Cyanotypes: Introduction to Botanical Art Prints - Create Ready to Hang Art | LaurieAnne Gonzalez | Skillshare
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Cyanotypes: Introduction to Botanical Art Prints - Create Ready to Hang Art

teacher avatar LaurieAnne Gonzalez, Painter | Dog Lover | Bob Ross Wannabe

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      0:40

    • 2.

      What is a Cyanotype?

      0:28

    • 3.

      Supplies Needed

      2:03

    • 4.

      Preparing the Supplies

      3:29

    • 5.

      Prepping the Paper

      1:08

    • 6.

      Gather your Plants

      1:59

    • 7.

      Print

      1:52

    • 8.

      Rinse and Repeat

      1:27

    • 9.

      Final Thoughts

      0:40

    • 10.

      Check out my other classes!

      0:10

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About This Class

In this 14 minute class you will learn how to create unique pieces of art using plants from your garden and the sun! This class is for students of all skill levels and requires zero artistic ability. Join LaurieAnne Gonzalez of Laurie Anne Art as she teaches you how to create beautiful, 'ready to hang', blue and white artwork for your home!

In this class you will learn:

  • What a Cyanotype is
  • Supplies Needed to make Cyanotypes
  • How to prepare your supplies
  • How to prepare the paper
  • What kind of plants to use
  • Use the Sun with your plants to create your art
  • Rinse and dry your prints
  • End up with beautiful artwork ready to hang on your wall!

Learn more from Laurie Anne here.

What you need *:

Cyanotype Solution

Watercolor Paper

Painters Tape

Paint Brushes

Clothes line

Clips

Clippers

Plexi - Glass

Field Sketch Board

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will make a commission, if you click thru and make a purchase.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

LaurieAnne Gonzalez

Painter | Dog Lover | Bob Ross Wannabe

Top Teacher

Hi Friends! I’m LaurieAnne and I am a full time painter in Phoenix, AZ. I mainly work in acrylic to capture all of my travels in paint but I also teach online painting classes and created a course I offer to professional artists on my own website called Art to Print where I teach artists how to make professional quality prints from their original art. 

Subscribe to my newsletter exclusively for artists and be notified of new course announcements.

To keep up with what I am doing, hop on my email list or follow along on Instagram! 

With this link you get 2 free weeks of Skillshare Premium. Feel free to share it with your friends and family!

