Sunday, 17 April 2016

Image transfer onto canvas

I've been playing with my photos lately and I thought it would be nice to transfer some of them onto canvas. I have a whole bunch of small canvas boards that I bought a few years ago and wasn't sure what to do with. They're about 7" X 5" in size and perfect for this purpose. I used an acrylic gel medium transfer method, sticking a laser copy of my image face down and removing the paper by rubbing it off with wet fingers. If you're not familiar with this technique, you can see a video of this process here.

Here's my photo before and after editing. I used a free texture and action from my favourite Photoshop resource website, The CoffeeShop Blog to alter it for a muted look.

This is what I ended up with after transferring the image onto my canvas board. These gel transfers are seldom perfect, which is part of their charm. Because of this distressed look, they're better suited for transferring images of  objects rather than portraits. Although I have had successful transfers with portraits in the past, they are always a bit risky in case you accidentally remove the colour from strategic parts of the face, like the eyes, lips etc. With objects, it doesn't matter that much. And of course, always remember that your transfer will be the mirror image of the original, so flip it in your image editing program beforehand. I always forget this part, as you can see below!

The key to success is making sure there are no trapped air bubbles between the print and the substrate because that almost certainly will lead to an incomplete transfer. Some small parts of the image will inevitably rub off, but you don't want large chunks missing. 

The other mistake I sometimes make is not letting the gel dry completely. The waiting is undoubtedly the hardest part in this process! It's best to leave it to dry for several hours, or preferably overnight, however hard it may seem! 

Initially, I used a satin varnish to seal the surface, but I found it was too shiny so I applied a top coat of fluid matte medium to tone down the gloss. It worked beautifully! Here are some more photos of my finished project:

Happy Sunday! Hope you have a good week ahead!

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