Gum over Van Dyke Brown (part 2)

February 19, 2015

breadkenty asked: Hi Tony, I’m trying to recreate something similar to Edward Steichen’s Gum over Platinum prints for his Camera Work/Vogue Fashion prints. I really like the sharp details that the Platinum print offer with the grain of gum prints over it but I am looking for an alternative to Platinum printing that wont be as expensive. I was thinking Van Dyke but do you have any previous experiences with Gum over Van Dyke or any other processes outside of Cyanotype? If so, what color paint would be best for gum?



I did a lot of Van Dyke before I started doing Gum—but, I haven’t tried Gum over Van Dyke.  Although, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.  As far as color, in prints of the “Flat Iron Building” and “The Pond, Moonlit” Steichen often used cool colors (i.e. blues, greens etc.) to compliment the brown of the Van Dyke.  That might be a good place to start.  Tony

Thank you tonygonzalezartist, I’ll definitely try the cool color layer. As for actually going about with this project, I’m assuming it would be the same process as you would with single channel gum printing as opposed to having three channels in tri color? In other words I should end up with two different negatives as one is printed with a curve that favors the van dyke and the second one that favors the gum print? My professor recommended that I should gold tone the van dyke to match the hue before applying the gum layer.

Yes, correct-you would make a single negative rather than CMY separated negatives.  If you have a curve you use/like for Van Dyke that’s different from the curve you use for gum printing, then you would make two negatives: one for Van Dyke and one for gum and register them before starting to print.  You can try gold tone for the Van Dyke and see if you prefer with or without.

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