I tried my hand at creating some nature prints today and wanted to share the results with you. It was really easy, nearly free, and dare I say, looks pretty good. Give it a try and see what you think.
Materials you'll need:
paint (I used acrylic)
paper, canvas, etc. for printing upon
a brayer or rolling pin
a frame for your masterpiece
Step 1: Gather your materials.
Step 2: Apply paint to the backside of your leaf - the veiny part
Step 3: Place your painted leaf, paint side down, onto your paper or canvas
Step 4: Cover your leaf with wax paper and carefully roll over it with your brayer or rolling pin
Step 5: Peel off your leaf and marvel at your design
It's really quite simple, but a few tips for success: choose a leaf that lays flat and behaves. Leaves that are all willy-nilly won't make for good prints. Don't put too much paint on your leaf or you'll end up with a gloppy mess. Don't press too hard with your brayer, you want to make a print, not embed the leaf into the canvas. Try it out on a piece of scrap first and once you get the hang of it, print away!
I had several odd frames that I painted black and I printed on a piece of canvas drop-cloth that I had in the studio. (You can purchase them relatively inexpensively at your local hardware store) Printing on paper will give you a more crisp image, but I was going for something loose and organic. Experiment! The leaves, ferns, and weeds all came from the backyard. I think it would also be fun to take a print from a slice of wood, or long vines....maybe I'll try that next.
This is a great project for the kids too. Get them involved and see what happens. Have fun!