To make a cyanotype is pretty straight forward and fun to make! But you will need the cooperation of the Sun! UV Lights can be used. I haven’t used artificial light yet.

The steps I take and the materials I use and the things to know that might help you enjoy the process.

Chemicals – Potassium Ferricyanide (redish) & Ferric Ammonium Citrate (greensish).

  1. Chemicals – Potassium Ferricyanide & Ferric Ammonium Citrate. Disolved in water then combined to make photo sensitive solution.
  2. Paper – Watercolor paper. Between 90lb and 150lb works fine. Single sheets can be bought or rolls of paper can also work out. Then cut to desired size.
  3. Coating – In a dimmly lit area the paper can be coated with the combined chemicals. Many ways of doing this. With brushes, sponges, cloth, drips. evenly done or random. No limits as to how to coat the paper
  4. Composition – It can be decided ahead of time what and how objecst are to be arranged over the paper. There are not set rules as to what can be done. The things to keep in mind are the transparency of the object or objects, the distance of the object to the paper and very important the angle of the shadows determined by the position of th sun. When outdoors there is a need to be mindful of the wind as it can lift the objects and the paper as well. Sometimes a glass or plexiglass pane can be put over the objects if they are rather flat.
  5. Exposure – A good images can be created with an exposure of 3 to 4 minutes with a good strong sun. The more time the darker the exposed areas will be. Clouds passing by will have an impact on the exposure. After the desired exposure the paper will need to be quickly removed from the sun light, rolled or stored in a folder or case.
  6. Wash – The paper will need to be rinsed with water. This will wash off the chemicals that did not react with the light. This can be done right away or a bit later after the exposure but it is best not to wait to long as the chemicals will blend in with the paper after a while. There are also additional chemicals that can be used at the time of the wash to enhance certain aspects of the process. I have not used any of them.
  7. Dry – The paper can be hanged. Clothes pins work well for that, or placed flat on a dimmly lit surface to dry.
  8. Ready and Enjoy! – Once the paper is dry it is up to you how to display it.

Do let me know if you need additional information or suggestions in the making of the cyanotypes. It is quite a vast range of creative options.

for instance, take a look at this:

Catherine Jansen’s

“The Blue Room”