The method in which I created my “doll” series, Ars Automata, in 2004.
I probably shouldn’t be showing this, as it reveals a bizarre number of sloppy practices. This was the very first image in this series, and I believe that I started this as a test. Still, I allowed both a hot light and its cord into the original frame. Terrible.
Anyhow, the process went like this:
1. Print photograph on matte fibre base paper in darkroom, including multiple exposure printing for extra arms. The image shown is a test, which explains a few things.
2. Retouch print with graphite, cleaning up the extra arms and adding details. Print through the back of this retouched image onto another sheet of matte fibre base paper to create a new direct paper negative.
3. Take this negative and retouch it using graphite. Add borders, highlights, etc. Print through this retouched paper negative to provide a finished print.
4. Hand-color this print using Marshall’s photo oils.
While this first image was the only in the series that was hand colored, this is the process by which I made the entire series of seventeen images. Each step included tests of all kinds, rinsing prints and waiting for them to dry, etc. (not to mention taking the photographs, developing the film….).
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