Autumn brings on new colours, reds, ambers and gold. The reds have certainly been reflected in my recent pictures during early October. This has also been a visually blue period for me, Prussian Blue, to be precise. I have been experimenting with cyanotype printing onto paper with other media. Cyanotypes are kind of looked down upon in some quarters, which is really unfair in my opinion. Cycnaotypes use chemicals that are simple, relatively cheap and safe. The rendition is quite fine, and while the colour is always Prussian BLue, it can be stained to different shades of many colours. I guess I am a fan.

What have I been doing? I started by creating a spirograph pattern with an ink pencil. Then spraying it with water and dragging a dry brush over it. I really liked the result. It formed the 196th image in the sequence.

Experiment No. 1

I liked that simple image, but it was not really what I wanted to create, what I wanted to do was interweave layers of different images created in different ways. That leads to experiment number 2. This image was a drawing of the lighthouse at Hook Head Lighthouse in Co. Wexford, Ireland. The drawing was in pencil. To this page, I added watercolour and ink swatches, including painting a band of the lighthouse in a pinkish hue! Possibly unfairly. Once dried all of this was treated to a good layer of the light-sensitive cyanotype solution and left to dry again.

Once dried the paper was mounted under glass with the two dried alliums and exposed to about 20 minutes of mail late-autumn sunlight. Then taken in and washed for about 15 minutes and hung to dry. The result is the image below:

Experiment No. 2

The image has a charm to my eye at least, and even though it is just an experimental piece it is nice. If you look carefully at the upper left quadrant you will see the drawing of the lighthouse. There is a smaller drawing to the upper right, and those pencils have oil in them, which did not take the cyanotype solution.

The bottom left is swatches in ink and the bottom right in watercolours. Where the image in blue you can make them out, as darker shades, which is an interesting effect, but where the image is light, the colours come through clearly. So now, on these foundations, I continue my experimentation! Look out for more.

Pleased with Experiment No. 3 I wondered what would happen if it was done the other way around? Experiment No. 3 is a pair of small cyanotypes which were then watercoloured. This I really liked and the final images are shown below. They were produced on two different paper types, which is a learning point, as they have different shades.

Experiment No. 3 – The planets suite.