For some time I have been aware that it is possible to use gum arabic transfer as a colour separation print. So with this image as a starting point I had a play.
First take your colour original and using photoshop produce a set of colour separations, yellow, magenta, cyan and black. My long suffering computer whizz of a friend Jane did this for me, for which I really thank her. These 4 copies must be in a contrasting black and white and printed using a toner copier...not ink jet. Have them photocopied. Cut your images so that you have a registration corner where they will all match, mine is bottom left which will turn into bottom right when I print.
Set up your colours, I am using oil based etching ink from Intaglio Printmakers in Magenta, Process Yellow, Cyan Blue and Black. Add a small amount of linseed oil to the ink to slacken it off.
Lay your yellow copy on a piece of baking parchment and cover the back then the front liberally with gum arabic. I get mine from Hawthorn Inks.
Place copy image side up on a magazine as it will stick to newspaper and you can reuse the parchment to gum another copy. Roll the ink in thin layers all over the copy.
Take inked copy to the sink, I always place it on a piece of perspex at this point and spray with a plant spray bottle until most of the ink has shed off the white areas. The water will dissolve the gum arabic taking the ink with it and the greasey toner marks will hang on to the ink.
I ink all my copies before I print, leaving them to drain on blotting paper
You are now ready to print. Place the yellow copy down first, I use Snowdon Cartridge paper, 300gms, anything thinner makes the receiving surface buckle with the wetness.
Place a sheet of blotting paper on top and rub with a wooden spoon. Repeat this process with the red, blue and lastly the black copies matching your registration corners.
The ink releases onto the paper. I quite like the inaccuracy of the registration.
If I had wanted the look of the original image I would have just printed it out. I intend to try a print using a different set of reds, yellows and blues. Have some fun with it, experimenting is very rewarding.
This post would not have been possible without the technical support of my friend Jane and the photographic skills of my son Toby. Thankyou to you both.