Sunday, 25 October 2015


It's that time of year again when the ground is littered with colourful fallen leaves, at least it is in some parts of the world.  Here by the sea we don't have many tall trees with the kind of leaves that change colour, they seem to go brown and fall off before they go red or gold or yellow!

But I'm not deterred, I can still pick living leaves and paint them and give the right impression and not feel left out of all the wonderful colourfulness I see on the television and internet!

I went to an art expo last week and had a lovely conversation with the artist about natural dyes for fabrics and we got around to talking about natural pigments of which I have a stash.  My blog friend Barbara Lilian sent me some that she hadn't used and which I had also struggled to use successfully as watercolours but my artist friend suggested using acrylic medium instead.

I have a collection of the tiny jam jars you get on the ferry and in hotels so I mixed a bit of matt medium with some coloured pigment and some water and made some lovely thick paint.  I brushed it onto the backs of the leaves I had collected on my way home from my visit and printed them onto different papers.  The top three are on a hand made cotton rag paper, the one above here is a cream pastel paper and the one below is black Ingres paper.

Because the paint is opaque it's great on the tinted paper as it stands out against the dark background and also even has a bit of texture which you can't see from the scan.
I got quite carried away with my pigments and on the cotton paper tried another experiment, wetting the paper first then sprinkling the pigments and leaving them to dry overnight then washing them off in the morning before starting the printing.  You can see the effect best in the top picture where I got some mountains and sky, quite by accident!
I finally managed to get about 15 usable images from my efforts which are now made into cards, some for next year's garden party and some for family birthdays, so if you get one you'll know how I made it!