Colour Gum bichromate tips wanted : LUSENET : B&W Photo: Alternative Process : One Thread

Hello all,

I gathered some basic information about colour gum bichromate prints. I know it will be very difficult to get it right, but the resulting prints are oh so nice. So I am curious about any tips and tricks people can give about this technique, in order reduce the chance of errors somewhat. Also, does anyone make colour separations in Photoshop and then prints them on big transparencies? This seems like a nice and quick method to me.


Tom Alaerts

-- Tom Alaerts (, May 10, 1999


Gum printing is actually easier than you might think. Make sure all of your bi- or di-chromate is fresh as well as your gum arabic. The less fresh these items are; the less responsive the reaction will be and you will end up exposing your prints to the sun for about 2 days instead of 2 minutes. I usually mix dry pigment with the gum arabic. I suppose a liquid pigment would work as well. As long as your chemicals are good, so your prints will be,too.

-- ctbirdsong (, May 25, 1999.

You will find comprehensive information in "The Keepers of Light" by William Crawford.

-- Thomas Wollstein (, June 29, 1999.

hello I will just tell you to take a look to the web page of stephen livick and if you want to make color you got to take your time and choose the right pigment, a good gum and a good paper. for the photoshop I'm working on it at the moment and can tell you more when have a good result(perfect)

nze christian (france)

-- nze christian (, October 24, 1999.

A book published in the UK: "Spirits of Salts" by Randall Webb and Martin Reed (pub. Argentum),ISBN 1-902538-05-6 gives simple and reliable information on the techniques involved in old processes, including gum bichromate.

-- Norman Colbourne (, June 03, 2000.

another good reference is THE GUM BICHROMATE BOOK by david scopick


-- noel chenier (, October 19, 2000.

Hello, I have been experimenting with the gum process for a few years. I am currently assistant teaching a course in alternative processes. I noticed that someone had suggested Steven Livicks gum printing book. I have this book and have found it somewhat helpful, however from my correspondance with Mr. Livick regarding output for larger negatives I found him less than helpful. In fact he says that producing negs from an inkjet printer are "mickey mouse". He recommends going to an image setter for large neg output. For those of us that cannot afford the extremly high cost of an image setter inkjet negs can work just as well. I have an epson printer and have used the epson backlight film to produce negatives that were 13x17in. I seperate the layers in photoshop to seperate R,G & B layers, and then print them with C,M,Y watercolor pigment. I found some great watercolors from bostick and sullivan for this process. Currently I am trying out another gum-seperation process created by Peter Charels Frederick, this process uses acrylic pigment and whole egg in place of the gum. I hope that I have helped.....please fell free to e-mail me with any questions. Cid Tritsch

-- cid tritsch (, March 07, 2001.

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