July 21, 2011

How to: Gel medium photo transfer... with a twist.


So its not a HUGE twist really... I couldn't deside on one photo that I wanted to use for this so I thought to myself... "Why do you have to choose?! Just put them all together!" So I made a collage. Heres how I did it...
You will need:
Photo copied/printed Pictures
Canvas
Brayer (roller)
Scissors or knife
Sponge brush
Little bowl of water
Double sided tape (forgot it in the photo, sorry.)
and the star of the show...
Gel Medium

IMPORTANT: You photos and or text NEED to be printed with an inkjet printer or photo copied. 
Proper profesionally printed photos will not work. You need the ink to be sitting on top of the paper for it to transfer onto the canvas.

Step 1
Work out how you want your photos to sit together and cut them out.
Step 2
Use double sided tape to stick the collage together. 
I chose tape over glue because I wasn't sure how the glue would react with the gel medium and getting covered in water... But it might work.
Step 3
Once you have stuck all the photos together turn the collage over. Place the canvas on top and and cut around it. Cut it so the paper is a big bigger than the canvas. This will give you a better end result as you wont have white edges.
Flip it over and check that you are happy with how it all sits together.
Step 4
Add some text. (optional of course)
If you do want text in your collage make sure you print in out in reverse. Once you transfer it onto the canvas it will be the right way round. 
I forgot about this when I did it the first time... oops. :P
Stick them onto the photos.
again make sure your text is in reverse.
Step 5
Cover the canvas in gel medium. Be quite generous with the coverage. 
The more you apply the better the result will be. 
Step 6 
Put the collage onto the canvas print down. Use a roller to get it nice and smooth. Air bubbles in the gel medium can stop parts of the image from transferring. Put it aside until the gel medium is dry. This should only take an hour or two but you can leave it over night if you like. :)
Step 7
Grab a sponge and cover the paper in water. Don't worry about getting it to wet. The wetter it is the easier it is to get the paper off.
Step 8
Rub the layer of paper off the canvas. Don't rub to hard though. Just enough to get the paper to come off. If you rub to hard you can take the transfer off the canvas.
I used my finger and it worked well but I did get ink stains on my hands for 2 days after I made it...
So it could be a good idea to use the sponge. :)
Keep rubbing until you can clearly see all of the image.
I found the text trick because in parts it was under three layers of paper. Use lots of water and be very careful. I used my nail to scratch away the paper on top of the letters.
YAY!!
Step 9
Cover the transfer with a coat of gel medium. This will give it a bit of a gloss finish. :)
It's white but it will dry clear. Although try to apply thin coats to avoid it getting cloudy. 
Finished! :)

A few tips for working with gel medium. 
A canvas board works best. 
I think its because you can roll it out better than one on a stretched frame.
Loose canvas sheets work too but the board really is best.
It's doesn't always work perfectly!
There is no garentee with gel medium transfers. I have done several recently and some turn out horribly! 
If you are not happy with the result just gesso over it and start again. :)
Even when it does work well it doesn't come out cleanly like it would if you got a picture printed onto canvas. So if you want a perfectly printed effect I suggest you get to the printer and get it done by a professional. Or get canvas sheets that you can put through your printer at home.
Colours are tricky...
Some colours don't come out the way you want them too... But I kinda like that. :)

Now go! Have fun! :)

3 comments:

  1. No way! That is so cool! I have never even seen anyone transfer photos like this. Awesome! I must try it. Adding it to my list of projects to try...when I have time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this awesome tutorial!!! I've been wanting to do this for some time now and just went out and bought the stuff for it. The most expensive thing was the gel medium but I'm really hoping it turns out cool looking.

    Anyways, thanks again! <3

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...