Finishing Bromide Enlargements

Examine the enlargement mounted on the strainer, looking at it from the

side, to learn if there is any starch on the surface of the paper

before commencing work on it. If there is any, carefully wash it off

with a sponge and some clean water, and then set the enlargement aside

until it has thoroughly dried. Then lay it down on the table with a

piece of manilla paper under the strainer about 12 inches longer on

each edg
than the latter; take a handful of cotton, first rubbing it

thoroughly in the crayon sauce, then on the manilla paper, and finally

going over the surface of the enlargement with it in a circular motion.

Then sprinkle pumice stone over the portrait, and using the ends of the

fingers flat, rub it over the entire surface of the paper. This

treatment cuts through the gelatin surface and prepares it for the

stipple effect. Now stand the strainer on its edge and jar the pumice

stone off, after which lay it down on the table, and with a piece of

clean cotton lightly brush off the surface; then, having rubbed the

finger ends in the crayon sauce, go over the entire surface of the

enlargement, holding them flat, and you will produce a fine stipple


If the shadows need to be darker, use a little more crayon on the

fingers; also put the cast shadow in the background, applying the

crayon with the fingers.

Before proceeding further it will be well to note that the crayon is

entirely on the gelatin surface, and that the photographic image is on

this surface also, and not on the paper itself; therefore, under the

image and the gelatin you have the pure white paper. I call attention

to this in order that you may work with a better comprehension of the

materials you are using.

You now have four surfaces. First, the muslin cloth of the strainer;

second, the starch; third, the white paper; fourth, the gelatin.

Knowing that the gelatin has a hard surface, you are prepared to learn

that the crayon will come off from the bromide much more easily than

from the other kinds of paper. These had but three surfaces, while the

bromide has a fourth--a very hard one--between the crayon and the

paper, and on account of its hardness it will need different treatment

in its manipulation. Therefore you use the fingers in applying the

crayon sauce, and, when it is necessary to make a place light, you do

so with the cotton, chamois or eraser. Should you find it necessary to

make a place white where it is dark, you can remove the photograph

entirely, as this is on the gelatin, scraping it off down to the white

paper with a sharp knife.

Resuming the process of finishing, place the enlargement on the easel

and put in the cloud effect with the large eraser, then lay it on the

table again, and clean it off about four inches from the edge all

around with pumice stone and a fresh piece of cotton where you have

rubbed with the eraser, and blend the background into this four inch

space. Return the enlargement to the easel again, and with the broad

eraser clean up the lights throughout, and with the cotton and pumice

stone blend them into the shadows; then with the peerless stump, crayon

sauce and fingers strengthen the larger shadows, using the nigrivorine

eraser when necessary to clean up the lights, and the tortillon stump

for the work in the smaller shadows, if it is required to make them

darker. Now with the No. 0 crayon finish the face by completing the

stipple effect in the patches of light and shade. You will have a good

guide in the background for finishing and giving the stipple effect, as

there you will have this stipple effect quite perfect, especially in

the light places. This finishing with the No. 0 crayon is the nicest

part of the work, and when doing it you must keep in mind that you are

putting in the stipple effect, and that alone; that is, the portrait at

this stage is supposed to be very nearly right in light and shade and

expression, and it should not be necessary to strengthen it in the

shadows by using the No. 0 crayon. You are to cut up or divide the

portrait into small black and white spots, but do not take out white

spots with the No. 0 crayon that are larger than the white spots

desired in the stipple effect; these light places must be cut into

smaller light spots. If you should take out these white spots (and this

is an error you must be very careful to avoid), you would produce an

effect of large dark and white spots that would be entirely wrong, the

real process being to divide large white and dark spots into smaller

ones of the same color.

This stipple effect should be worked all over the face with the

exception of the highest lights, and even these will very often need to

be worked over except at the single points of the very highest lights.

In this work you now have an opportunity to demonstrate the theory of

contrast. Sometimes the enlargement is too dark in the shadows, and

although you require to have them lighter you have already removed all

the crayon from the surface, and it still remains too dark. The crayon

pencil is many shades darker and blacker than the shadows, yet you can

by its use make them lighter by putting in the stipple effect, as the

dark touches of the pencil in their contrast with the shadow color

under them cause them to appear lighter. This is a very essential

principle to remember in crayon portrait work: that the effect of dark

against light is to make the light appear lighter, and the dark darker.

After the face and hair are completed as above, then finish the

clothes with the peerless stump, eraser and fingers. If there are any

very dark strong shadows--for instance, under the collar or around the

neck--put them in with the velours crayon and subdue them with the

fingers. When at work on the clothes at the bottom of the portrait do

not finish straight across, but in a circular way. Next taking up the

background you will discover that there are some large patches of light

and shade that must be changed and made the required color to

correspond with the adjoining surface; lean back as far as possible in

your chair, and join these places together with the pencil and eraser;

then in the same position finish the face by removing any light or dark

places, strengthening the eyes, nose, mouth, and any point of the

likeness requiring a final touch. Remove with the point of your knife

any small black spots such as sometimes show in the photograph, and

then with a fresh piece of cotton and pumice stone clean off the edges

of the crayon all around.

Before regarding the picture as quite complete, examine it by holding

it at right angles to the light, to see if there are not some marks of

the crayon pencil that show too prominently. These can be subdued with

the ends of the fingers. Sometimes in finishing with the No. 0 crayon

the paper will seem to be gritty so that you can hardly work on it.

The difficulty is that some of the pumice stone has adhered to the

surface of the paper. This can be disposed of by rubbing it with the

fingers. It should be remembered that the pumice stone must be entirely

removed from the whole surface of the paper, as otherwise it will

settle in the crayon, and give a dirty gray effect. When, as sometimes

happens in commencing the portrait, dark or white spots or streaks show

themselves, do not pay any attention to them until you have entirely

finished the crayon, then if they are dark, make them the proper shade

with the eraser, and if light, with the crayon.