I’ve been experimenting making anthotypes since I first discovered the process during lockdown. It is an old photographic process that uses photosensitive material from plants to create an image and was invented in 1842 by Mary Somerville, a Scottish scientist and polymath.

An emulsion is made from any part of a plant – berries, petals and /or leaves ground up and mixed with a little water and alcohol such as vodka .

The emulsion is then painted onto watercolour paper and left to dry in a dark room.

Objects or positive images are placed on top and left outside in the sun for days, weeks or months depending on the intensity of the sun and the photosensitivity of the particular plant used.



This is an image I made using an emulsion of silver birch tree leaves and a diagram of a human heart. Silver birch produces salicylic acid which is said to help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

If you want to have a go you can find step by step instructions from this wonderful website