”Bromoil printing process was introduced in 1907 by E.J. Wall, and consisted of a positive image on a paper support. It was based on the principle that oil and water do not mix. Once an enlargement was made, it was bleached in a solution of potassium bichromate. to remove the black silver image. This left it in a condition in which it was possible to apply greasy inks of various colours to pigment the surface of the gelatin, using special brushes.” *
While making a bromoil print the artist becomes intimately connected to each unique work. The many ”inking” that are required to achieve the final rendition are meticulous and at times unpredictable. A great deal of manual labor is applied to every square inch of the image. In the end an image printed from a single negative can range drastically in appearance. From local value control to the great variety of textures that can be created, the treatment is entirely up to the artist.
I love making bromoil prints as it extends the tie that I spend with every one of my prints. Working a singe for an hour or two I see it change and transform under my brush in accord with my mood. When working in this fine tradition I can not help but think of the old masters of the pictorial tradition of the late nineteenth century.
*© Robert Leggat, 1999. http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/bromoil.htm