What are the basic Spot-tone bottles to buy?

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I've been using spotting pens with mixed results and would like to try the old way with Spot-tone and a brush. I was told to get a three-bottle set for cold-tone, neutral and warm-tone prints. But one person told me to get numbers 1, 2 and 3, and another said numbers 4, 5 and 6. Which is it? Also, any tips on using it would be appreciated.

-- Brenda Frezeman (bbrend@aol.com), February 08, 2002

Answers

Brenda, Get the kit that suites your paper... neutral/cool tone/warm. Most of the Spotone that you will use though is the neutral. While your at the photo store/art store, get a small pallet. The ceramic kind with about 6 dimples. I would put several drops of straight in one, 1:2 dilution in another, 1:4 in another and so on. Let them dry. When you are ready to spot, take your brush and dampen it with you mouth or have a paper towel that is damp ready and just take out of the dimple what you need. It has worked great for me for years!

-- Scott Walton (walton@ll.mit.edu), February 08, 2002.

Like Scott says, then apply multiple "flyspecks" to build up density. Don't try to paint a spot, as you'll just get an obvious dark border. If the print has grain, make your spotting look like the grain. If not, just work small and get the average density right. A good spotting job is invisible, often even to the person who did it!

-- Conrad Hoffman (choffman@rpa.net), February 08, 2002.

1 - Blue, 2 - Selenium, 3 - Deep Black, 4 - True (Cool) Gray/Black, 5 - Warm Gray/Black, 6 - Average Gray/Black, O - Olive, B - Brown, S - Sepia, L - Lightener, C Dye Correction

There is a 3-pack that consists of 4, 5, & 6 that would be good for most cold tone or slightly warm papers. You might want to add #2 if you tone with selenium. However, be careful if ordering on-line because there may be other 3 packs, and not all the 3 packs are identified correctly on vendor web sites (i.e., Calumet).

I received some fairly good instructions with the 3-pack I purchased. Others have written about their own techniques that are probably in the archives of this forum. Retouch Methods Co is the distributor of Spotone, but unfortunately they do not have a web site that I know of. Their phone is (973) 377-1184.

-- Michael Feldman (mfeldman@qwest.net), February 08, 2002.


I offer some information on spotting prints in my article Tips on Printing.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), February 11, 2002.

Brenda, Switch to a cold light head and your spotting will be reduced by 95%. I've only spotted 2 prints in the last 7 years.

-- John Elder (celder2162@aol.com), February 11, 2002.


I second what John says about Cold Light Printing!!!!!!

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), February 12, 2002.

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