Taking up Gum Bichromate printing is like learning to play an instrument. There is just such a complexity to it, and no universal rules. The combination of papers, gum arabic, dichromate and an endless variety of watercolor and other pigments; along with process variations, offers a palette to the photographer that brings them into the realm of painter. Gum Bichromate prints are multi-pass wet method prints, with as few as one layer to over a dozen.
Some of these prints are multiple processes as well, with gum over cyanotype, kallitype or palladium prints. Toning, bleaching and selective coloration are among the many extended possibilities.
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Lobster Traps and Rope Truck, Monhegan Island, ME, 4x10".
Magenta and Yellow watercolor pigments in gum bichromate over cyanotype on Arches Platine paper.
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Monhegan Coastline, 8x11", Gum Bichromate/Watercolor over Cyanotype on Arches Platine Paper.
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A new interpretation of these daffodils. Gum Bichromate (4 layers) over gold toned kallitype on Arches Platine paper. Two layers used Mayan Yellow, and two layers used Opera (magenta) mixed with a tiny bit of Prussian Blue. The gold-toned kallitype base had a faint purple/eggplant hue to start with.
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Tulips Among Ferns.
Yellow Gum Bichromate over Cyanotype. These flowers were red, and this print was to receive a few more coats of gum bichromate to give full color and red to the tulips, but I liked the result at this point. Perhaps I will re-print them as red flowers another time!
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Rich cyan, umber and sienna added over the orignal kallitype print.
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Val's Hideaway. Experimental print, untoned kallitype over which cyanotype was applied, then bleached, and finally applied gum bichromate layers of magenta and yellow.
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Spruce Forest, Monhegan. This print will be part of the show this memorial day weekend at the Monhegan Island Photo Festival https://www.facebook.com/monheganphoto2016 Labor intensive, this print has multiple layers using silver, ferric oxalate, cyanotype, palladium, potassium dichromate, gum arabic and watercolors (not to mention citric acid, EDTA, sodium citrate, ammonium acetate and a bunch of other minor ingredients). This is a scan of the print, which is hard to capture accurately due to the paper texture and nuances of all the above components.
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Sometimes simple is best. One-pass gum bichromate using Holbien Opera watercolor pigment.