India Ink & Gum Arabic for Spotting

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Peter De Smidt, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Fond du Lac,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been using spotone and Marshall's retouching dyes for spotting prints. Lately, I've had to do a lot of spotting. I'm worried that the dyes will fade and/or change color over time, especially with exposure to light. I've heard that spotone slowly turns bluish. In any case, I've heard about people using india ink (which I think is a pigment and not a dye) and gum arabic for spotting. Does anyone have experience with this? If so, could you describe the process? I'm alos open to other suggestions. I'm spotting glossy, air-dried, fiber-based prints.

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Weston did this, and the one thing I know about it is that he would adjust the amount of gum arabic to match the gloss of the paper.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    I have used Japanese Sumi ink for my B&W spotting for years. An elderly portrait photographer turned me on to it.
     
  4. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've used Spotone for nearly 20 years and have not had it go blue on me. I don't dilute it as suggested in the instructions, I shake the bottle and lift the dye straight from the cap perhaps that's why it hasn't turned blue.

    Hi Peter, it's nice to see that you found APUG, I know you'll enjoy it.
     
  5. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Fond du Lac,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks to all who've responded. Neal, why do you prefer Sumi ink? I must admit to not knowing what it is. Les, it's good to run into you, so to speak. I'm glad to hear that Spotone has held up well in your experience. That makes me feel a little more confident. I'm in the process of putting together a family album of 8x11.5 inch FB prints. While I expect that no one will want to keep my "artsy" prints all that long, I hope that this'll stay in the family for generations. Since the prints won't be displayed on a wall, I'm hoping that the Spotone will hold up. The prints will be dry-mounted to 1 ply museum board, which will in turn be in placed poly sleeves inside a Light Impressions archival album.
     
  6. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    In the print by AAin the appendix p.196 he tell you how Weston mixed and used the ink and gum arabic. I would practice with it though, it seems to act different then spot tone.
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    Peter,
    Sumi is a Japanese ink that generally comes in a nicely decorated stick form. To use it, wet the end and then rub it on a small piece of glass (I use non-glare because it has a bit of "tooth" to it) then use the rest of the glass as a pallet, drawing out the ink and thinning it with a wet brush for use.

    I haven't used dyes for a long while so it is difficult to compare but using ink is a different technique of putting it down and picking it up with the tip of your brush to make it match the surrounding print. Once you get into the groove, you can go all over the print very quickly, even touching out scratches that run through light and dark tones with ease. I rarely have to go back to the pallet unless I have to work on extremely light or dark tones.

    It dries flat and you can see your work if you view the print by glare light but is unnoticable under normal viewing conditions. Using Gum Arabic to match the gloss of the print sounds interesting and I'll probably give it a try. (amazing, the stuff that you pick up on APUG)
     
  8. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,708
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Evening, Neal,

    Interesting! What's a good source for the Sumi ink?

    Konical
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    Art stores. Ether on the web or fairly well stocked brick and morter.

    A small stick is a lifetime supply for you and all your ancestors and their friends and neighbors, I don't remember buying mine but it was probably at Pearl Paint long before the internet existed.
     
  10. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Location:
    sao paulo -
    As far as I know arabic gum is an acid substance, therefore not adequated for spotting, matting etc. Although EW has used it, that doesn't mean a good thing.
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    I found this on the web:

    Gum arabic is a complex and variable mixture of arabinogalactan oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and glycoproteins. Depending on the source, the glycan components contain a greater proportion of L-arabinose relative to D-galactose (Acacia seyal) or D-galactose relative to L-arabinose (Acacia senegal). The gum from Acacia seyal also contains significantly more 4-O-methyl-D-glucuronic acid but less L-rhamnose and unsubstituted D-glucuronic acid than that from Acacia senegal [370]. Gum arabic consists of a mixture of lower molecular weight polysaccharide (M.Wt. ~0.25x106; major component) and higher molecular weight hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein (M.Wt. ~2.5x106 minor component) [368]. Because it is a mixture and the material varies significantly with source, the exact molecular structures are still rather uncertain. Its glycoprotein is a high molecular weight hydroxyproline rich arabinogalactan (~2% protein) containing a repetitive and almost symmetrical 19-residue consensus motif -ser-hypa-hypa-hypa-thr-leu-ser-hypb-ser-hypb-thr-hyp-thr-hypa-hypa-hypa-gly-pro-his- [368] with contiguous hydroxyprolines (a) attached to oligo-a-1,3-L-arabinofurans and non-contiguous hydroxyprolines (b) attached to galactose residues of oligo-arabinogalactans. combining a b-1,3-galactopyran core with rhamnoglucuronoarabinogalactose pentasaccharide side chains [368]. Gum arabic is a useful if rather expensive hydrocolloid emulsifier, texturizer and film-former, widely used in the drinks industry to stabilize flavors and essential oils, for example in soft drink concentrates. The simultaneous presence of hydrophilic carbohydrate and hydrophobic protein enables its emulsification and stabilization properties. Emulsification is particularly enhanced due to molecular flexibility which allows greater surface interaction with the oil droplets. Gum arabic is used in confectionery such as traditional hard (wine) gums, pastilles and as a foam stabilizer in marshmallows. The gum arabic glycoprotein possesses a flexible but compact conformation. It is readily soluble to give relatively low viscosity newtonian solutions even at high concentrations (20-30 % wt/wt). However, and rather confusingly, molecular aggregation can cause both shear thinning and time-dependent thickening behavior at low shear [369].
    Gum tragacanth (Astragalus gummifer, E413) is a related exudate gum consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides including an arabinogalactan containing a-L-arabinofuranose and 1-4-linked b-D-galalactopyranose [367] and an acidic complex poly-1-4-linked a-D-galalacturonate. It is used as an acid-resistant thickener and emulsifier in sauces, salad dressings and confectionery lozenges. Yet another exudate gum, gum karaya (Sterculia urens) has similar physical properties but consists of an a-D-galacturonic acid/a-L-rhamnose backbone with b-D-galactose and b-D glucuronic acid side chains. Another related gum is the principal component of mesquite gum (Prosopis); an arabinogalactan with a b-1,3-galactopyran core and L-arabinose side chains.


    Ummm... Uhhh.... Well I recognize the word "Marshmallows" anyway.
     
  12. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've used Sumi Ink... but mine came in something like a 2 or 4oz bottle. I needed it for drawing class this summer, but then I herad that you can use it for spotting also. I've tried that, but I prefer Spotone. -Grant
     
  13. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

    Messages:
    4,518
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Ipswich, Mas
    Shooter:
    Medium Format


    Well, of course. Doesn't everyone know that???
    :rolleyes: