Multiple Layer Gum Printing

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Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie

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I wonder if the baryta layer is repelling the gum , when I use HPR, Arches Platine, and many other there is no clay coating that is between the paper fibres and the emulsion. Something that I would have never considered and maybe a problem for gum over silver Yes No???
 

himself

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Yeah, that's what I meant...but I guess that was not the case so it is safe to throw that theory out....

it's always good to throw out a theory, one less thing to consider : )

I think watercolour paper and the paper you are lithing on are different... I gum on Arches Platine, Hahnemuhle, and Stonehenge. All of them require different exposure times for me. I've never gummed over a silver gelatin paper, so can't really help...

yes the paper I'm using for lith isn't much at all like watercolour paper, it's probably closer to a card probably.
but it's interesting that you have different times for different papers, I've only ever used the same paper and never really thought about them requiring different exposure times.

and thanks!
 

himself

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I wonder if the baryta layer is repelling the gum

ooh, that's an interesting idea, and is honestly not something I would even pretend to know enough about to say one way or the other, so yes, ummm - maybe (?)
 
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Bob Carnie

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If you google makeup of silver gelatin paper I am sure one would find a diagram, I know some of my old books do, and the clay coating was indeed to prevent the emulsion when wet from bleeding through and maybe this
is what you are seeing.
 
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Bob Carnie

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I know that with effort one can print Pt Pd on fixed out silver gelatin paper, a member from here in Manitoba has done it with great success. The treatment of the paper before coating may be where you need to experiment.
 

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I know that with effort one can print Pt Pd on fixed out silver gelatin paper, a member from here in Manitoba has done it with great success. The treatment of the paper before coating may be where you need to experiment.

That must be:

https://www.photrio.com/forum/threa...k-now-available-for-free.131189/#post-1730843

Apparently the trick is to warm up the paper and the materials when coating. This might be a good idea for Pt/Pd as it allows the sensitizer to seep into the gelatin layer. May not be so for gum as that might make it difficult to wash out, I am guessing. Perhaps use a blank un-inked gum layer using this technique, expose and "cure" it and then do the color gum layers on top of that. Of course, all of this may still be unnecessary if the problem is solved by greater dosage.
 

himself

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quick update, I've managed to get a cyan layer to stick on a test print (also on sized lith print) by doubling the exposure and washing for longer, and i'm currently exposing the proper image now, so fingers crossed eh.

and so it looks like the gum needs more exposure when layered on top of silver gelatin paper, my guess would be because the gum isn't sinking into the paper as it would on watercolour paper (?).
 

himself

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will do, I'm happy to say that the latest print has worked, although it's a little uneven, which I think is due to so many attempted coatings and washes. The paper seems pretty tough tho'.

I'm just waiting for it to dry completely and will post an image of the lith + cyan layer in the morning.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
 

himself

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The blue* layer has dried completely now and looks to have worked, but I guess I'll see for sure when I try the next layer.

There isn't a huge amount of detail in it because it's a tiny little print. When I had this idea I only had 1 sheet of transparency left, so all 4 layers had fit on 1 A4 :smile:
Once I get the technique down I'm hoping to make larger prints and hopefully more of the lith texture will stand out.

Other than that, the registration is a bit off, but only on the right side of the image, which would probably be more visible on a larger print. It's a little weird tho', it would seem that the lith image is larger than the other layer's negatives, like as if it's stretched rather than shrunk.

anyway, here it is...

gum over lith cyan.jpg



*the blue is Winsor & Newton Prussian Blue
 

nmp

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The blue* layer has dried completely now and looks to have worked, but I guess I'll see for sure when I try the next layer.

There isn't a huge amount of detail in it because it's a tiny little print. When I had this idea I only had 1 sheet of transparency left, so all 4 layers had fit on 1 A4 :smile:
Once I get the technique down I'm hoping to make larger prints and hopefully more of the lith texture will stand out.

Other than that, the registration is a bit off, but only on the right side of the image, which would probably be more visible on a larger print. It's a little weird tho', it would seem that the lith image is larger than the other layer's negatives, like as if it's stretched rather than shrunk.

anyway, here it is...

View attachment 211331


*the blue is Winsor & Newton Prussian Blue

Looks lovely....
 

himself

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I finally managed to get the other layers on and they went down without any trouble at all. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and for the moment there's only one layer of each colour, but I'm thinking of adding another layer of yellow to bring it out a bit more.

The only thing left now is to clear a little dichromate staining, however last time I tried that the sodium bisulphate also bleached the lith layer, so if anyone has any alternative suggestions I'm happy to hear them.

So here it is a - tri-colour gum lith

lith cym final copy.jpg

*the building (in Riga) by the way, is those colours... more or less
 
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Bob Carnie

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looks like you have success, pre shrinking the paper (if you can) will help with registration issues.
 

himself

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You're right, and I'm just trying to figure out a way to do it. My only option is leaving a soaked piece of paper in a paper safe over night.. but being impatient has gotten the better of me for the moment and I haven't tried it yet.
 
