Mr. Haldane Macfall said a safe method to commence pigmenting, generally, was to cover the print with a pale blue (cobalt and white mixed) as a means of inking up the picture to see where the colours should be laid on, and the best results were found to be procured by the use of the pure colours of the broken-colour impressionists, such as the red, yellow and blue of the three-colour reproduction processes. As the colours of the process printers were, however, somewhat harsh, they took cobalt, cadmium yellow and vermilion as primaries and supported them with certain enriching colours which saved over-teasing the gelatine of the bleached print. " The palette of seven " consisted of The Palette of
Cobalt with French Ultramarine in support.
Emerald Green Oxide of Chromium (transparent).
Raw Umber with Red Chalk (or Light Red) in support.
Vermilion with Rose Madder in support.
Cadmium Yellow with Orange Cadmium in support.
The Sinclair pigments were used and some of them were specially made.
They found the cadmium yellow and orange very useful working colours, which should not be allowed to foul, as they then go too low in tone. The same remarks were applicable to cobalt and vermilion. Raw umber, although useful, was certainly dangerous if used on the print by itself, because it gave a sort of photographic tintedness, and wherever possible red chalk should be used in its place. However, when mixed on the palette with the chalk, it gave a rich warm brown.
Emerald green was sometimes very necessary and effective. Black must be used sparingly and only as a last touch to a boot or other dark object. As for the white, this should not be used by itself alone, but was very useful for making lighter tints, by mixture on the palette, such as a rose pink, when added to vermilion, pale blue with cobalt, etc.
For the purpose of mixing the colours they used an old lithographic stone upon which each colour was evenly spread. It will be found that the patches of ink on the palette are liable to dry very quickly in a warm room, and require carefully watching and frequently working up with a little medium. Care should be taken to use a separate brush for each colour, marking the handle near the brush end with patches of the colours in use.
Preparing the Palette.
When starting pigmenting some detail, such as a head, it might be tackled first and completed, or perhaps preferably the print might be gone over as a whole in a pale hue of one of the primaries and the other colours afterwards worked in as before described. They understood that the process-worker always printed in a yellow key first, and likewise, in this bromoil colour printing, they had found that the yellow over all gave good results with some subjects, the other two colours being worked into it subsequently. It was remarkable and should be noticed particularly that the red, blue and yellow by combination produced almost every colour desired. With seven colours and their supports the range was limitless. They suggested that it was well to employ the most vivid colours possible for any subject, since the trouble was to retain the vividness, which if not carefully handled resolved itself, by mixtures, into low tones, and the tinty photograph was upon them.
The method of applying the colours was as in ordinary bromoil, the brush was held at the extreme end of the stick and dabbed and dragged upon the print with a stencilling action. It was well to avoid hopping as much as possible, as this action was liable to damage the surface of the gelatine. If the print is in good working order the hopper will only be required to obtain the highest lights and sharpest detail. Never allow the brushes to get clogged up. Frequently wiping them on a moistened petrol rag will keep them clean.
Applying the Colours.
Mr. Haldane Macfall placed upon one side all purist hair-splitting as to whether colour-printing is or is not permissible in photography. He took it for granted that oil or bromoil prints in monochrome were photographic prints. If the gelatine image might be bleached and the bleached image dabbed with one colour, it stood to reason that the application of many colours laid upon the gelatine image was as correctly photography as the laying on of one colour. That was what Cocks and he had done, and he pointed to a dozen or more framed colour-prints (some of which were on exhibition at the Salon) disposed around the room as examples. They included scenes under Moorish skies, silvery-green landscapes, portraits, and even Continental festivals with their array of colour. They were, he claimed, just as much photographic prints as a colour-etching was an etching, and in brilliancy, vividness, subtlety, delicacy, the results which the process might yield were as good as water-colours.
Mr. Haldane Macfall on the results.
Reginald C. Chapman.
Awarded the Second Prize in the Sinclair Oil and Bromoil Competition.