Van Dyke density washing out in the hypo...??

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Kami-the-Trout, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Kami-the-Trout

    Kami-the-Trout Member

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    I'm printing on Arches 140-pound hot press watercolour, which I really want to work because I can buy sheets of it here where I live at decent price. From what I've read elsewhere, the Arches hot presses seem to work well for others.

    After I expose the Van Dyke print, I wash it in the first water batch with a little citric acid added (about two minutes), then it goes into the fix, which is 30 grams of hypo crystal in 1000 ml of water.

    In the fix, the print goes deep brown, but within a few seconds, the density starts to bleed out of the deep shadow areas. I can literally watch little streams of brown flowing out of the shadows. Within a minute, the print has lost the initial richness and is weak and lacking density . .

    I must be doing something wrong. Suggestions?
     
  2. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    Kami that's bleeding as I undersand it. Some bleeding is ok but not to the extent you describe... It seems your sensitizer doesn't get absorbed well into the paper. You can try to add some Tween (or Ilfotol, or any other non-ionic surfactant) into your coating solution or dilute it with some distilled water, (or even coat in two passes with 1:1 diluted sensitizer) in order to relax the fibers; moist paper will more easily accept the sensitizer. Are you single or double coating? Try double coating you aren't already doing so.

    BTW, you can use 20g of sodium thiosulfate per liter with confidence...

    Hope this helps,
    Loris.
     
  3. Kami-the-Trout

    Kami-the-Trout Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I think I will try things to soften/premoisten up the paper. It's exceptionally dry where I live (my inside relative humidity in winter is around 20 per cent, trying to run humidifiers is a joke) and I notice the paper dries really quickly after I apply the sensitizer. Maybe too quickly?

    I'll play around and see what happens.
     
  4. Johnindc

    Johnindc Member

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    Van Dykes, brown prints and kallitypes will all bleach if the hypo is too strong or if left in too long. 20mg in a liter for 1 minute should be sufficient.
     
  5. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Try adding about 50ml of ammonia to the fix. I do this when fixing Kallitypes. Fix for no more than a minute.
     
  6. donbga

    donbga Member

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    50ml per what volume?

    I use a 2% fixer and use it one shot and fix for 1 minute.