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  1. #1

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    Cyanotype on Canvas

    I had a 11x14 canvas laying around and I tried to make a cyanotype print on it the other night. I also made prints on watercolor paper the same session. Anyway, the watercolor paper prints came out normal but the store bought canvas came out super light. I processed each the same way. Is there something that I should be doing to the canvas paper before hand to prep it for the sensitizer? TIA~!

  2. #2

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    I think some people may "size" the canvas first. My cyanotype kit came with a starch for sizing papers. I think this prevents the sensitizers from soaking into the canvas and thus not being as exposed.

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Harding View Post
    I think some people may "size" the canvas first. My cyanotype kit came with a starch for sizing papers. I think this prevents the sensitizers from soaking into the canvas and thus not being as exposed.
    I have Arrowroot Starch..I will give it a try and update! Thanks

  4. #4

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    Arrowroot MAY work, but maybe not. It's more for paper, vs canvas. People use gelatin as well for coating paper for photographic work.

    Are you using raw, unprimed canvas? That is traditionally coated w/ rabbit skin glue in several coats. The canvas will need to be stretched onto stretcher bars first, just like a painting would, or it will get all wrinkly and uneven if it is brushed w/ any liquid and then allowed to dry on its own w/o some sort of support. Or you could stretch it over some sort of flat board like surface. It will shrink when it gets wet and dries, so it has to be stapled down well all around. I prefer to use ready mixed white gesso from an art supply store and save some poor rabbits lives. You theoretically could use a good latex polymer paint instead for your project. That could be bought from a hardware store and would be cheaper. Anything that comes from an art supply store costs the mint. If you don't care about permanency, any old latex paint will do.The really neat thing about canvas stretched onto stretcher bars is you that don't need to frame it. You simply hang it on the wall and it looks great.

    The easiest thing would be to buy some primed canvas. Even Walmart sells them primed and already stretched onto stretcher bars. Kevin is correct when he said that the sensitizer soaked into the canvas, giving you a much weaker image. It also may eat up or stain the canvas over time. You want to have whatever you apply to canvas sit on top of it, not soak into it, unless you are using acrylic, water based ink or watercoulor paints.
    Last edited by momus; 06-25-2015 at 09:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5

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    We've no idea what sort of canvas the OP is using, so the following may be of no use at all. But hey.

    I've recently played with some cheap canvas from a bargain shop, it came in a pad perforated to tear off.

    It doesn't need stretching or priming (preprimed with an acrylic gesso) and doesn't wrinkle or crumple when wet, and dries pretty flat. It might dry even better stretched with the edges taped to glass (a la fibre paper).

    I got a couple of decent cyanotypes onto it, but the first few were not great as the highlights washed off.

    Cyanotype likes acid conditions and things improved when I first soaked the canvas in a mild acid solution (citric or acetic), dried and then coated.

    But the acrylic gesso surface doesn't hold the chemicals well whatever I do. it's good for strong graphic chiarascuro images but won't hold detail.

    If you have raw canvas, it might do better, especially if you can prime it yourself.

    However I've decided I just don't like prints on canvas ...

    but good luck & report back

  6. #6

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    cyanotype on canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by Pkarmatic View Post
    I had a 11x14 canvas laying around and I tried to make a cyanotype print on it the other night. I also made prints on watercolor paper the same session. Anyway, the watercolor paper prints came out normal but the store bought canvas came out super light. I processed each the same way. Is there something that I should be doing to the canvas paper before hand to prep it for the sensitizer? TIA~!
    Don't use primed canvas - use the raw canvas. IN other words either buy raw canvas which is really cheap, or use the other side of the primed canvas.



 

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