In our final printmaking class of Module 4, we’re going to go outside and grab some natural materials to make our monoprints! This lesson is best done with leaves, or other mostly flat materials with great texture like some kinds of flowers. If you’d rather use artificial leaves or flowers feel free, but please make sure to clean them off as best you can so they are ready to be reused for another project.

We’ll also be making our own version of a baren to achieve the monoprint. If you’d like to purchase your own you can, but this tool can be simply made by encasing some cotton balls in a small piece of fabric and I encourage you to try and make one.

You can see my completed prints below and at the Supplemental Materials page. I have also included a close up of the first print I made during the lesson, where I used too much paint/ink. The photo shows the detailed texture of the printed leaves, which I liked very much even if I wasn’t too happy with the overall result of the print. I always try to learn from each of my practice pieces and find something in them to appreciate, I hope you try to do that as well.

These are the materials needed for this class:

  • Tempera paint (green and black)
  • White paper
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Aluminum foil
  • A paintbrush
  • A glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Leaves (real or artificial)
  • A small square of fabric
  • Cotton balls
  • A piece of string or rubber band
  • A plate or paint palette

Optional supplies are: 

  • Colored pencils or any other medium to create a background
  • Baren
  • A file folder or paperclip for organization

Practice, practice, practice!