Muted Landscapes

Buffalo Valley, Wyoming. Tri-color gum print, 6x9 inches.

Buffalo Valley, Wyoming.

Back when I started to get excited about tri-color gum printing I thought I’d begin with some bolder colors – seemed obvious and somehow easier. Don’t know if it is either of those, but it made sense to me!



Badwater Moon Rising, Badwater Basin, Death Valley, California.

As I’ve looked at other artists’ tri-color prints, and especially as I’ve researched watercolor pigments and possibilities, I’ve become interested in trying subtle colors. Aside from finer nuance, I’ve realized that this makes me think more about the content of the image, too, rather than just the novelty of a color photographic print from watercolor paint; it is becoming more about the image and less about the process.

You know, if your gum print would look better rendered in Bazooka…  -my friend John Polhemus

So instead of the Indigo I had been using for the cyan layer I’ve found I kinda love Cobalt Blue. Cadmium Yellow has changed, for the moment, to New Gamboge. I’m still thinking about the magenta layer – I’ve used Permanent Carmine quite a bit, but I’m experimenting now with Quinacridone Rose.

The Maras Salt Ponds, Peru. Tri-color gum print, 6x9 inches.

Salt Evaporation Ponds, Maras, Peru.

I still don’t have a great grasp of how these pigments interact, but I do love exploring how “CMY (and sometimes K) encompasses a vast array of possibilities. There is no “right” pigment for C, for example. Indigo and Cobalt do different things on their own and in combination with the others.

2 Responses to Muted Landscapes

  1. john p says:

    I had not seen the first image before, it is fantastic!

  2. Dad says:

    Call me old fashion, but the original colors seem best to me. Just my 2 bits worth. However the BVW looks interesting.

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