I first ran this article in our newsletter from May of 2009. What’s awesome is I think the technique and designs are still relevant today. Make it your own and have fun with it!
Instant Art, Always in Bloom–
These DIY garden prints add a lot of charm for not a lot of money.
So, you’ve been eyeing (or eying-whichever you prefer) that set of framed botanical prints but just can’t swallow the price. Or perhaps you love plants, but 19th-century engravings clash with your style. We’ve discovered it’s surprisingly easy, and stylistically liberating, to produce stunning contemporary botanicals from your home computer. At left, a Gerbera daisy is transformed into a color graphic when copied as a transparency in a flatbed scanner.
Picture Perfect Blooms
To create your own botanical images, you’ll need a computer, flatbed scanner, and a willingness to experiment.
Begin by placing plants directly on the platen glass of your scanner. Plant juices will stain the underside of the scanner cover, so place a sheet of mounting board over the flowers before closing the cover. Don’t worry if you flatten the plants; part of the surprise is seeing them in two dimensions.
Overlap multiple flowers on the scanner or zoom in tightly for abstract effects.
Most scanning software allows image adjustments. Play with the scan color, contrast, and brightness to create the most vibrant images. If your scanner includes a transparency adapter, you can shoot through translucent plants to reveal delicate veining and unseen detail.
Experiment With Greenery
Think outside the bloom.
Play With Patterns
Create repeating patterns and color fields by scanning masses of flower petals or autumn leaves. A basic color scanner captured the velvet-like texture of these rose petals
Get in Close
Back it up.
Frame your new prints.
Cut to Fit
Save your work by printing to a quality inkjet printer or writing to a disk for output at most photo finishers. The first step to displaying your work is centering the printed image in the glass provided in a frame. Trace around the glass, and cut the image with scissors. Install the trimmed image into the frame.
Bring the Garden Inside
Tips for Displaying Prints
Place your botanicals in a line on the wall or find a sunlit window where you can showcase your favorites. Before you turn your flower scanner back into a document copier, remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the platen glass.
By Rex Perry, Cottage Living