Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo transfers

We're gonna make some magic here with gesso and a magazine page!

Here's what you need:

First and foremost, YOUR IMAGINATION!

Canvas, the kind that is NOT stretched and stapled is easier to work with, the ones that were in our recent kit work great.
You'll need a paint brush, wide is better than narrow, but any will  do.
An acrylic medium such as Gesso, Heavy Gel, anything as long as it is an Acrylic Polymer Emulsion.
Bone folder or something similar, have heard that a spoon works well.
Brayer is handy but not necessary

Acrylic paints

OK below you can see my image of sunflowers that I cut from a magazine.  I am going to transfer this image onto a canvas.  However, before transferring the image, I first painted the canvas with acrylic paint, I used Ranger Claudia Helmuth acrylic paints.

So I mixed a tiny bit of blue into the yellow to get the green below.  I wanted  a varied color so I did not mix the colors very well and that allowed me to get streaks of color.

I also streaked in some orange at the bottom.  After this dried, I was ready to do the photo transfer.

I started out using gesso but that was drying too quickly on this large image so I switched to heavy gel for my transfer medium.  Gesso does work but you have to work quickly.  Paint your medium on your image going one direction and then paint on going the other direction.  Place the image on your canvas and begin smoothing out the image working from the center to the edges.  I first used my brayer to sort of lay the image down and then used a rub on applicator to slowly rub the image into the canvas and transfer medium.  It is important to rub the image completely into the transfer medium being very careful not to tear or pucker the paper.  Some of the medium will run out from under the image, I just wiped that up with a damp paper towel.

After completely rubbing the image in, set it aside to dry overnight.  It might dry in less time, but don't push it, leave it alone!!

Ok its the next day now right?  Lightly spritz the image and dampen your fingertips and start rubbing the dried paper off the canvas.  You should start to see your image as you rub off the paper.  Below you can see the sunflower starting to peek through as I rub.

I am sorry, but I missed a couple photos in this process but I think you can still follow what I've done.  See the streaks below in my image where the image did not transfer?  Most likely that is where I either didn't rub it in enough or where my medium was to dry when I put the image on the canvas.  So I decided that that just added to the old vintage charm that I am creating and decided to live with it. 
I wanted to soften the edges of the image that I transferred so I used some rub on buff in gold around the edges.  I also applied a bit of white gesso here and there.

I just kept working with the buffing and gesso until I was happy with the results below.

Then, to dress up the canvas I made some sunflowers using a Spellbinders die.  I used micro beads for the center.  I also added some burlap underneath the flower cluster and a little straw matting at the top right corner.

And here is the finished canvas. 

Here is another canvas that I did using a laser printed image.  Note:  inkjet printed images do not work well as the color does not transfer true.  On the inkjet image I tried, black transfers looked reddish brown and the image overall looked muddy.
For this canvas I first glued on bits of printed paper, then for the transfer I used Claudia Helmuth matte medium, again you can use gesso, or any acrylic polmer emulsion, just look at the ingredients to see if it is an acrylic polymer emulsion.  I prefer using something other than gesso as that seems to dry a little quickly for me.  
Here is the image that I'm going to transfer.

Canvas covered with matte medium.

Rubbing the photo into the matte medium.

After drying overnight, I lightly dampened the back of the image and rubbed off the paper with my fingers.  I really love how the printed paper shows through the image on the edges.  Next time I will put printed paper under the entire image.  That is the cool thing about photo transfers.  They are somewhat transparent.

(Note after I rubbed the paper off my image transfer I had a really great crisp image of the bicycle - it really looked great. AND THEN- I had this bright idea to paint over the image with crackle paint. BAD IDEA, don't do it, because the crackle started chipping off and pulled off the image with it soooo, I was left with a very distressed image. Oh well, so it goes......  Now I was working with a very distressed looking image.)
I thought the canvas looked sort of lonely so I decided to incorporate it into a layout collage.  I took a sheet of Love Games from Glitz and stamped a brickwall and added some  strips of newsprint on the left.  I  decided to try a photo transfer from paper to paper.  That's the white strip you see below.
It didn't work very well as when I tried to rub the photo image paper off, some of the cardstock beneath the photo also rubbed off, but no matter, I was aiming for a rough aged look and you can see that is what I got.

I drew a rectangle in the center of my cardstock so that I would know where my canvas was located.  Then I just dug thru my stash and added a lot of different elements.  At the top center I used a Tim Holtz stamp that I embossed using Stampendous aged black embossing powder (great stuff !!  Check it out in the store).  I also added a diamond shaped stamp, Tim Holtz film strip, Tattered Angels bicycle, G45 metal flowers and a Tim Holtz Eiffel Tower stamp.

I sure hope you'll give this a try and  I'd love to see your project, leave me a link so I can see what you've done!

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