Pictorico

February 19, 2016

safakoncu asked: Hello, thanks for sharing all these valuable information with us. I just want to know how do you fix your paper on the blue film you use (looks like x-ray film to me) and how do you remove after print is done. Thanks again…

I make my negatives using Pictorico Ultra Premium OHP Transparency Film printed on an Epson 1400 printer.  I use cyanotype for the first layer which develops in water; followed by an emulsion of gum arabic, pigment and ammonium dichromate for the subsequent layers.  Hope this helps.  Tony

Editing work

October 8, 2015

zoomspark asked: Tony, I absolutely love your gum work! I became very interested immediately when I saw a few of your images in Christopher James’ book. I strive to achieve the tones you have in the figurative work represented in the chapter. The image of the shower curtain and the girl in the bathroom are simply beautiful. I am very interested in the process you go through when editing your negatives? Again, I am a huge fan and appreciate any feed back (: thank you!!

Thanks for the compliments on my work. When editing my work, I find it helps to let some time pass to get some distance from the moment of shooting in order to see the pictures with a fresh eye. I’ll look at the work often to make preliminary cuts and show the pictures to people I trust who also know my work in order to get another perspective.

Ammonium vs Potassium Dichromate

October 1, 2015

breadkenty asked: … Also how do you feel about the difference between Ammonium Dichromate vs Potassium Dichromate? After working with the Potassium for a while, I’ve noticed that it gets really messy and muddy when you go any more than 4 layers. I noticed that even with Mr.Gonzalez’s first round of tricolor layers, the image seemed to lack detail and tone, but with the potassium formula you maximize the full tones, contrast, and color by the first round (Cyanotype, M, Y, and C layers). What are your thoughts?

I’ve been using the Ammonium Dichromate for over 10 years–that’s what I’ve used for all my tests and I’m pleased with the way the prints come out in color, tone and density .  I experimented with the Potassium Dichromate once and had terrible results.  So, I decided to stick with what I know.

Paper weight

October 1, 2015

breadkenty asked: Hi Tony, thank you for all the previous advice regarding gum printing. I am now in the process of putting together a show with twenty to thirty 14x20in prints from the same negative repeating across the gallery space (like Warhol). I start to consider price and efficiency when working with many prints. I switched from Arches Platine to Artistico Fabiano 140lb and noticed the paper is a lot weaker and prone to tearing. I considered BFK but that is still a bit pricy. What would you recommend?

Yes, I think the 140lb weight may not be heavy enough.  I use the 250 gram Rives BFK and that seems to hold up ok.  In the past I’ve tried the Lana Aquarelle paper with limited success.  I’m not sure how the cost for the Lana compares with the Rives or the papers you’re using.

Gum:Sensitizer ratios

August 4, 2015

windeking asked: I have a few questions about your calibration technique. Did you calibrate for each color? When you did the calibration, how did you determine how long to expose the step wedge? Did you do multiple exposures with the different ratios of gum to sensitizer? In the third set of exposures of your workflow, you say to expose just long enough to achieve tone in step three, but you already have tone up to step eight from set 2. Am I misunderstanding something? Thanks Alan

The exposure times are a result of experiments with different gum:sensitizer ratios with multiple layers.  The exposure time, development and ratio I use are the same for all three colors–with the exception of cyan where I tend to use a slightly shorter exposure time (about 15-30 secs shorter) than the yellow and magenta.  The third set is a short exposure which adds additional color and tone in the shadows for enhanced D-max.  Hope this helps.  Tony

Sensitizer formula

July 6, 2015

irisjeane asked: Hi Tony, I am amazed and inspired by your work! I have recently decided to give gum another try, and I’ve been using a 10% potassium dichromate solution, but I’d like to try ammonium dichromate. Would you suggest using a nearly saturated solution of 29%, or something else? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!!

Hi.  Thank you for your kind words about my work.  I’ve been using ammonium dichromate for over ten years at a 26% saturated solution.  The formula I use is 13 grams ammonium dichromate to 50ml of distilled water.  Hope this helps.  

Tony

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?

breadkenty:

tonygonzalezartist:

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.

Gum over Van Dyke Brown (part 1)

February 18, 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