I am now taking bromoil portrait commissions. Every portrait sitting now has the opportunity for your family to create an heirloom that will be treasured for generations to come.
A bromoil is an alternative photographic process where the artist applies ink by hand to create an evocative and impressionistic one-of-a-kind work of art. The International Society of Bromoilists offers this succinct description:
“Bromoil combines the skills, nuances and attributes of fine art photography printmaking and painting. This historic process is truly a happy marriage of craft and art.”
The process starts with an image being developed on paper in the darkroom. The paper is then bleached, leaving only an etched ghostlike shadow of the original image. Then the paper is heated and placed in a water bath. Ink is then applied to the image by hand, using a special brush, in a series of precise, intricate strokes. Throughout the process the artist makes decisions about what aspects of the changing image to highlight or bring to the fore.
What I find compelling about this process is that every bromoil is unique.
No two versions of the same image will ever be alike. Applying the ink by hand, and the fact that the oil in the ink is highly sensitive to the temperature and texture of the chemicals being used, ensures that each bromoil is a singular representation of the artist’s vision. While the scans of bromoils on this site attempt to share with you the final result, the true beauty of the bromoil is that it is not digital and needs to be seen directly.