Re: Gum over Palladium

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/28/05-04:36:07 AM Z
Message-id: <>

> Breukel, C. (HKG) wrote:
> >
> > Thanks for the reply, Katherine,
> >
> > Regarding the pigments I use (no idea if they are transparent) are
> from W&N, Cotman (do not have the tubes in front of me right now):
> Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue (I believe), and Cadmium
> Yellow (I think)..
> >
> Hi Cor,
> Before I start suggesting transparent pigments, I have to ask about
> your
> color choices. Except for the burnt sienna, these appear to be colors
> that may have been chosen originally to print color separations, but
> which aren't colors that would immediately occur to me for adding
> color
> to a palladium print. It seems like the idea in most gumovers I've
> seen
> is to impart a little color to an otherwise black and white print,
> much
> like toning a silver print. Is that the effect you are after, or is it
> something else you want to achieve by adding color to the highlight
> areas (grass, trees)?  My answer about pigments would depend on your
> answer to this. 
> ..actually I am still in the " playing phase", not sure what it is I
> am after: I guess both: for some images it would be nice to add a hint
> of colour, other imges (like the IR images with the white trees and
> grass)  could probably use a fuilling in with colour,. perhaps for the
> latter I might following Sam Wang's suggestion and make a mask on Lith
> film.
> So for the hint of colour , like toning, what transparant pigments
> would you suggest?...


As you're no doubt aware, many people who do platinum-palladium gumovers
use earth pigments (burnt sienna, yellow ochre, burnt umber, etc) which
as a rule are somewhat opaque, but also fairly weak pigments, and are
usually printed in a light enough mix so that they simply tint the
highlights and don't veil the shadows (at least that's how these look to
me in reproduction; I've never seen one in person). And if it's this
kind of toned look you're after, then the answer is to just use a fairly
light pigment mix, choosing a color that pleases you. Your burnt sienna
should work fine for this kind of treatment. So maybe, on reflection, I
made your original question unnecessarily complicated. But for more
transparent pigments in the earth ranges, I would choose quinacridone
gold (PO49, possibly available now only through Daniel Smith, as the
pigment ceased being manufactured in 2001) or transparent red oxide.

My favorite color to mix with black (I print it as a mixed color with
ivory black in a one-coat gum rather than printing the blue over the
black as a separate layer) is Iron blue (PB27) most commonly known as
Prussian blue, and I suppose the look you would achieve by printing PB27
over palladium would be similar to a BW print toned with an iron blue
toner (which makes sense I guess). The pigment is semitransparent rather
than totally transparent, and since I've never printed it over black I
can't say absolutely that it wouldn't leave a very faint blue over the
black, but since it's a very dark blue, I doubt it would be very
visible. (It's the lighter colors over black that create a problem if
not completely transparent).

Prussian has some reputation for being impermanent, but this is one of
the very few pigments where permanence varies widely across brands; a
few brands are perfectly permanent (M. Graham, 8.8; Daniel Smith, 8.8)
and most others are significantly less so. Interestingly, Winsor &
Newton packages PB27 in two different paints: one marketed as "prussian
blue" which in McEvoy's tests came out at 8,7, quite permanent, but
another packaged as "antwerp blue" which tested at 4,6. So you really
need to watch which formulation you buy this pigment in.

Other blues to consider: pthalo is perfectly transparent but also is a
very intense color; I personally wouldn't use it by itself, or even
mixed with other colors, for landscapes unless your goal is some kind
of surreal look. You could tone it down a bit by adding a transparent
complement to it. Ultramarine is transparent enough and gives more
natural, organic, color mixes and is my blue of choice for tricolor gums
of landscape subjects.

If you're remembering correctly and it's cobalt that you have, it's an
interesting choice for gum. It's lighter in value, weaker, and more
opaque (surpassed only by cerulean) than most blues. I can imagine it
for certain effects but I've never used it myself and can only
conjecture. I think if you used this color you would definitely need to
mask the shadows, as I think it would be light enough that its opacity
may veil the shadows.

So you can see it depends on what you've got in mind, that's why I was
trying to get an idea about your color choices, to limit the field of
possible answers. I've only just covered blue, and have run out of
time. So I'll just finish for the moment by adding that alizarin
crimson, while transparent, is also very fugitive, and not recommended,
sorry. And the cadmium yellow is a most opaque yellow and I wouldn't
recommend it for a gumover. Hope that gives you some things to think
about, and I'll try to finish this later.
Received on Fri Oct 28 11:31:19 2005

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