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Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hey all, welcome to Cyanotype 101. My name is Laurie Anne and I'm an artist here in Phoenix, Arizona. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to make cyanotype botanical prints. We are going to use a photographic process with the sun and some plants from your garden to create instant artwork that will be ready to frame and hang on your wall. This process requires zero artistic ability, and as an easy way to create one of a kind artwork for your home or to give as a gift. Head to the next video and let's get started. 2. What is a Cyanotype?: Cyanotype is a photographic process that uses the sun to create a cyan or blue colored print. This process was used in the 20th century to create blueprints by engineers. The process uses two chemicals; ferric ammonium nitrate and potassium ferricyanide in combination with the sun to create the beautiful blue and white prints that you see behind me. 3. Supplies Needed: For this class, you need cyanotypes solution. I found these on Amazon, but you can get them at your local art-store. You just need to make sure that you follow the instructions on the bottle to prep them as just a little bit of prep work. You need watercolor paper. I really like this Canson extra large brand, it's very inexpensive and it works really well and it comes with a lot of paper, so it's great. You need a paintbrush. This paint brush is just dedicated to cyanotype prints. I don't use it to paint with, it just for cynotypes. So find just one paintbrush that you can dedicate to this. You need two cups and a measuring cup. If you have one, I don't have a measuring cup for this process, so I just use a clear cup and I made a mark on there to measure my solution, and then this is the cup that I will keep the solution in when painting the paper. Masking tape; you can use regular masking tape. I just have blue masking tape, so it was easy and that's what I'm using. Clippers to clip plants from the garden. A piece of glass to keep your botanicals in place on the paper so the wind doesn't blow all of them all around and you don't get a clear picture from the print. This is optional, but I like to use a portable board to tape my paper on, so that I can easily transport my paper to and from the sun all at one time. Next, you need a dark room, that can be closet, bathroom, or garage because you'll need a place after we paint the paper, it needs to dry in a dark room. Then last but not least, you need the sun. So be sure and do this project on a sunny day, and then you'll be in business. Let's get started. 4. Preparing the Supplies: First we're going to start off with the watercolor paper. I'm working with an 11 by 15 piece of paper. I'm going to fold it in half. All right. Then I'm going to tear this, and then I'm going to fold these in half and tear them as well and so we will end up with four pieces of paper. Watercolor paper tears super easy because it's real thick and so it's pretty great. Watercolor paper has a rough side and it has a smooth side. You want to make sure that the rough side is up. You now have four pieces of paper and at least two edges of the paper has this raw torn edge which I absolutely love with my Cyanotype prints because it adds an organic nature to the whole process. It just works out great, it's a nice detail. Now we're going to get our board and we're going to take these to the board and if you want to, you can even fold these in half and tear them and make them even smaller so they're like that size, but I'm just going to do these four, for simplicity sake. Also make sure that the paper that you tape down can fit under the glass. This is looking like I can fit them like here. So now I know where to place them. I just like to make sure that everything fits under the glass, otherwise, you could have a line from the edge of the glass on your print and it just adds to it, but I prefer not to have that line for these. Okay now these are taped. So now that this is taped, will set this aside. We're going to mix up our solution. So we have these two bottles, we have part A and part B, and we're going to measure them out in this cup. I've made a mark on the cup right here, so that I know how much solution to put in each bottle, first with part A you fill it up to the line and then you'll pour in your cup and then you'll repeat with part B. Let's get started. I'll give it just a little shake, just to make sure it's all good and mixed, all right part A. Now we have our solution and we are ready to go. 5. Prepping the Paper: Now that our solution is mixed and our paper is taped and ready to go, let's get started painting. In a room with low lighting, paint your paper. It's a really cloudy day here and it's pretty dark in here actually, so this room works great for me. What we're going to do is we're going to paint a very light one layer or not light, just only paint one layer of solution on your paper. Don't get too thick or it will not turn out the best. It is actually encouraged and totally okay if your paper painted solution is not perfect. As you can see, my edges are all a little wonky and crooked and that is great because it will be way more interesting in the end. Once your paper is painted, put it in a dark room to dry and that'll take about 15 to 30 minutes depending on your climate. 6. Gather your Plants: While your paper's drying, go outside and gather some plants. I like to cut my plants at this part in the process so that they're not wilted by the time I actually print them. Especially if you're cutting flowers, because flowers can wilt pretty quickly. When you're selecting your plants. Think about different textures, different shapes, different sizes. Grab some plants that have flowers on them or berries or just grab leaves. It doesn't matter, just get different things so that you have different prints in the end. Like these, I love how different these are. They're both just leaves. This is lemon and then this is a Mexican petunia. But look at the different texture. There's all these fun little lines and different leaf shapes than this lemon tree. But the lemon tree also has thorns all over it. Maybe those will show up in the print. Then we've got these great flowers that are really cool with these long leaves and then a cluster of orange leaves here. You have a variety of plants, which will give you a variety of prints. Once you have your plants, start thinking about the composition that you want to create on your paper. You could do a single stem like this, or you could do a variety of plants on one print, and do more of like a bouquet or like a collage of different plants like this. Just remember that like every plant, there's going to be different texture. Check this out. This is crazy texture, all these lines and these little dots. It's so interesting and different. Then right here, we have this was flowers. You can see how that printed really interesting and very different. The possibilities are endless. You can do really whatever you want to do. But I just want to encourage you to grab a variety so that we have a variety of prints in the end. 7. Print: Once your paper is fully dry, arrange your plants on your paper, if you have them on a board or if you don't have them on a board, then just take them outside and arrange them quickly in your sunny spot. This is how I'm arranging mine. I really like this flower. I'm just going to put it simply in the middle, just like that, very simple. I like these three leaves from my lemon tree. I'm going to do these very simply in the middle, just like that. I've got these. You don't want to cut this. No. I like this the way it is, so I'll just do it like that. I think that would be a pretty interesting print. Then, I love the texture of this Petunia. We'll just do it like that, simple. You can cut leaves off, cut flowers off, and do a whole arrangement if you would like, but for the simplicity of this video and this lesson, I'm just going to put each flower or each plant pretty much in the center just to show you what it's like. Once you have them laid out, get your piece of glass, and then just carefully put it on top and look at that. It keeps them in place. Next, what you need to do is you need to find a sunny spot outside and make sure there's not going to be the shadows for about at least ten minutes, possibly, just to be safe, let's say 30 minutes. It totally depends on where you live. On a hot summer day here in Phoenix, it can take five minutes or less to develop these prints. Totally depends on where you live, but the way you will know when it's finished is the paper where you see the solution will turn a dark bluish, greenish, bronze-ish color. That's when you know it will be done. 8. Rinse and Repeat: Okay, now that your sino types are ready to be rinsed, you can use a water bath or you can use a sink. I'm going to use our kitchen sink just because it's easy. So you can see this color you can see is kind of like a bronzey, greenish, blueish. I really don't know why took all this color, but it's obviously different than what it was to begin with. We're going to rinse these in cool water. Then we're going to hang them to dry and then you'll see the beautiful blueprints. So here we go. Rinse these for a few minutes each. Look, the blue is coming out. It's such a big difference. The blue will actually get darker within 24 hours. It will take you about 24 hours to get its darkest blue. So do these and then go check on them the next day and they'll probably be darker. Okay. Now that I have rinsed this I'm going to go hang them up to dry and then we'll see the final product. 9. Final Thoughts: Now that your cyanotype prints are fully dry, you now have a beautiful piece of art that is ready to frame and hang on your wall. Wasn't that easy? I really want to encourage you to experiment with this process now that you've done it one time through. See what happens if you apply a thick layer of solution on your paper, or if you painted a design on the paper like stripes or just a circle or splotches, just play around with it. You can also make designs with the plants, get leaves and arrange them in a little design. That would be really neat to see. Have fun, and show me what you do. Upload your projects to the projects section, so I can see what you come up with. 10. Check out my other classes!: If you enjoyed this class, I would love for you to check out the rest of my classes, @laurieanneartclasses.com/art-classes for more.