I've just started experimenting with cyanotypes while my darkroom is a no-go and I have a few questions. I'm currently using the basic cyanotype kit from Bostick and Sullivan (A+B), my exposures on sunny days run between 30-60 minutes.

My biggest problem seems to be coating the paper. I have a glass rod but all attempts with it produce blotchy results. I get kind of cool "antique-y" look to it but the image is not clear at all and the colour is quite uneven. Coating (especially double coating) with a hake brush seems to produce a much better print -- it's more even overall. But...I have a problem with beading when using the brush -- the brush strokes on the edges look absolutely horrible. I suppose I could mask it off, but is there some trick or technique to get consistent nice-looking brush strokes without the beading?

Finally, my last question is about the blue colour. What creates a nice deep, dark blue? My blues, although nice, don't have the deep blue richness that I've seen from other cyanotypes, whether it be through the postcard exchange or in books. I have a much paler blue. Is it the exposure time? The chemicals? The paper? Pre- or post-treatment to the paper? I have tried hydrogen pyroxide, bleaching, and toning techniques, and although I like the effects they produce, they don't do much to deepen the original blue colour that has been consistent with the cyanotypes I've done recently.