Teaching Materials - Exercise

Cyanotype printing –Overlapping

Name of Artist Educator: Li Hiu Wa
Excercise Category: Technical exercise

It is not necessary to view images on screen or traditional photographic paper. There are also some other ways for appreciation.

Concept / Inspiration:

It is not necessary to view images on screen or traditional photographic paper. There are also some other ways for appreciation.

Many people use phone and camera to take photographs but seldom take a second look of these photos or even to spend time to appreciate their printing products. The objective of the exercise is to allow students to explore more possibilities of the images. It is not necessary to view images on screen or traditional photographic paper. There are also some other ways for appreciation. Students could also doodle or write on the images, try different ways to arrange and group the photos in order to create something different from the original image.


  1. To let student learn image processing and to explore variation by using the skills learnt from the exercise “Cyanotype printing : The contour of an image
  2. To widen students’ experience of creating image and image processing such as overlapping.

Materials / Equipment:

  • Chemical solution for cyanotype printing
  • A5 paper
  • Ultraviolet light pipe X 1 (bought from Apliu Street)
  • A5 sized printable transparency film (be aware of the difference in inkjet and laser printer)
  • Thin glass pane
  • Marker
  • Black plastic pocket (the pockets are often used for putting films, it could be replaced by Focusing Cloths (To cover up other lights indoor)



Workshop Description:


1. Prepare chemical solution and put those chemical-soaked papers into black plastic pocket in order to prevent them from contacting sunlight. (For details about the chemical solution, please refer to “Cyanotype printing-contour of objects”.)
2. Collect images from students before the lesson and use the software to do the negative image process before printing as a film. 【Image 1】
The image processing method: Change the image into a black and white image. Reverse the black area into white and white into black.  It could also be done with the software by using the “negative effect”.


1. Close the curtains in the classroom to ensure the cyanotype paper would not expose to the sun.
2. In the dimmed room, students would be given the processed film and the cyanotype paper. Use marker to write or draw on the processed film in order to create another layer of image onto the original one.
3. Put the film onto the blue print paper and cover the film with a piece of glass pane so as to fix the position of the image. Put the film under the ultraviolet light pipe.【Image 2 and 3】The exposure time would be affected by a number of factors, i.e. if the black area of the image is relatively larger, it would take longer time. Also, the distance between the photographic paper and the light could also affect the time of exposure. In the example, the distance between two objects is 8 to 10 cm. The respective exposure time is 5 minutes. Beware of the control of the time. If the exposure time is too long, it would result in overexposure. This would affect the contrast of the picture and the details of the photographs will be missed out.
4. As there is adequate time for exposure, the chemical started to turn blue.
5. Rinse the paper with water. Make sure there is no residual of chemicals for any further reactions. It serves to fix the image.

【Image 1】

【Image 2】

【Image 3】
The amount of ultraviolet light pipe could be adjusted when needed. In the example, an A5 sized paper needs one pipe. An A4 sized paper may require four pipes for an even exposure.

Note 1: It is advised to supplement the exercise with Li Hiu Wa’s “Cyanotype printing : The contour of an image“.


P1020439 P1020447 P1020451 P1020378

Reference Materials:

Kerenyi Zoltan’s works:

25 Window-to-the-past_Budapest_Kerenyi-Zoltan-1