Category Archives: workshops

Hand-colouring photographic prints

It has been so long between postings I almost forgot I actually had a blog.  The last few months have been quite hectic but I have managed to squeeze in a couple of photographic workshops.  Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a hand-colouring workshop with the amazing artist Nici Cumpston.  An artist of Irish and Barkindji Aboriginal heritage, Nici has a resolute passion for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the recognition of their various artistic practices.  She is also an accomplished photographer, writer, curator and educator who managed to take a few hours out of her very busy schedule to teach a small group of photographers the art of hand-colouring monochrome prints.

There are many mediums that can be used to handcolour prints including pencil, acrylics, watercolours, oil paints, pastels and crayons.  Over the course of five hours, Nici demonstated her techniques and tips on using the various art mediums and encouraged us to experiment.  I have included examples of Nici’s work, Kate Breakey’s work (another wonderful hand-colourist) and my attempts during the workshop.

Nici Cumpston Leopard Tree 2011 archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Nici Cumpston
Leopard Tree 2011
archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Nici Cumpston Shards 2012 archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint.

Nici Cumpston
Shards 2012
archival inkjet print hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint

Kate Breakey Butterfly from the series "Small Deaths" 1995-2006 silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

Kate Breakey
Butterfly from the series “Small Deaths” 1995-2006
silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

Kate Breakey Still Life 1995-2004 silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil an pencil

Kate Breakey
Still Life 1995-2004
silver gelatin photograph coloured with oil and pencil

I have included a couple of my images prior to my attempts at hand-colouring.  These are 8 x 10 in. hand-printed silver gelatin prints on Fomaspeed Variant 312 Multigrade Matt paper.

Almond Blossoms 2014 silver gelatin print

Almond Blossoms 2014
silver gelatin print

Under the Bridge 2014 silver gelatin print

Under the Bridge 2014
silver gelatin print

silver gelatin prints handcoloured with oil crayon and coloured pencil

silver gelatin prints handcoloured with oil crayon and coloured pencil

Apologies for the clarity of the above image as it was taken with a mobile phone.  I was quite pleased with my first attempts and I found that pencil was the most receptive medium to work with.  I plan to continue experimenting and practicing the various techniques in the hope to become proficent enough to possibly exhibit some images in the future.

The materials that were used during the workshop were:

  • Stabilo ‘woody’ pencils
  • Prismacolour Premier pencils
  • Lukas Studio oil paints
  • Golden High Flow Acrylics
  • Golden High Flow Refillable Acrylic Markers
  • sea sponges, cotton wool, ear buds and taklon brushes
  • Krylon Preserve It! spray for inkjet prints (inkjet prints must be sprayed prior to hand-colouring to avoid smudging)

all of these can be obtained from most reputable art supply stores and Ebay.  Thanks go to Aurelia and Alex for hosting another great workshop (and awesome lunch) at the Analogue Lab.  Hopefully it won’t be this long again before another post.  Cheers!

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Dry Plate and Albumen printing

It has been a while since I posted anything on my blog as life has been pretty hectic lately.  I’ve finally finished my degree and have been accepted into a Masters programme so next year it’s going to get a little ‘crazy’.  In the last couple of months I’ve taken a couple of alternative photographic processes workshops at The Analogue Laboratory.  Firstly, there was the Dry Plate workshop where we learned how to make our own emulsion on glass that once dry, can be placed into the camera.  Initially we used a box brownie and then upgraded to a Speed Graphic using different sizes of glass.  Not all the plates were successful…it is definately a trial and error process.

Image

‘Waratah’ Bromochloride emulsion (ISO6) on dry glass plate

The above plate was one of the better outcomes from the workshop.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a great scanner so the photo is not that clear but you get the idea.  Making the emulsion is quite time consuming but if you make a large enough batch, you can coat quite a few plates (depending on the size) and store them until use.

Image

The plate was then printed using the Albumen process.  As many of you that dabble in alternative processes already know, albumen is the white part of an egg.  Good quality printmaking paper is coated in the albumen solution and left to dry.  The paper is then soaked in 70% denatured alcohol to harden the albumen to the paper.  Once dry, it is coated in a 12-15% silver nitrate solution and again, left to dry.  Then it’s just a matter of choosing your negative (glass plate, large format negative or digital negative) to use.  The negative is placed on top of the paper, put into a contact frame and then placed into the sun for the exposure.  Albumen printing is not a quick process as the albumen solution needs to made at least a week prior to use.  Results vary depending on the type of negative used and the exposure time.  That’s the fun with alternative processes…it may be time consuming but the results are worth it.

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Photopolymer Printing

Recently I was fortunate enough to be involved in a Photopolymer printing workshop.  Printmaking using these plates offers a new range of imaging possibilities for photographers as there are a range of images that can be produced from a single type of plate.  It is also extremely safe…no toxic chemicals here!

Only a UV light source (sunlight is capable but it takes longer), and ordinary tap water is required to process a plate prior to printing.  The plates can also be handled in ordinary room lighting conditions, a darkroom is not required.  Apart from an inkjet printer, a UV light source and a few traditional printmaking materials, this technique can be used by anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

One of best advantages of photopolymer printmaking is the range of images that can be produced.  Drawings on film, photographs, photocopies, collage, digital images and even found objects can be used to create interesting images.  The plates also hold text quite well.  The workshop was held over two days with the making of the plates being the most time intensive part of the process.

I found the workshop very enjoyable and informative and would like to thank  Di Longley for the time and effort she put in as well as the use of her personal studio.  The images below were achieved from this workshop.

Seascape – Kangaroo Island

Sunset – Semaphore Beach

Botanical Gardens – Adelaide

Instructions for this technique can be found here.  The portfolio of Di Longley can be found here.

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Filed under black and white, photography, printmaking, workshops