‘Blue Botanicals’ – Cyanotype Two Day Workshop 2024


Two day Cyanotype Summer School with Marion Sidebottom. Marion puts her own unique spin on this fabulous process and shows students how their prints can be embellished and painted with gorgeous, delicate results.


Create beautiful sun prints of botanical subjects, known as cyanotypes.  This is a photographic printing process, known as a blueprint, developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842 using light-sensitive iron salts which turn blue in sunlight.

On Day 1 you will create traditional cyanotypes using botanical objects such as leaves and flowers (or other items you bring). You will learn the complete process from mixing the chemicals, coating the paper, UV light exposure & washing out to develop the image. You will experiment with different types of papers and will also learn variations of this traditional technique such as layered multiple exposures and masking using paper cut outs.

On Day 2  you will learn how to create wet cyanotypes using soap bubbles and vinegar to create swirly backgrounds. Whilst these are developing, we will use different techniques to embellish the cyanotypes produced on Day 1. These will include watercolour painting, metallics, fine liners and gel pens. You may also like to hand stitch in to them using embroidery techniques.

By the end of this two-day workshop, you will have a beautiful sampler selection of botanical cyanotypes which you can frame, make into cards or keep as a reference for future work.

Please note this process has variable results depending on sun strength, exposure time, type of paper and subject matter, but this is what makes it so interesting. If the sun does not appear the exposures will take longer but we will also have access to a couple of UV lightboxes.

You will be provided with a range of interesting papers to make sun prints on including Indian Rag paper, Nepalese Lokta paper, book pages and watercolour paper.

  • Plse bring £10 for materials which will include a paper pack, cyanotype solution, vinyl gloves

Additional information


21st and 22nd Aug 2024




  • Any watercolour paints or watercolour pencils, fineliner pens (metallics or other colours which will go with blue)
  • Paintbrushes, fine and medium, and small jar to wash brushes
  • White Gel Pen (I use Sakura Gelly Roll)
  • Any other artist materials you would like to try
  • Flat leaves, flowers, grasses of various sizes. These will benefit from being pressed under a heavy object for a day or two but this is not essential.
  • Anything else you would like to use for your sun print e.g. paper shapes (some will be provided)
  • Wear old clothes or bring an old shirt or apron to protect your clothes
  • £10 for materials which will include a paper pack, cyanotype solution, vinyl gloves
  • Extra paper can be provided at an additional cost

Artist Bio:

Marion is a nature-based artist and photographer from Burnham-on-Crouch. She is particularly obsessed with ancient trees and botanical subjects and uses a variety of media to interpret these in her work.  She was the artist-in-residence in Epping Forest for a year and has won awards from the Royal Horticultural Society and in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.

Marionseye Photoart on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


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