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Ink consistency?

  1. M Carter
    Hi all - playing with my first bromoils. I got some crayon black ink from B&S to start with.

    Upon opening it, I found the "getting a blob the size of a pea" out to be very difficult. The stuff is so stiff it's almost a solid.

    I was able to spread that to about a 1" square by working it with the knife. I tried adding some linseed oil which helped.

    How would you describe the proper ink consistency? I think I was imagining "peanut butter", but this stuff is so stiff the skinny palette knife can barely dig it out... is there a comparative food product or something you'd compare the consistency to?

    Also... will regular artist oil paints work for bromoil? I have some of the stiffener sold by B&S as well...

    Thanks for any info!
  2. Jerevan
    There is a relationship between the consistency of the ink and the swelling (relief) of the matrix. The softer the ink, the more relief (the gelatine needs higher temperature of the water to swell more) you need. And the softer the ink, the lighter touch you need to put it onto the softer gelatine.

    You can have any consistency of the ink, soft or hard, as long as it fits to the relief of the swelled-up gelatine.
  3. M Carter
    M Carter
    Thanks J - my second print came out really nicely - I thinned the ink with a drop of linseed oil and really worked it in before starting. This really is a "feel for it" thing, but of my first three tries, only one hit the trash. I managed to get a traditional "gritty" look that's very Gryspeerdt, and a really harsh and destroyed look by scrubbing all the ink off underwater (just the deep shadows held) and inking again.

    Amazing amount of control with this process - I'm finding dodging and burning on the print just isn't that critical when you can dial it in with the brush. Really digging this, and if I've got this photoshop-level of finessing by my third print, I'm psyched to really dial this in.
  4. Jerevan
    Great to hear, M! Just keep on workin' it.

    Have a look at some of the old masters' books, such as Emil Mayer, or never ones like Derek Watkins' Bromoil - a foundation course. If you go through a few, you'll how much stuff you can do.
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