I've had this idea kicking around in my head for some time, and given that the theme for this week's craft hangout with Red Ted Art was 'flowers and leaves' I thought it was time I tried it out. Sadly with a 'local area broadband problem' joining the hangout was not to be - thanks a bunch Virgin Media!
I kinda guessed this idea would work - I've done something similar with flowers before to get the colour pigment for dandelion soap, and I know you can do it with violets as I've made natural colouring for icing for biscuits before, but still, there was a little experimenting still to do.
This is a lovely summer holiday activity - spend the morning out and about hunting for flowers - whether that's in your back yard, out on a country walk or at the park. Make the paints over lunch-time and then spend the afternoon being an artist.
Please remember that although this is all natural, some plants and flowers are toxic, so please wash hands thoroughly after touching the flowers, and don't leave small children unattended with the paints.
Half the fun of this is experimenting with lots of different flowers and seeing what colours they yield. I aimed to get the three primary colours, so used blue pansies; red poppies and yellow dandelions, although they didn't mix too well so for greens and oranges you might want to look further. Some flowers didn't give the colours you'd expect - for example lavender gave a very drab brown result. Poppies on the other hand worked BRILLIANTLY. It's also interesting to see that they don't always dry the colour you'd expect - the pansies for example gave a vivid indigo blue, but dried to a greeny-turquoise shade.
Take the petals off the flowers and place in a cup or jug. Pour on a few drops of boiling water - enough to cover the petals (after you've squished them down with a spoon), but not so much that you dilute it too much and end up with a very watery paint. Leave for 20 minutes or so for the pigment to leach from the petals. Once you have your coloured liquid, squeeze and strain out the petals.
You now have your homemade flower petal water colour paints, ready to create a masterpiece.
Use good quality artist's cartridge paper as the colours will be 'wet' (I picked up an A4 pad at The Works for 99p), and leave flat until thoroughly dry.
Watch the video and click on the link (to follow) below for more great flower art and craft ideas.
Red Ted Art's beautiful flower crowns, woodland people and great tips on how to press flowers
Ali made a very cool Andy Goldsworthy style flower picture
Anthea made some very cool grass seed creatures
The Fairy and The Frog makes a beautiful lavender wand
Kelly made some adorable cards with helicopter seeds.
Anna at The Imagination Tree made some beautiful laminated bookmarks, window decorations and crowns
Crystal made some lovely pressed flower coaters
Here Come The Girls shared a gorgeous keepsake card that is sure to be kept for years to come
Rosie, a self confessed non-crafter made a gorgeous posy of flowers and a vase
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