So here is an excellent modified usage of woodblock printing. You'll need a glutinous substance like rice paste (Elmer's glue in my case), some kind of pigment, botanicals and an absorbent paper like watercolor stock of rice starch paper. I used watercolor as my pigment. You will also need something to press the botanicals into the paper. I used a woodblock. The Japanese use a fancy traditional wooden plate called a baren. Anything flat will work. Use wood if possible. Wood's density works well with the botanicals.
I learned about this technique from a student who is putting together her own children's book. I cannot wait until she is finished, then I can read her book with my other students and do some modified moku hanga with them too!
This technique is ALL about layers. Use botanicals to layers scenes. This technique also works on woodblock.
STEP 1 - Choose your botanicals. I chose birch leaves because during my visit to Iceland I fell in love with the flora, and now everytime I see a birch tree I feel like I'm reliving my adventure the night I arrived in Skaftafell National Park, setup my tent, and went to see Svartafoss.
STEP 2 - Coat all of the plants with glutinous paste. I didn't have glutinous rice, or rice flour so I chose Elmer's glue because it has a similar consistency.
STEP 3 - Mix your colors. I tried to match my birch leaves. It's autumn here in Saint Charles, IL as it was in Iceland when I visited too. The birch trees are shades of gold, greens, and ochre rusty oranges. I used all four colors: dark green, light green, ochre, and orange. Together I achieved a very organic golden tone. I love this color. It is very natural, and you can find it everytime sunlight shines through leaves.
STEP 4 - Coat the botanical with your pigment.
STEP 5 - Place your coated and inked botanicals atop an absorbent paper. Place another paper on top.
STEP 6 - Press them with a wooden block or baren. Move your block in a circular motion. Press until you see the twigs make impressions on the paper.
STEP 7 - Reveal your inked botanical print. Work further by layering your prints. Incorporate drawings, characters, and text if you like.
This technique is great because it works from the adventures and explorations you make outside. Collect leaves and keep the memory alive through printing. Build a respect for nature and the world around you by displaying and sharing your discoveries. Authentic leaf prints from real leaves. Draw on top of them to feel how much you are part of nature too.