I've been trying to teach myself some alternative processes, starting with VDB and gum. My experience with VDB has been very mixed - in general, the contrast is quite low, but occasionally, I am able to produce something that I am reasonably proud of. Inspired by experts like Scootermm and Kerik, I have also tried to add gum layers to the VDBs. The results have all been failures. I seems as though the application of the gum layer itself causes a further reduction in the inherent low contrast of the VDB. In addition, I have found that the gum doesn't want to clear completely. My questions: are these "problems" part of the mystique of gum that one has to perservere to overcome, or are they inherent characteristics of gumover VDB that makes that combination not practical? And why is it that my fingers keep wanting to type "bumover"?