As fall approaches and the knowledge of our trees losing leaves... I thought - I haven't done any Eco printing this season and time is running out. It's a bit of a set-up as I do it on the back deck, have to lay plastic down, set up big tables, get the big pot, clamps and shingles out and ready and FIND leaves. Well the leaves are the easy part, my yard is full of them. But not all will impart color so I've made a list over the years what will work...also friends that have a particular leaf in their yard will give me some.
You must also decide on what surface you want to print...I've done both paper and fabric with paper yielding better results. I use a 90 - 140 lb. watercolor paper but many others will work..it's fun to experiment. I would say the heavier the better and generally speaking, that may be true, but I've had some successes with thinner papers as you will see. Above is a 140 lb. paper that's been cut/ripped using a Deckled edge ruler along the edge. It's very easy to do if you mark your cutting lines with a pencil (from a bigger sheet) and lightly spray with water along the lines. This softens the marked lines and makes it very easy to rip.
Here are some of the leaves in my yard that yield great results - above the Red Bud. I like to choose leaves with some "raggedy" edges for a little more interest in the print. The Oak Leaf Hydrangea - below left is being printed on top of a recycled not so good print...we'll see what happens. Below right, I covered the leaves with yellow tissue paper which will impart the color yellow on the areas around the leaves.
Above left, the Maple leaf which works great is being printed on top of another not so successful print just to see how it works. On the right, another Maple is being laid on top of a thinner paper with text on it...I've worked with this paper before and had good results.
One of my favorite leaves to print, besides being such an interesting shape, the print beautifully. These are the leaves from a Knock Out Rose bush.
Two more on just 140 lb. water color paper, already cut to size to make into cards or small pieces of art.
This is a newly discovered leaf to print....When I took a printing workshop a while back, we had a list of possible plants and this was not on it...but I loved the lacy edge and thought I would try it...the Heucera
You can also use cement board which worked great but will have to be cut into smaller pieces with a certain kind of blade. My husband is a woodworker and said he would get the blade and do this for me (what a sweetie!). I like cement board as it doesn't fall apart or impart any color. So far, it is my favorite "board" to use. Above are 2 pieces of Poplar which I've used before and will fall apart eventually but they are good for a while. Once your sandwiches are ready to go, fill a big pot with water - around 3/4 water and 1/4 white vinegar...you can eye-ball this. Bring to boil and then add leaf sandwiches; boil for around 1 hour, Carefully remove from pot and let cool...remove clamps and see your beautiful results...which I'll show real soon...