Gum Overs - What pigment colors are being used

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by donbga, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I was looking at Michael Mutmansky's web page a few minutes ago admiring his gum overs, impressed with the depth and color of the images there.

    I've also peeked at Clay Harmon's and Kerik Kouklis's web pages and have noted that they both achieve an added sense of depth with their gum overs.

    I imagine that most if not all of their gum over work utilizes multiple gum layers and perhaps pigments.

    Anyway I was curious about what color pigments people are using and why.

    Don Bryant
     
  2. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Don,

    It's a witch's brew mostly. For the sepia brown look, many people use a lot of burnt umber, but normally, there are other colors in there as well in smaller amounts.

    Actually, I've found that BU looks very different from different paint manufacturers, so it does depend somewhat on the paint you choose to use.

    Colors I use a good bit are:
    burnt umber
    sepia brown
    ivory black
    windsor blue
    indian yellow

    There's many others, and depending on the manufacturer, they may have different names and slightly different effects.

    The process of making a combination gum bichromate and palladium print is iterative, and sometimes when I'm trying out new colors, it doesn't work out, and the print goes into the circular file.

    My prints typically have two or three gum layers over the palladium base print. The darker ones often have four layers of gum, and lighter ones may only have one.


    ---Michael
     
  3. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Sorry, but that's classified. :tongue: :surprised: :D
     
  4. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Kerik,

    I'm not too worried about divulging some of the pigments; it's the sequence of chants that I say as I mix the goo that is important anyway.

    Interestingly, with gum, you can give the same materials to three different printers, and you'll get three different results. All right, or all wrong, depending on which gummist you you may ask. That is one of the real beauties of gum.

    ---Michael
     
  5. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I'm with Kerik here. We can't very well have people chasing down the poisonous toads we use for some of the pigments. And I darn well am not going to reveal where I find my rhodonite and green garnets to crush. This is really for their own safety.
     
  6. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Thanks Michael,

    For me working with gum has been at times quite magical and at others very discouraging, but I think the best way to learn how to print with gum is to just do it rather than read about it.

    I use M. Graham pigments and for gum overs I've been working with:

    Raw Sienna
    Burnt Sienna
    Burnt Umber
    Ivory Black
    Azo Yellow
    New Gamboge

    Since I work with very thin layers of gum I've never been quite happy with one layer of gum as I perfer a stronger color rendering. And yes I've had a lot of failures but I just file them away.

    I'm also thinking of trying Quinacridone Rose or Violet in a mix for an effect in the darker tones. There are just too many choices.

    Thanks,

    Don
     
  7. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Bingo.
     
  8. ZELER

    ZELER Member

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    Do you expose the gum layer directly under UV light or are you exposing with the negative ?
    Thanks
    Pierre
     
  9. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Don,

    There's many color choices out there, and I have a cabinet full of pigments to prove it. I figure you won't know until you try a color on a sheet, so I often make multiple base prints of an image, figuring that the less than perfect ones will be sacrificed to testing purposes.

    One way to reduce the color choices a bit is to only use pure pigment colors, rather than pigment blends. That will take 2/3 of some manufacturer's paints out of the equation, and since they are all blends, you could achieve the same effect with the same component pigments. Another way to reduce the number is to ensure that you are only using the best pigments from a lightfastness perspective.

    Once you do these two things, there will still be a bunch, but it will be a much smaller set to choose from. The M Graham paints are good as they are mostly pure pigments. I have some here to try but I haven't gotten to them yet. Of course, it's possible to make great gum prints with any pigment source.


    ---Michael
     
  10. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Pierre,

    You can do anything you want, but most prints are done with the negative so the gum has proportional density related to the image.

    I've done a bit without the negative, but you have to be very careful to avoid blocking up th highlights with color. It generally doesn't work as an effect for me.


    ---Michael
     
  11. ZELER

    ZELER Member

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    OK !

    Thanks Michael !
    (I return to your site...)

    Pierre
     
  12. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Micheal,

    How do you find this out?

    I was also a bit overwhelmed with the choices out there. That would simplify things for me.

    I can just go to manufactures' website to find this out?

    Thanks,
    Tsuyoshi


     
  13. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Tsuyoshi,

    You can check the manufacturer's literature, and you can look on the back of the tubes as well, but that can be somewhat hard at times, and not all the manufacturers have decent literature.

    Also, gum printing is somewhat of a crossover process, and the knowledge of paint is truely outside the realm of knowledge most photogrphers have. To bone up on this, I recommend this site:

    http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/water.html

    There's more there than you can possibly imagine. That site lists paints by color and brand, and indicates the makeup of the paints as well. There's also color theory, paint background information, and much, much more. It's a great reference and starting point for learning about the pigments used in the paints, and I recommend everyone interested in the process to do some reading on that site.


    ---Michael
     
  14. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    The whole idea of gum over platinum or paladium is intriquing to me. When 100% gum prints can look so great, why use an expensive process like platinum as a foundation? I realize that many notable photographers have done so. I'd be interested to hear what you all think the combination accomplishes as opposed to the alternative of multiple applications of gum.
     
  15. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Gum over platinum has a different look than pure gum. Plus, pt/pd printing is quite economical, despite rumors to the contrary. If you take into account the labor to produce a 1 or 2 layer gum over pt/pd compared to a mutilple coat gum (say 3 or more layers - some gum printers use many coats), gum over platinum is cheaper if you place any value on your time. Below is an example of the same negative printed as gumover pt/pd and 100% multi-coat gum.
     

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