Sunday, September 19, 2010

More on image transfer

Image transfers usually make their way into my work (even when it doesn't look like they are there). Because I make so many I've had to find ways to perfect my technique. I've begun a new series called Re-presenting until I come up with something better and the image transfers are happening fast and furiously. I thought I would create a review post with some additional hints and pictures to add to my previous posts on the subject (see my sidebar).
I use an old shower curtain to lay out my colour photocopies that I want to create into image transfers. My all time favourite acrylic medium for this is Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish. Apply four coats in alternating directions with drying in between, and leave overnight to dry completely. You can force drying with a hair dryer if you need one or two fast, but I don't do that as a rule.

When the papers are completely dry, soak in a bath of warm water for 15 minutes. I sometimes add Bounce or a similar product to the water to help release the paper. This is an old wallpaper removal trick.

I work on my kitchen countertop. Dampen the area with a spray bottle and place the image face down. Start to remove the paper from the centre outward with your fingertips with a delicate touch until you find out exactly how much pressure you can apply.

You will need to keep spraying the paper to keep it damp. When most of the layers are removed it's time to begin the finishing touches. I have two favourite tools I use.

The plastic scrubbie works very well and holds up for months. You can just run water over it to clean when you are finished.

I also like the combined sponge and green scrubbie. The positive for this tool is the sponge which can be used to remove all clinging bits at the very end of the process. The disadvantage is that the scrubbie side clogs up with paper over time and you can't easily remove it.

I give each finished transfer a final brush with a wet paper towel before I lay it to dry.

Let dry before use and then tear them up and re-organize to your hearts content. You can use gloss medium or matt medium to apply the transfers to your work.
I would be happy to answer any questions on the technique.

Next post ... new work. It's time to go public.


Kathy said...

This is a wonderful explanation, Margaret! I once had this technique explained to me about a decade ago but not as thoroughly or clearly. Can't wait to see what you will do with these transfers!

ArtPropelled said...

Thanks so much for the tips Margaret. I'd love to try this technique.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I was fortunate enough to read these instructions the first time...very clear and helpful...thanks for the re-post!

hwfarber said...

When I try this, I'll be asking questions. Intersting post and interesting ring. I'm waiting for you to "go public."

HeartFire said...

Hi Margaret,
That's a lot of transferring! I've done a few in the past but never tried using a "scrubby" to remove the paper. That sure would save the fingers!

Margaret Ryall said...

The mind is getting away from me. I ddin't remember that I used a scrubbie when I wrote the original post. I thought I started after that point and this was a wonderful new suggestion that as Delorse said it saves the finger tips.

Kim Hambric said...

I tried this once about 10 years ago, with vague instructions. It did not work. The only instruction for removing paper was just "remove paper." Your instructions are motivating me to give this another try.

Do you have your copies made at a copy center? I have an ink jet printer and copier at home, but I've read they don't work for transfers.

Margaret Ryall said...

I have the copies made at a copy centre. Ink jet printers do not work for this process as I've described it. Copies from a laser printer will. Give it a go. It is easy.

-Don said...

Thanks for this great set of instructions. I have heard about using image transfer for years, but have never tried it or really understood it before this. This may end up creeping into my process someday...

Now, hurry up and go public! My curiosity is killing me you tease.


Andrea said...

Help. I am trying this-applying my image to canvas with the gloss medium-waiting 24 hours and spraying the paper to rub off but the image rubs off with it. What am I doing wrong?