". Arranged Words: Sun Print Botanicals

28 Jun 2022

Sun Print Botanicals


Cyanotype on 140 lb. hot press watercolour paper. 

Hi everyone,

Cyanotypes or the blueprint process has been around since 1842, but, somehow, I am just catching up with it. One look at Cyanotype prints and I felt inspired enough to give it a go. It has taken me away from painting for a while, but I've had fun messing around with different leaves, compositions etc. 

A couple of years ago, I also tried eco-printing. Many people use the stove top method. i.e. A big pot, filled with water with several rusty nails thrown in. The 
leaves and flowers are rolled in paper or material and then tied together and simmered for one to two hours. Since I didn't have any old pots or rusty nails, (can do without the nails) or, the other method, a heat press, I used alum (mordant) and vinegar, and I steamed ironed the material between two Teflon sheets. Initial blog post here.

                                                          Eco-printing/Botanical Prints
         Interesting to see what colours arrive on the paper and what flowers and leaves print the best.
                              The heat press or stove top method would enhance the colour.

      This print was very light, so I used  watercolour and pastels to pump up the colour.

A while ago I bought a beautiful, vibrant eco printed bunting from an Etsy shop. I think the seller uses a heat press to make her prints. That beautiful bunting rang my botanical printing inspiration bells again. So, who knows, maybe this fall, (never say never) I may try the stove top method. Also, I recently found out that steaming for about 15 minutes will work well for fabric, especially if iron mordant is used. (More research needed.)

In the meantime, I will continue to experiment with the beautiful blue Cyanotypes. The possibilities seem endless.

   Image made from Buttercups, Solomon Seal berries and a feather.
This print was made on bought prepared paper. I do love the light blue colour. It reminds me of the old airmail paper that I loved so much. I tried a few more with that paper and most are too light. Since the exposure time was the same, perhaps the paper didn't receive an equal amount of liquid. 

A mixture I used on rough watercolour paper. There's a bit of texture.

                                                       Taken along the Parkway on an idyllic day.

Just had to try printing photo negatives too. I love this print! It looks mysterious. The clouds are amazing even though the negative slipped in the frame and lost the top of a few trees. "The process of making is a learning tool." Not sure where I read that quote, but how true it is.

Also thinking of printing a portrait of my grandmother. In the future, I hope to print on fabric too. At this point, I have a particular item in mind.

                                               On hot press watercolour paper. 

                      I added an ounce of three volume peroxide to the water to deepen the blue, but that wasn't necessary.  Looking ahead, I would like to add more depth and texture to the blueprints as well.

After 5 minutes in the sun, but before the water bath.


The Cyanotype or the blueprint process has an interesting history. It was invented by John Herschel in 1842. You can read about it here.

       I am happy to say that I was out walking twice last week. What a relief! 😌 After a year, my foot is much better but still not 100%. A word to the wise: pamper your tootsies lovely people.

"Til next time...Cultivate Your Dreams!

 Linking to Link Parties via my link party page. 

                                                  Many thanks to the hosts!


  1. That is amazing! So pretty!

  2. I love how you experiment around with art. I have never heard of eco-printing, but your yellow one looks amazing. I think using it as a background to draw upon with pencil might be an enjoyable experiment. Thank you for your nice comment on my post.

  3. WOW! These are really pretty!
    Happy Wednesday, Dixie!

  4. I am so glad to hear that your foot is doing better. All the prints look just wonderful, Dixie!! Lovely compositions.


  5. All your experimenting, Dixie has produced lovely results. The cyanotype examples are fabulous and the picture of the pink flowers and leaves is lovely. Love those bookmarks, too.

  6. ...you brought back fond memories for me, I remember making print at summer camp many years ago.

  7. Wow, so interesting. Now I'm probably going to have to investigate making these. Love what's you've made so far.

  8. Wonderful art work!

  9. Good morning, really loved seeing your art prints. I did quite a bit of eco prints on papers and on silks several years ago, so fun. I just learned about the blue prints from a show I was watching on the magnolia network. thanks for sharing

  10. Great results with all your experiments and play. I have always thought both these procedures to be very interesting but have so far stayed away from the temptation of yet more projects and stuff:):)

  11. Beautiful, love leaves.

  12. Wow! So interesting and very pretty. I can tell you like creating with this. Have a nice day.

  13. All you ecoprinting types and pieces are amazing. Cyantypes are lots of fun to see and to make. And Ecoprinting is something I have played a little bit with that type of printing and your pieces came out amazing.

  14. So delicate and pretty. Nice to know about Cyanotypes. :)

  15. Wow!! Both processes are intriguing. Hope to see more of your art. Thank you for linking up at Art For Fun Friday.


  16. I don't know what to say, Dixie! Your art is beautiful! And it's so interesting to hear how you created it. Wow! Wow! Wow! Have a great weekend!

  17. Your ecoprinting pieces are just beautiful. I haven't done that in eons and I remember it fascinating me then and it fascinates me now. I love how you used the color enhancement on the roses and that negative print is so moody! Lovely work, all!

  18. You certainly got me curious to learn the basics. Your deep blue prints, so gorgeous, remind me of Japanese woodblock prints.

  19. Hi Dixie! What a creative art form! I actually never really heard of Cyanotypes, I love your blue piece, it's so pretty! I've heard of eco-printing but never knew much about it, thanks for describing it, interesting about the rusty nails! I have plenty of those, but not willing to put them in any of my pots lol! The negative image of the lake is gorgeously spooky!! ☺ Your watercolor flowers are just gorgeous. And I agree about the tootsies, I have somehow developed metatarsalgia in my left food and it makes walking very difficult. I have a long road of recovery ahead!!

  20. Wow! You have had interesting experiments. And thank you for explaining this method in detail, always fun to know new things. I like very much the prints with ferns. Wishing creative summer days.

  21. Love these. I've been playing around a bit with botanicals and yours are lovely.
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2022/07/happy-independence-day-usa.html


Your comments are appreciated and will be visible after approval.
Thank you for visiting my spot on the map.
Enjoy your day!

~ Dixie ❤️