Thank you all for some excellent answers! Now I feel quite confident - doesn't seem THAT complicated - and I surely have enough rejected prints that I could not bring myself to throw to the bin - so I have enough material to practice on.
As for supplies, I've looked at some more "local" options than Freestyle - living in Europe doesn't make sense ordering from Freestyle nowadays - I've found either "DiaPhoto spotting dyes" or Peerless DrySpot sheets - any experience with either of those?
I have always used watercolours (Windsor & Newton) which have the advantage of being widely available and have a range of blacks and browns to blend together. An old, glazed saucer makes an excellent palette. When a gloss is required, the watercolour can have a tiny amount of gum added to the mix - either gum-arabic, or from the back of gummed parcel-tape. I think the brushes are W&N too.
The main technique is to stipple and to start doing this with a brush that's too-dry and too-light. A typical beginner problem will involve having a brush that is too wet and too dark. A mark that is not a round dot can often best be attacked by breaking it in two with a touch in the middle, then repeating this until it is filled - definitely don't try to 'paint' a short line as it shows up horribly.
In the UK we have the diaphoto as well
available from silverprint
I actually use a cocktail stick - with usually reasonable success. Take note, it is *very* easy to go too dark too soon!!
As you are in Prague it is probably best to order from Foto Impex in Berlin:
As you will see they have a wide range of spotting inks, brushes and fixative all at very reasonable prices.
Last edited by David Allen; 10-22-2013 at 05:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Thank you, David, yes, I've been looking at FotoImpex - I order most of my materials from them.
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I've been using Spotone in the past, earlier Marshall, and recently the Diaphoto dyes. Spotone had the best colour match to the papers I use, nowadays mainly Se toned MGWT, and I am still not 100% there in terms of the colour match with Diaphoto, but getting there. John Sexton, with whom I had the pleasure of studying a couple of times, currently uses Peerless, mixing their Lamp Black, Ivory Black, Spotting Black and Pearl Grey dyes, as needed. The technique he, and even more so, Anne Larsen, showed, relies on the use of almost dry Winsor and Newton Series 7, size 000 and 00 brushes, in a stippling motion, starting at the centre of a spot, and working in a spiral towards the edges. An OptiVisor No 5, plus an easel, and a good source of light, preferably mixing daylight, tungsten and CFL if possible, make the job much easier. For what it is worth, here is my spotting set-up:
Last edited by Rafal Lukawiecki; 10-22-2013 at 07:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Thank you, Rafal, this is most helpful.
Btw, should the prints be spotted before or after dry mounting (in a Seal press)?
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Most people spot the print after dry mounting.
I use a Windsor Newton #3 brush, purchase the best brush you can afford and contrary to the 0 and 00 crowd I was taught a slightly different method.
The secret is in the tip and how finely pointed it is, using a very small nose hair brush seems to be the way for some but I prefer to go to a a bigger brush with good tip .
First you must charge the brush which means collecting spotone, then make sure the point is in good shape . Basically you slightly tap the brush down and the tip charges with tone and you leave a small dot, you continue with this varying the density's and building up until the spot you are working on goes away.
Think camoflauge clothing and how it blends in with the overall pattern of the background.
The hardest areas are neutral flat areas and you need to build up gently and slowly.
If you look at any magazine or for that matter an inkjet print you will see it is made up of hundreds of rossette dots/grain and together they complete the scene.
Your job as a spotter is to fill in the blanks with a believable pattern.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
Ohhhh! I don't like that Idea. Make a mess of the spotting and the dry mounted print and card is wasted.