Cyanotype for beginners

The sun is out and it’s time for some cyanotype prints. This short tutorial shows how to use our cyanotype kits and make Photograms in the sun. Photograms are a type of cyanotype print when objects and shapes are placed directly onto the coated paper which is then exposed to the sun.

cyanotype kit

What you need to create cyanotype prints

To create a photogram sun print you need to coat a heavyweight paper that will withstand washing with the cyanotype solution. You do this by mixing equal amounts of the A and B solutions from the cyanotype kit and brush it evenly on the paper. You can use a foam brush or a normal brush.

The coated paper has to dry completely before use. It is best to coat the paper the day before exposing and let it dry overnight somewhere dark.

Photograms

When you are ready to make your print you can gather objects, anything will do, it’s up to your imagination.

We used paper cut outs, dots and lollypop sticks to create the Pacman cyanotype on the pictures. As you can see children can have fun with this process as long as they are supervised. 

It’s a good idea to weigh the objects down with some perspex or glass so that they get a close contact with the paper, we used some from an old picture frame. Some objects can just be placed on the paper, if they are heavy enough they won’t blow away. When you composed and prepared your print and you are ready to expose it, put it outside in the sun and watch it change in colour.

Pacman cyanotype
Pacman cyanotype 2

How do you know when a cyanotype is done

As the cyanotype exposed in the sun it will turn from yellow to a blueish and finally a grey colour. This is when the print is done. This can take from a minute on a summer day  to 5-10 on cloudy days to even half an hour in the winter, it all  depends on the weather, season and the strength of the sun. 

Now you can wash the print in flowing water in a large tray or tub. The print will turn a beautiful blue colour that will deepen even more during the drying process.

Once your prints are fully dry they will keep for many years. 

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