In the Mix – Plant Printing and Plants in Altered Books

We both love our gardens and find plants are a constant source of inspiration. With all that colour and shape right outside the back door they are a brilliant source to work with in your drawing and painting. I often use plants in my sketchbooks and altered books drawing them or using watercolour to record my favourites.

In another workshop I demonstrated another method for using plant materials in your sketchbook as collage elements. In that video workshop I worked into an altered book, but it struck me how these two workshops could work together beautifully. The plant printed pages making the perfect backdrop for the collage and drawing I was doing.

Recently I used the actual plants in two different ways. First I used plant material that I’d collected in the garden to make contact prints on paper. This is sometimes called eco-printing. It’s a fascinating and quite compulsive process. You bundle real leaves and petals with paper and boil, the plant materials colouring the paper and leaving imprints. With my plant printed papers we made small books which could be an end in themselves, but you know us, we don’t know when to stop!

Here you can see some of the resulting pages I’ve made exploring that combination. We always love layering processes and techniques and I think this is a great example of how you can work with relatively simple steps to produce something full of interest.

Maybe you have tried plant printing before and are wondering what you can do with the papers. Hopefully this will give you some ideas. You can find links to both workshops below.

Thanks for reading today, bye for now!


Discover the workshops...

Plants in Altered Books

Linda often finds inspiration in nature and in her garden in particular. Join her in the studio to see how she’s incorporating plants into her altered book. She’ll show you a useful technique for when the plant material itself is too delicate to attach directly to the page.

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Plant Printing

Be inspired by nature around you and collect leaves to use for plant printing. Linda will show you how to make beautiful contact prints on paper. Laura will demonstrate how to make simply structured, but endlessly creative concertina books to house your prints. Finally Linda shares her ideas for working back into your plant printed sketchbook to edit, refine and add detail. The result will be a truly unique record of the plant material you’ve collected and a fabulous sketchbook for inspiration and further development.