Multiple Layer Gum Printing

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Dan Pavel

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I've followed a different path for multi-layer gum prints in the last 3 month. A lot of trial and error, as well...
I made CMYK separations and applied different adjustment curves for each color. The K layer was the last - a Palladium layer over the gum color layers.
Still a lot to work on this method but, IMO, promising...
My best color balanced result till now (but, well, the layers alignment is a bit off..) is this:

Venetia.jpg


Gelatin sized Fabriano Artistico 600g/m2.
 

Dan Pavel

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This is an earlier, better aligned test with 2 gum layers/color, 1 layer of Palladium, different exposure times and the same adjustment curves as in the first test.
The color balance and saturation is different with 2 layers/color, of course.
Venetia2.jpg
 
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Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie

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Interesting I would like to try palladium over the gum layers - Curious did you have to do some kind of sizing layer over the gum... if not how did the palladium get into the gum layers ??
 

Dan Pavel

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Yes, after the gum layers dried I applied a gelatin layer, otherwise the Palladium washes away. Palladium over gelatin needs a longer exposure (~ 2 times longer than usually).
 
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Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie

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So the palladium soaks into the Gelatine?? this sounds like a great finish of the final print.
 

DennyS

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I've recently been doing some work in gum over cyanotype, two layers of gum over a Ware cyanotype layer. An advantage for me is that the cyanotype layer adds enough punch to eliminate the need for a platinum/palladium or K layer. It's not the same look, but I think it can work for some images. Here's an example on Platine...
A1.jpg
 
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Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie

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I've recently been doing some work in gum over cyanotype, two layers of gum over a Ware cyanotype layer. An advantage for me is that the cyanotype layer adds enough punch to eliminate the need for a platinum/palladium or K layer. It's not the same look, but I think it can work for some images. Here's an example on Platine...
A1.jpg
Really nice Denny A lot of people I know do gum over Cyanotype...
 

DennyS

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Thanks Bob. I've taken an unusual (for me) approach, treating the sky as if it were a pure cyanotype (working from a B&W copy of the image) with a simple cyanotype curve, and blocking any contribution from the gum layers. The result can be "storybook" cyan skies.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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I have been tweaking the process since last summer. Normally I lay down yellow first, magenta, then cyan. Recently I'v'e been farting around with laying down a K layer (for shadows only) first, followed by yellow, etc. That threw the colour balance out for some strange reason. After more tweaking, I got decent results. Yesterday, I decided to lay down the cyan layer after the K layer... the yellow, then magenta. I got the nicest print ever. I'll have to post it here when I get home.
 

jim10219

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I find if you just do three layers, it's best to start with your lightest (yellow) and work your way to your darkest color (cyan). That way your darks are sufficiently dark. With four colors (CMYK), I actually run them in that order, like you would on a printing press. The lighter colors mix better with the darker colors if they're applied over them. The problem of the washed out blacks is remedied by the final black layer. But keep in mind this layer needs to be printed a lot softer than the other layers (about 20% strength).
 

Andrew O'Neill

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My darks were sufficiently dark going the yellow-magenta-cyan order. The K gives it more clout. In all the colour printing that I've done, be it lithography, intaglio, serigraphy, the K always went down last... I would never have put it down first. For this particular image that I've been working with, it looks best laid down first, followed by cyan, yellow, magenta. This K layer is quite transparent, too. Much more than C layer. I'll try it this way with another image and see what happens.
 

Fraunhofer

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I am reporting my first baby steps in tricolor gum or any gum for that matter. 2 weeks ago I just went to the local art supply store bought some gum and water colors and after doing a few test strips and one totally failed attempt, I got this
sb1.JPG


Which is too dark and too much magenta... Note these mushrooms do have really striking colors and are all edible and were quite delicious. The picture was taken with an Iphone SE.

The upshot: I encourage folks to try this, it is an economical process and first results are fairly easy to obtain. Now, getting great results may be a whole different game...

Next I will try this print with 1 stop less magenta and 1/2 stop less cyan exposure.
 

Fraunhofer

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Very nice, fraunhofer. Which pigments are you using? I've noticed huge improvements in my gum prints by switching to better pigments... Daniel Smith.

Thanks. I use student grade Newton & Winsor Cotman, but I got a package today with Daniel Smith colors and some Fabriano paper...
 

Andrew O'Neill

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Cotman is what I was using at first... I was using their water colours for carbon printing. Crappy for gum prints, though. The Daniel Smith water colours are far superior. Fabriano paper is excellent. I'm hooked on Hahnemuhle platinum rag.
 

Fraunhofer

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Question: how do you size your paper? Currently I am using Strathmore Printmaking 400 and that works fine without sizing, I just preshrink it in hot water.
 
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Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie

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Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag is my paper of choice as well, also Daniel Smith pigments... I pre shrink the paper but really only in room temp water, I like to let the paper sit for at least a half hour and really soak.
I have never sized paper , used tween , PVA that others use

50% humidity in the room seems to be the best for my work.
Doing 4 layer registration with 20 x 24 images this week with no issues.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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I sized at first, but that was with a crappy paper that needed it. HPR paper doesn't need it. I shrink the paper with luke warm water. Some people use boiling hot water (I was at first), but it's not necessary... I feel that that is too hard on the paper fibres.
 

Fraunhofer

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Andrew, Bob,

Thanks, that is good news. Sizing and dealing with hardeners etc. seems like a real PITA, so glad to hear I can get away without.
 
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Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie

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Here is a link to a video I just had done to show how to separate film for tri colour printing.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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Here is a link to a video I just had done to show how to separate film for tri colour printing.


Looks great, Bob! I'll watch it at lunch as I've got a bunch of grade niners staring at me at the moment!
 

Andrew O'Neill

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Here is a link to a video I just had done to show how to separate film for tri colour printing.


Bob, some excellent pointers in there. Thank you so much for sharing!
 
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