Monday, January 10, 2011

on chemical painting and texturing prints

During my second and third sessions in the darkroom, I wanted to experiment with chemical painting techniques and with using common household items as a way to add texture to the image. While I was somewhat familiar with the technique of adding textures to images, selective development or chemical painting represented new territory for me. I learned about chemical painting in Tom Grimm's most excellent text, The Basic Darkroom Book. With this technique, developer is added to a print selectively, by hand (or by brush, sponge, sprayer, etc.), as opposed to placing the exposed print into a tray of developer. With the first image featured here, I used a large paint brush, brushing (as well as splattering) developer across the center of the image. I then lifted the image by its corners, allowing it to drip one way and then the other. Once I was more or less satisfied with the results I moved the print into the stop bath, fixer and then wash.

In terms of experimenting with texture, I chose bubble wrap and a used dryer sheet. This particular image was created with bubble wrap and selective development. I exposed a 5x7 sheet of fortespeed RC grade 3 paper under the enlarger for three seconds and then I placed bubble wrap over the image and exposed it for another 3 seconds.

A sampling of other images appears below:

dryer sheet texture and selective development--fortespeed 3 RC paper developed with dektol

dryer sheet texture--expired kodabromide fiber paper developed regularly (i.e., not selectively) with dektol

selective development--expired kodabromide fiber paper developed with dektol

bubble wrap texture--fortespeed 3 paper developed with dektol


Jacki said...

Awesome! I'm going to have to try out that dryer sheet texture next time I do some printing. /inspired :)

remediate this said...

Thanks, Jacki! It's a great texture but my tip is to make sure to use a used dryer sheet. I've tried both but found the new one was too stiff and dense.

Chelsea Johnn said...

Your work is amazing! I really love your painting and texturing! I really wish that I could do things like this. I will keep you used dryer sheet tips in mind when I try this out. Thanks again!