First of all, thanks for all the suggestions and comments
on my first tricolor gum. It was definitely a good learning experience for
There are a few things that I noticed while working that I
hope to clear up and solve.
One, is the use of hake brushes. I've been using the
inexpensive variety found at the typical art store, about $2-4 each. Coating is
difficult with these because there is absolutely no spring to them, they just go
limp and the hair goes every which way even brushing lightly. I know how to coat
pt/pd and am always successful when coating that emulsion. Gum, although more
viscous than pt/pd should still flow on quite easily.
I know that the gum coating should be on the thin side,
and my guess is that for a 4x5 print I should be using approx .5 - .75 ml of
solution, but those hake brushes are horrible, very hard to get an even coating,
at least consistently for me.
I'm very tempted to try a synthetic watercolor wash brush
as I use for pt/pd (DaVinci Cosmotop). Expensive, yes, but the perfect brush for
pt/pd. Just a dip in distilled water, a shake or two, and it's good to go. I bet
it would really make for a nice smooth, even and just-right gum coating using
the same technique.
Here's something else...I notice that Sam Wang, in his gum
article on Unblinking Eye, brushes on his gum coating and
doesn't use another dry brush to smooth it. I'm thinking of
trying this as well, as long as I can get a really smooth, even coat down with a
One of the things I noticed was that while burnishing my
coating with a dry brush, it started getting very grainy
looking. I'm thinking that I could keep the smoothness if I just brush on once,
nice and thin, and don't use another brush to burnish and dry.
Today was a disaster...I started on another tricolor print
and upped the ratio of pigment to gum, to get darker colors and it all devolved
from there. It happens, I'm experimenting...this has all been seat-of-my-pants
stuff but now I need to do a few test strips with a consistent pigment/gum ratio
to get a good starting point and figure out the smooth coat/non-grainy stuff,
Comments and criticisms are most welcome. I'll report
back, if y'all don't mind, on my progress and findings...
Happy 4th to everyone here in the US and much thanks to
all who weighed in from around the globe as well...