So far it will be seen that the preparation was exactly the same as for an ordinary Bromoil print.
The next procedure was a prolonged soaking in cold water, and Mr. Stuart was strongly in favour of this course rather than soaking the print in warm water for a shorter time. He had no objection, but, indeed, preferred that the print might be left in a bath of water twenty-four hours before use. By such means every pore of the paper was softened and absorbed water to its greatest extent. Instead of placing the print upon a thick pad of wet blotting paper he preferred to stretch a sheet of thin wet linen, such as an old handkerchief, on the flat glass surface of his Bromoil desk and then lay the print upon it. By this proceeding it is obvious that there is not an excess of water beneath the print, and consequently, when inking up, it is quite possible to work to the very edge of the trimmed margin as suggested previously.
Preparation for Pigmenting.
As for the colours, Mr. Stuart uses a large palette on which he places any of the tints required, and uses Payne's grey, raw sienna, Italian green, foliage green and, indeed, any of the others on the list to give him the effects required. He, however, starts inking up by using some black pigment, such as the Encre Machine, applying this to the deepest shadows, so that they take up some of the colour, and then rapidly works over the whole of the print with the brush, so that the shadows take up just a sensation of this black and hard ink. Then on the top of this substratum he proceeds to use such colours as would be desired to give the finished result. Of course, it may seem at first sight that this starting with black must tend to give a degraded result, but, curiously, on the finished print there does not seem to be the slightest sensation of black, and it would generally be thought that the colours were pure colours. Great care, however, must be taken to have every tone value in proper relation, and Mr. Stuart insists on this if the final
Applying the Pigments.
result is in any way to give satisfaction. He contends that it is of comparatively little moment what colour-scheme you adopt, provided the tone values are absolutely correct. The print having been inked up as stated, is placed face upwards, while still wet, on a sheet of flat zinc about 1/16th inch thick. This piece of zinc is supported on a large sheet of cardboard. On the top of the wet print is laid without any preparation a dry sheet of thick ivory drawing board or Van Gelder hand-made paper. On the top of this paper is then laid a piece of printer's blanket, and then over all another large sheet of thin cardboard or thick mounting paper, similar in size to the one at the bottom. It will thus be seen that the two sheets of cardboard, being somewhat larger than the printer's blanket, zinc and print, are admirably adapted for starting the whole bundle through the wheels of an ordinary mangling or wringing machine with wooden rollers. The clamp on the top of the mangle is screwed down as tightly as possible, and everything is mangled through together. Mr. Stuart not only passes them through in one direction, but when it is evident that the sheet of zinc has passed the rollers, the handle of the mangle is reversed, and everything is returned to the original position. It will now be found that the result of this pressure has been to take almost every scrap of ink from the surface of the Bromoil print, transferring it to the surface of the transfer paper with an enhanced softness and beauty.
It will be seen from the foregoing remarks that there is nothing difficult in this process, and the transfer on to the new sheet of paper only takes a few minutes after making the final Bromoil print.
Recapitulation. In conclusion, we would briefly recapitulate the essentials.
(1) The negative must be thin, clean and full of detail, with broad effects, but no heavy shadows.
(2) The Bromide paper should be used which is substantial in substance, such as Illingworth Bromoil or Wellington Thick Smooth.
(3) Exposure must be full.
(4) A weak developer one-fifth the usual strength should be applied, and may take twenty minutes to complete.
(5) Rinse print for a few seconds in clean water.
(6) Immerse in a hypo bath free from acid (hypo 2 oz., water 1 pint).
(7) Wash and then dry to harden the gelatine.
(8) Trim print to required size.
(9) Bleach thoroughly in any well-known bleaching solution.
(10) Rinse in water 70°F.
(11) Immerse for three minutes in a 10 per cent, formalin bath.
(12) Wash for five minutes in clean water.
(13) Fix in 5 per cent, hypo bath.
(16) Give a prolonged soaking in cold water and the print is now ready for inking and finishing.
R. Lincoln Cocks.
Reproduction of oil print from negative taken with the Sinclair " Una " Camera.