The Line Up, A Preview
By MUA's Cavewoman
When Annie and I first started talking about this new Blogdorfgoodman project, I was just beginning to explore the world of gel and cream liners that are applied with brushes. My old Almay Amazing Lasting eyeliner pencil, the twist-up crayon type, had had a change of formula, and wasn't even lasting an hour. I dabbled in other lines, from department store to drugstore, and could not find a crayon-type pencil that lasted very long at all. And so with the advice of some very wise buddies on the MakeUpAlley, I set out to try the gels and creams. And to acquire a few brushes to go along with them.
The possibilities and combinations of brand, formula, color, and brush, are almost endless. I got to thinking of how in the world I would accomplish this project. It reminded me of a class I took at Youngstown State University when I was an advanced student in the art department, working in independent study. I chose, under the supervision of my professor, who himself had never done this kind of work before, to do hand sensitizing in cyanotype, Van Dyke Brown, and platinum printing. Only one student in the department had ever done these before, and he wasn't in town to help me. So I started my research, dug deep in the school library, mailed away for chemicals, scoured the stationary stores for Crane's cotton paper, and bought myself a big fat notebook. And into the darkroom I went. After seven weeks, my professor wasn't happy that I had not produced one single print for him to evaluate. At that point I handed him my binder, two inches thick with my lab work, pages and pages of notes, combinations of film and film processing chemistry, exposure data, chemical formulas, proportions and measurings, and all the little pieces of test strips that I had done in order to find the perfect combination of film, film processing chemicals, developer, fixer, and the formulas for the printing paper which I had to make by hand in total darkness. Sometimes even one tiny drop added or subtracted from a formula was the key to success. I documented every minute and every trial. He didn't say another word to me until our final evaluation, when I presented three perfect prints in the cyanotype and the Van Dyke Brown, and four in platinum. When he saw my final portfolio, he told me that I had achieved the most perfect platinum prints he'd ever seen. It took ten weeks.
Dear reader, I do not intend to take my eyeliner research to those levels, but it would be entirely possible to spend that kind of time testing each brand, color, formula and applicator! But I'll try my best to experiment, test, wear, evaluate, and report on the ones I can find and try.
I present to you two sample prints of a small still life that I did as I was working out my formulas, one in cyanotype and then the identical negative printed in platinum. And a little photo of a few of the liner pots that I've started to test. I've got work to do. Lots of it. I'll start reporting soon!