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Bob Carnie

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You will also need to keep it in dark storage or a way to hang in total darkness, or a drying cabinet .. I have thought about this gum over silver and this would be a problem area to make large prints, You can use
digital enlarged negatives on a pin bar though to make your life easier but you need to figure this out before hand as well.
 

himself

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sorry I meant leaving it to dry in a paper safe overnight, rather than soaking it in one (which is how it reads now that I read it back). It'll dry like that, but will take a while and would be limiting in terms of size obviously. But I only have 18x24cm paper for lith anyway, so size is no problem at the moment.

edit...
just had a thought - A small grow tent, like the type people use as a mobile darkroom would be perfect for drying large sheets of paper. stick it up in the corner of the darkroom fill it up, zip shut and then check periodically with the lights off :smile:
 

James McClean

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Anybody try using fixed and washed black and white photo paper as the substrate for gum prints? Seems to me the gelatin sized photo paper would be a consistent variable suitable for first time gum prints, eliminating the uncertainty of sizing one's own paper.

Please do not respond with comments about the artistic merit of sizing one's own paper, that is an obvious given, and not relevant to my question. I am asking a technical question, please only respond if you have practical experience using off the shelf black and white photo paper.
 

jim10219

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I finally managed to get the other layers on and they went down without any trouble at all. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and for the moment there's only one layer of each colour, but I'm thinking of adding another layer of yellow to bring it out a bit more.

The only thing left now is to clear a little dichromate staining, however last time I tried that the sodium bisulphate also bleached the lith layer, so if anyone has any alternative suggestions I'm happy to hear them.

So here it is a - tri-colour gum lith

View attachment 211437

*the building (in Riga) by the way, is those colours... more or less
That looks really good! I'm quite impressed! Just a guess, but maybe toning the print with selenium or something might help with the bleaching.
Anybody try using fixed and washed black and white photo paper as the substrate for gum prints? Seems to me the gelatin sized photo paper would be a consistent variable suitable for first time gum prints, eliminating the uncertainty of sizing one's own paper.

Please do not respond with comments about the artistic merit of sizing one's own paper, that is an obvious given, and not relevant to my question. I am asking a technical question, please only respond if you have practical experience using off the shelf black and white photo paper.
That's what the guy did above. The problem is getting enough tooth for the gum to stick. But Himself seems to prove it's possible with a little tweaking. Though, I've found using a PVA size makes sizing your own paper a lot easier. It's just one step, comes in a bottle as a ready to use liquid, non toxic, goes on smooth with a foam brush, and cleans up with water. It works even better if you heavily dilute it 4:1 with water, and apply it after every layer of gum (after the gum has fully hardened, of course). Plus, it's not staining on the first coat that usually causes me issues. Its staining on the later coats that I usually have to deal with.

But hey, it's gum printing. There's no one right way to do it. Everyone does it differently. The fun of gum is figuring out how YOU do it through lots of experimentation.
 

himself

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Just a guess, but maybe toning the print with selenium or something might help with the bleaching.

That's what the guy did above. The problem is getting enough tooth for the gum to stick [...] Though, I've found using a PVA size makes sizing your own paper a lot easier. It's just one step, comes in a bottle as a ready to use liquid, non toxic, goes on smooth with a foam brush, and cleans up with water. It works even better if you heavily dilute it 4:1 with water, and apply it after every layer of gum (after the gum has fully hardened, of course). Plus, it's not staining on the first coat that usually causes me issues. Its staining on the later coats that I usually have to deal with.

thanks, and but since that first one I've been having problems again, so it seems a bit more hit and miss than I'd have hoped. The clearing didn't end up being such a huge problem in the end, the solution *so far* is to simply soak the finished print (once all layers are dry) in clean water over night. It's not perfect, and there's still a little yellow staining on the reverse of the print, but nothing that shows through. How it will change over time we'll see : )

Anybody try using fixed and washed black and white photo paper as the substrate for gum prints? Seems to me the gelatin sized photo paper would be a consistent variable suitable for first time gum prints, eliminating the uncertainty of sizing one's own paper.

Please do not respond with comments about the artistic merit of sizing one's own paper, that is an obvious given, and not relevant to my question. I am asking a technical question, please only respond if you have practical experience using off the shelf black and white photo paper.

yes it will work...

but, tooth definitely seems to be a big problem with using photo paper, along with shrinkage if you plan on doing gum over a b/w print, so I'm not sure it will be quite as consistent as you hope.

I'm sure a heavy fibre photo paper would work better, but that seems like it involves more work than a PVA size - bearing in mind you don't necessarily have to add additional size to good quality watercolour paper. Most already have internal sizing anyway, and it's possible to print straight on to it as it is, which in my experience means some of the non hardened watercolour will bleed into your highlights.
 
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Bob Carnie

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IMG_5210.jpg IMG_5214.jpg IMG_5211.jpg these three images are by Brendan Meadows and are heading to Photo LA later this month.... tri and duo gum over palladium, some have extra hits to build up colour and some brush work is used to keep the original palladium tone intact.
 
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Bob Carnie

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Andrew O'Neill

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Have been playing around with colour saturation for the past 6 months and this is probably the best one so far. Through trial and error... lots of error... I increased yellow exposure by 3%, layed down magenta twice (both same exposure), and finally increasing the blue exposure by 10%. The Red of the coke machine really comes forward now.
20190120_212715~2.jpg
 
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