Leaf Print Tests

I’ve been getting some questions about the quality of leaf prints from people who have purchased my Leaf Prints on Paper Tutorial, so I thought I would run a test. Using the same leaves, I printed on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper and cheap white construction paper. Here’s how some of them look — watercolor paper on the left, construction paper on the right.

Leaf Print Test - Paper

Fernleaf Ironwood leaves

Leaf Print Test - Paper

Silk Oak leaves

Leaf Print Test - Paper

London Plane leaves

So yes, the type of paper you use is important. You get clearer, crisper prints on a heavier paper, and more bleed-through on a lighter paper. The prints also tend to be darker on the heavier paper, but not always. The London Plane prints look to be about the same value on both papers.

Then I thought, well heck, if I’m testing papers, I may as well test water, too — distilled versus tap. And while I’m at it, let’s test mordants and boiling versus steaming. So this is turning into a huge project, and it’s going to take some time before all of the results are in. I think I’ll put them into another tutorial. It’s actually facinating doing all of these tests and keeping track of the results! Opening up the bundles to see what I got is like a kid opening presents on Christmas Day!



    1. Hi Cris,

      The tutorial is primarily printing using the steaming method without the use of mordants. I discuss mordants briefly, but I don’t go into detail about them.

      I prefer to not use mordants, but I am exploring them a bit with my experiments. Stay tuned!

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