Cyanotype Printing

This is my guide for printing your cyanotypes using my Cyanotype Printing Paper Kit which you can purchase in my shop. I really hope you enjoy being creative with nature and do please share with me your creations over on instagram @karenlouisegeorge.

YOU WILL NEED

  • Clean glass and a solid backboard – a spare fridge self is ideal as the glass is toughened with smooth edges. Picture frame glass will be good but be careful of the sharp edges!
  • Your pre-coated papers (in their bag)
  • A tray/bowl big enough to wash your print in
  • Clean running cold water
  • Clips to hold the glass and board during exposure
  • Somewhere to hang your print to dry (pegged to a clothes line/horse will be fine!)

STEP ONE

SET UP

Pick a suitable space to assemble your prints indoors or in the shade. Lay out your glass, board & clips ready.

STEP TWO

GATHER YOUR PROPS

Leaves, seaweed and flowers work well but you can use anything that can be held flat under your clipped glass frame.

Choose exactly what foliage/items you will be putting on the paper so you are ready to go as soon as you remove it from the bag.

STEP THREE

ARRANGE THE ITEMS ON YOUR PAPER

Remove one sheet of paper from the bag (only remove the sheet/s you are using) and place it on the board, place your items on the paper followed by the glass, using your clips to hold it all together – if you are doing it outside in the shade then make sure you don’t work too slowly to avoid exposure.

STEP FOUR

START EXPOSURE

Place your frame in the sunshine/in a bright spot.

In full British summer sun in the middle of the day, 10-20 minutes should be enough. If it is overcast then you will need to expose for longer. Your picture will be done when the yellow areas have turned a grey/silver colour.

As the seasons change and it gets later in the day the sun becomes less strong so longer times will be needed.

STEP FIVE

WASH YOUR PRINT

Take your frame to the water tray for washing (a sink or a hose is great). Open the frame and remove all foliage/items.

Swiftly place your print in the water and rock the tray so the water moves over the print, removing any excess chemicals from the paper.

Tip the water away and fill with fresh as the water starts to turn yellow; you can also keep the tap running in the corner of the tray to continuously add fresh water as you wash.

You may need to wash your print for around 10 minutes, or until ALL yellow pigment has been removed from the paper. Once most of the yellow has been removed you can leave your print in fresh water for 10 minutes to allow the rest of the yellow to lift, it will then wash away once you return for a final wash.

STEP SIX

DRY YOUR PRINT

Hang your print and, once dry, place under a book to flatten. And then you’re done!

Share your creations with me on instagram @karenlouisegeorge