My Cyanotype printing process confirmed

Insomnia, Cyanotype, copyright 2012 Douglas Stockdale –

Yesterday as I stated in my post, I printed a cyanotype, above, that confirms that I have my solar cyanotype printing process in a predictable amount of control. I liken this to my earlier zone system work when I was trying to have a film exposure-development combination that allowed me the ability to pre visualize what I was thinking about photographing.

All in all, it has taken me about four months to tweak this cyanotype printing process using a digital inter-neg to make my artwork. Nevertheless, there were a few bumps in the road and this whole process stalled with the immense amount of rain we have had here in Southern California; no bright sun, no solar printing. Perhaps in a good way, this slowed down the learning curve has allowed me time to think about what occurred at each step of the way and an opportunity to find an elegant solution. Okay, that’s my process engineering brain working.

And of course, this is my process for what I use; Cyanotype Store pre-coated cyanotype watercolor paper, a Canon printer to print my digital negatives (not an Epson as most cyanotype ‘guru’s’ recommend) on Arista II OHP (Overhead Projection film), a modified Susan Anderson Cyanotype adjustment curve layered on the inverted image in Photoshop, knowing that I need a value of 14 1/2+ gray card reading with my 1-degree spot meter for a 20 minute exposure (Dmax) (yes, that’s for visible light, not UV light), and my print development filtered tap-water that has been acidified to about a pH of 3.0 with vinegar. For those considering cyanotype printing, the last point of using a lower pH wash-out water is a good recommendation for everyone. Otherwise, my cyanotype printing process works for my equipment and supplies and doing the necessary testing helps create a little more predictable process, which for me, makes this printing more enjoyable.

Next phase is to use this cyanotype printing process in conjunction with secondary layering with acrylic and watercolor paint in conjunction with Prismacolor pencils on my various series is becoming more exciting. Time to put cyanotype printing into my artistic practice. I am reexamining earlier work, such as my recent The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, above, and I am just starting to investigate how this printing process might complement my Roadside Remembrance series. I am already using cyanotype printing with my recent beach images. Cool! I guess I am becoming a Blu Man Artist.

Time to frame up this conformational print for my permanent collection, it is not going anywhere, but now it is easy enough to print the remaining four for this series.

Above: Insomnia, solar Cyanotype, series of five, 8 x 10″ image on a 11 x 14 sheet of 100 lb watercolor.

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day



 The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) is Sold Out

Book workshop:

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop, (Sold Out) a virtual event on Zoom; February 25, 26 & March 4 & 5th 2023; from 10am – 1 pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). 


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