gum printing color combinations

From: Christina Z. Anderson ^lt;>
Date: 12/20/05-12:22:27 PM Z
Message-id: <015901c60592$5a9cafe0$566992d8@christinsh8zpi>

Dear All,

Here are some of my pigment experiences this week:

I've printed 5 of the same print side by side with different yellow and red
pigment combinations. It was a fun experiment! I chose an image that has
reds and yellows and an area of way dark to see how opacity of pigments
affects an image. It is a night street scene of Shibuya, Japan, with areas
of glowy white and lots of neon.

I started a classification in my mind like this:

green biased yellows, red (orange) biased yellows, and brown yellows

magenta reds, brilliant orange reds, and deeper blood (browner) reds.

green biased (cyan) blues and red biased (ultramarine) blues

I proved to myself that colors put in the right place with tricolor
separations look normal as I thought they would. I may prefer one color
combination/palette over another, but they all look "normal" (just like Tom
Sobota's mask example).

Colors I thought might not work out (raw sienna, quinacridone gold, and
quinacridone coral) surprised me. I think color is much more flexible than
even I thought.

I realized that a lot of judgments on pigment (opacity, transparency, color
bias, etc.) aren't as critical in gum because you dilute the pigment in a
gum arabic vehicle. Also, how the pigment looks brushed by itself on a
piece of white paper doesn't quite show how it looks in a layer of
dichromated, exposed gum, AND then on top of each other.

It also reminds me that printing gum over and over (and over!) is the best
teacher yet.

What seems more important is the balance of color saturation of the choices.
Raw Sienna, for instance, is more weakly pigmented than quinacridone gold.

I haven't yet sorted out the bias issue--usually in painting (my background)
you use similarly biased pigments in combination to avoid muddiness. I'm
not sure if that is true, necessary, or even the opposite in gum. Any

Most of the over $200 (gasp) money has been well spent--I love Rowney
Permanent Yellow PY138. It is a brilliant middle yellow. Worth buying. It
is also available by Fragonard, Permanent Lemon Yellow I think it is called.
I like it because it is not as green biased as a Hansa Yellow Light PY3 and
not as orange biased as an isoindoline like PY110 or PY139. So I can go
chartreusy with the PY3, middle of the road with the PY138, and deep gold
with the PY139..

The other colors that so far have performed beautifully that surprised me:
Daniel Smith Perylene Maroon PR179--so bloody red it even evokes an iron
smell when I use it (I'm weird). And Daniel Smith Pyrrole Crimson PY264,
another deeper, but more bluish red. I liked them just as well as the usual
magenta PV19R I use. So I can go magenta with PV19R, orange red with a
PR209,260, 264, or 255, and bloody with a PR179.

The odd thing--Old Holland Vermilion PR260, the only brand that uses this
particular pigment, completely washed off to the point where I thought maybe
I had forgotten to put in the dichromate. I'll have to redo that layer
again. All others exposed as per normal. This pigment is different somehow
and may require completely different curve calibration if, upon my redo, I
discover it is not operator error.

I really like quinacridone gold with perylene maroon, and raw sienna with
pyrrole crimson. I am combining the brilliant Rowney PY138 with the
brilliant Old Holland Vermillion when it finally decides to stay on my paper

That's it at the moment. I'm soooo glad it is semester break time....
Received on Tue Dec 20 12:29:06 2005

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