well.. there is a long thread I started called mutiple register prints or something like that where you can see some of the prints.
 

EdSawyer

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Generally you don't want to dilute the oils - when doing it on silver paper, they are used full-strength, with the typical high-viscosity of oil paints. If you need less-intense color you can reduce the saturation with a neutral meduim (think pigmentless-oil-paint) but not a thinner-type media like mineral spirits.
 

EdSawyer

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There are also oil-based pencils as mentioned, by Marshalls, and they can be blended/smoothed with a oil medium afterwards if desired.
 
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berarthbun

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Thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned that I have tried pencils. The pencils are very difficult to blend on watercolor paper. I am familiar with the hybrid method of printing platinum palladium over an inkjet color file with the black layer removed. There are some obvious with that method that I want to avoid. The real problem here is that watercolors, oils or acrylics will all soak right into the paper. I have been entertaining the use of a four color gum print, yet many of the gum print samples that I see have that grainy gum print look. That's not to say that the grainy look is bad. I'm just looking for possibly a three layer gum over palladium. Perhaps I could open a new thread for some gum printing advice.
 
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berarthbun

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Hi Bruce

I gum print over palladium and have no issues using Daniel Smith Pigments over the print in fact I am about to use airbrush system to do this as well.. there is a long thread I started called mutiple register prints or something like that where you can see some of the prints.
Thanks for the reply Bob. I am seriously considering going down the gum route. I tried a few simple gum over palladium prints and the results very very cool. Is there a link that you can provide that shows some samples of gum prints or three color gum over platinum palladium?
 

eddie

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Have you tried pastel pencils? If you're looking for just a hint of color, they may work for you. I've used them on hand-coated SG prints on watercolor paper.
 
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berarthbun

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Funny thing. I was thinking about pastels as the next step. I'll pick up a few and try them. Thanks for the tip Eddie.
 

jim10219

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I'm a painter who's had a lot more success with painting than photography. Water colors and diluted oils will bleed. It's their nature, and part of the reason why artists choose them. Study some videos about how watercolor artists control the bleed. That will help. It's easier to watch someone do it than read about it.

One technique is that paint the area you whish to color with water, no pigment. That way you have some control over where it goes, and if it bleeds beyond where you want it, you do no damage. Then, after the area is wet, work some color into it. You'll use a slightly higher concentration of pigment than normal, because you'll be mixing the color on the paper. Practice this technique first by drawing some shapes on some blank paper and coloring them in. It takes some skill to do well. Don't use too much water, or you'll get wrinkles in the areas you work.

Another option is to use miskit or friskite. It's a liquid rubber you apply to the areas surrounding the parts you don't want colored. Then, you fill in your color, let it dry, and come back and rub off the miskit.

You'll want to do this on dry paper. Usually with watercolor you work on wet paper so that it goes on more smoothly with less blotching and softer borders. But for what your doing, you not interested in having the traditional watercolor free flowing look. So controlling the wet and dry areas will make things easier. It helps to have a hair dryer on hand so that you're not waiting around forever, and to tape or secure the paper so that it doesn't buckle.

Ordinarily oil paints are easier to use, but you're not using them in the traditional manner, so I think watercolors would be easier in your case. Mineral spirits dries very quickly and has less surface tension.

You might also experiment with different papers or sizing (I prefer PVA). They won't solve the problem by themselves, but some papers and sizes are easier to work than others. The problem you're going to have is paper that doesn't bleed paint as much won't be as easy to coat with emulsion. So you might consider trying to strike a good balance. But mostly, you're just going to have to learn the techniques.
 

Bob Carnie

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Thanks for the reply Bob. I am seriously considering going down the gum route. I tried a few simple gum over palladium prints and the results very very cool. Is there a link that you can provide that shows some samples of gum prints or three color gum over platinum palladium?
there is a fb group on gum printing which is very awesome.. google my threads and you will see I started one on multiple printing and there are samples there.
 
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berarthbun

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Thanks Bob. I have been watching your posts lately. It could just be that gum printing will get me the look I am interested in. I have never seen a gum print in person, so it's hard to say if the technique is what I am looking for. i just know that I want to move more into coloring some of my images. My go to paper is sekishu torinoko gampi for palladium prints. The direction I take for adding color will certainly force me to get back to printing on watercolor paper. I have been doing some test prints on watercolor and find it to be almost foreign to me. All I know is that I want some subtle color! Thanks again for chiming in.
 
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berarthbun

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I'm a painter who's had a lot more success with painting than photography. Water colors and diluted oils will bleed. It's their nature, and part of the reason why artists choose them. Study some videos about how watercolor artists control the bleed. That will help. It's easier to watch someone do it than read about it.

One technique is that paint the area you whish to color with water, no pigment. That way you have some control over where it goes, and if it bleeds beyond where you want it, you do no damage. Then, after the area is wet, work some color into it. You'll use a slightly higher concentration of pigment than normal, because you'll be mixing the color on the paper. Practice this technique first by drawing some shapes on some blank paper and coloring them in. It takes some skill to do well. Don't use too much water, or you'll get wrinkles in the areas you work.

Another option is to use miskit or friskite. It's a liquid rubber you apply to the areas surrounding the parts you don't want colored. Then, you fill in your color, let it dry, and come back and rub off the miskit.

You'll want to do this on dry paper. Usually with watercolor you work on wet paper so that it goes on more smoothly with less blotching and softer borders. But for what your doing, you not interested in having the traditional watercolor free flowing look. So controlling the wet and dry areas will make things easier. It helps to have a hair dryer on hand so that you're not waiting around forever, and to tape or secure the paper so that it doesn't buckle.

Ordinarily oil paints are easier to use, but you're not using them in the traditional manner, so I think watercolors would be easier in your case. Mineral spirits dries very quickly and has less surface tension.

You might also experiment with different papers or sizing (I prefer PVA). They won't solve the problem by themselves, but some papers and sizes are easier to work than others. The problem you're going to have is paper that doesn't bleed paint as much won't be as easy to coat with emulsion. So you might consider trying to strike a good balance. But mostly, you're just going to have to learn the techniques.

Thanks for the detailed reply. You are spot on with the comments. I have been learning the watercolor techniques from a very good friend who paints in gouache. Most of my recent testing has been with gouache. I did try some masking and will continue to test it. The next step would be to try and work with sizing. Even gouache tends to soak right into the paper. I'll be sure to update my progress with the sizing as well.
 

Bob Carnie

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Make sure you post images somewhere... I will post when I do air brush,,, here are a couple of recent images I did. Pineapple.jpg Kiwi.jpg
 
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berarthbun

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Yesterday I worked with a very experienced watercolor artist. She attempted to paint with gouache on one of my palladium prints. The results were about what I expected. The gouache absorbed straight into the paper. There was no way to pick up the gouache that bled into the unwanted areas. I watched as she wet the area to be covered. The gouache did not stray beyond that point, yet it was extremely difficult to control. She worked with some masking as well. This went on for over an hour with limited to no success. I left her with another print to work with. She called me today and we had a good chat. She let me know that she could find no practical way to use watercolor as a medium to hand color. I let her know that there was one more option. She told me that I should explore that option. So now I am at the end of my rope for hand coloring palladium prints. The next step will be to jump into gum printing. Perhaps some multi-color gum over palladium, maybe just gum only, or both. I have spent as much time as I can on this and I see no possible way to hand color palladium prints. Thanks to all that chimed in. Onward and upward.
~Bruce
 
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berarthbun

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Make sure you post images somewhere... I will post when I do air brush,,, here are a couple of recent images I did. View attachment 226394 View attachment 226395
Thanks Bob. I am bailing from hand coloring in favor of learning gum printing. Thanks for sharing your images. I hope that I can reach out to you for some advice in the near future. I have done a few gum over palladium prints to explore the process and the results were somewhat promising. I will read up more on the topic. The real issue will be calibrating for digital negatives. I use Epson ABW for my negatives now as QTR stopped working for me when I replaced my 3880 with a SureColor P7000. This could be fun.
~Bruce
 

jtk

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EK produced a number of brochures on "retouching". You can find them on Ebay.

For maximum subtlety you may want to gamble on a set of Kodak's long-discontinued Flexichrome retouching colors, which were often applied with fingertip or damp Q-tip (although in the "old days" it was somegtimes applied with watercolor brushes).

After selectively applying it (rubbing it in with finger if applied that way), one simply breathes on each application to "set." Repeated applications increase the intensity. It doesn't bleed.

Flexichrome was commonly used to improve skin tone on color portraits, but I have other plans for mine.
 
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