Friday, February 8, 2008

Recent Gum Bichromate Prints

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. School has been keeping me really busy, and I’m also starting to prepare for my upcoming exhibit. I’ve made the initial selection of work I want to show, and have been busy cutting mats and assembling frames. I have a few pieces I need to reprint, work I want in the show but the original print has too many flaws. I’ve also got several new prints in progress, including a few experiments, so plenty to keep me busy.

Here are four recently completed gum bichromate prints. The first one is a three color gum print that I touched up a bit with black pencil to add contrast.

I like the use of the pencil in the Chinese characters, but Im not so sure about the eyes.

This one I like a lot. It’s a duotone (magenta and black) of a photo I took with my Holga camera at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. I posted the original photo in an early entry to this blog last May. The duotone is really nice, it brings out some detail in the shadows,and has a nice look to it.

I’ve been trying some experiments with gum printing, here’s the first.

It’s the same image, but instead of magenta watercolor paint (the usual way of making a gum print) I used a pearlescent magenta acrylic. I’d read somewhere that you can make gum prints using acrylics, but only for the first layer (acrylic paints are opaque), and wanted to try it. The results are interesting, but not something I want to continue with. First, the acrylic emulsion cracked and fell off the print very easily when wet, resulting in a distressed looking image. Second,the pearlescent effect vanished, leaving a strong magenta color, but no shimmer.

This one turned out much better.

This duotone was made with black watercolor paint and gold metallic acrylic paint (you can a original yellow/black duotone of the same image in the previous post). This one is really beautiful. The gold metallic effect is really strong (I printed each color twice), and the gold paint is much more stable than the pearlescent magenta. The metallic effect doesn’t show on screen, you’ll have to trust me that it looks really great (or come to my show next month). I’m going to try several more prints using this paint, and I’ll post them here.

No comments: