U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Ruined 3rd tricolor gum print! Grrrr...

Re: Ruined 3rd tricolor gum print! Grrrr...

Ah, I love gum. I've always said that the thing I love most about gum is that it resists ideology, and this is a perfect example.

I agree absolutely about the cyan layer providing the "bones" of the tonal structure of the print, but that's exactly why I like to print it last. Your reasoning makes perfect sense to me too, but for me it's easier to see that the "bones" are right when the rest of the print is already in place. There's no right answer; it's just different ways of looking at things.

On Sep 22, 2008, at 8:44 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:

For what it's worth, I've never had any luck with putting cyan on
last. Whether it be RGB or CMYK, if a layer causes the print to go
flying into the woodstove, it is invariably the cyan. Whether it be
staining, or flaking, or just general ugliness, the cyan is the least
forgiving. Accepting of this, I always put it on first and get it out
of the way.

Perhaps it is my way of making negatives, but the cyan printer is
usually the negative that gives the widest range of tones and it is
usually the sharpest with the least noise. If there is a negative in
my 3 or 4 plate set that is most prone to be able to "stand on it's
own", then that negative is usually the one printing cyan. Having
that cyan image staring back at me gives me a great deal of
confidence. Granted, this has nothing to do with flaking, but I
thought I'd share it anyway. I consider myself "almost done" with a
print when the first coat, the cyan, is successful. The remainder of
the coats are just tweaking!

Good luck, and I'll be interested in hearing what happens when you
reverse the order.


On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 8:34 AM, Loris Medici <mail@loris.medici.name> wrote:

Hi all,

I'm trying tricolor gum printing using plain paper negatives.

I start with yellow (Schmincke 208 Aureolin Modern PY151 Benzimidazolone),
then I print the magenta (Schmincke 351 Ruby Red PV19 Quinacridone Red)
and everything (tonality, smoothness, color) is good & nice up to here...

As the last layer, I print the cyan (Schmincke 479 Helio Cerulean PB15:3
Phtalocyanine Blue) and somehow it's too overwhelming, very uneven, and it
flakes like crazy!

Pigment amounts are as following:
1. Yellow, pea sized, into 3.75ml gum + 3.75ml dichromate
2. Magenta, lentil sized (read as: half of yellow), same as 1
3. Cyan, lentil sized (same as magenta), same as 1

Exposure times and dichromate amounts are the same for all three layers
(15mins., 20% ammonium dichromate). I use automatic development for 30
minutes, sometimes a little longer according to how it looks.

I don't know why I'm having this problem but will try to (all together):
a) Print in the opposite order (1. Cyan, 2. Magenta, 3. Yellow)
b) Use even less cyan pigment to match the color intensity of previous layers
c) Try to not panic while struggling to coat an extra even cyan layer...

What can you say? Any ideas on why I'm stuck that way?

Thanks in advance,