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Mistakes are bound to happen, especially when you’re new to cyanotype printing. But that’s okay! Experimenting with cyanotypes can be a fun and creative process, so don’t let any little mishaps discourage you from continuing on your cyanotype journey. Here are some of the most common cyanotype printing mistakes and tips on how to avoid them: 

Over-Exposure

 

This is when the paper is exposed for too long in the sun, resulting in an image that appears too dark. To prevent this mistake, it’s important to keep track of timing and make sure to check your exposure regularly and taking test prints in different light settings so you get used to how long to leave prints out.

Under-Exposure

The opposite of over-exposure, this is when the cyanotype is exposed for too short a time resulting in an image that appears too light or when washed, the chemical washes away completely. To prevent this mistake, it’s important to leave the point exposing until the chemical has turned a grey/silver or brown colour, this way you know the chemical has reacted with the UV light enough and will remain printed on the paper when washed.

Washing Errors

This is when a cyanotype isn’t washed properly either due to incorrect water temperature or incorrect amount of time spent washing. To avoid this mistake, make sure to use cold water and follow the instructions for the wash length carefully – insuring that ALL yellow pigment is removed from the paper before drying.

These are just some of the mistakes you may encounter during cyanotype printing, but don’t worry! With practice and patience you’ll be able to create beautiful cyanotypes in no time. Just remember to keep experimenting and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. With cyanotype printing, every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow! Happy cyanotyping!

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