Author Topic: image transfer  (Read 6155 times)

Offline funkergirl

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: 30
  • white wave
    • View Profile
    • jlvart.com
image transfer
« on: September 20, 2009, 01:16:28 PM »
i want to experiment with image transfers (the kind made from inkjet or laser prints/photos).  I've read a little about how to do it (ie applying a gel of some sort, waiting for it to dry, then wetting it to remove the paper).  Does anyone have experience in this?  looking to know what kind of supplies i need, what is the best gel medium to use, any special papers that would make it work better?  would you recommend using a paint brush/roller, etc?

thanks all!
cheers, darlin

Offline BarryS

  • Patron
  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1380
  • Karma: 56
    • View Profile
Re: image transfer
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 06:17:53 PM »
I've done a fair amount of image transfer using acrylic gel mediums.  I like Liquitex acrylic gloss varnish, although if you have any kind of acrylic medium on hand, it would be worth trying.  I print on Moab Kayenta paper.  The thing I like about Kayenta is it prints beautifully, and is thin/soft enough to dissolve readily.  A matte art paper, the thinner the better, is ideal.  Plastic coated papers like photo luster won't work, because they can't be dissolved.  I apply with a small foam brush, but the medium is self leveling, so any brush would be fine.  Here's my process---

Print image onto Moab Kayenta or other thin matte paper (normal density/color).

Let print dry for a week.  (doing the transfer immediately will result in a weaker image)

Coat front of print with thin layer of acrylic gloss medium .  Let dry.  Add 2 more coats drying between each.

Soak print in tray of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.

Gently rub fingers on paper until it falls apart and flakes off.  Be careful not to tear the acrylic sheet.  Change water when it gets too cloudy.  Work quickly, but carefully and remove all paper backing. Acrylic sheet will look translucent.   Don't let the print soak too long.

Rinse acrylic sheet with clean water.

Dry the acrylic sheet.

Once dry, the acrylic sheet with your image can be applied to a canvas or other surface using more of the gloss acrylic medium.

Artomatic 2012 Event Director  Civilian

Offline Gone

  • Patron
  • Established Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 390
  • Karma: 19
    • View Profile
Re: image transfer
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 07:37:50 PM »
The label paper works well in a lazer printer.  Take off the labels and print in your lazer on the silicone/shiny side.  Paint a layer or 2 of clear acrylic gel medium over the lazer image.  Let dry.  You also need to paint a layer of acrylic gel medium on the surface you want to transfer on.  Let it dry.  Then place your image on the acrylic medium and rub the back side of the label paper with a spoon.  Rub good all over it.  You should be able to peel the label paper off slowly.  The acrylic will stick to the acrylic better than it sticks to the label paper.  The label paper acts as a release paper.

Another way to do ink jet transfers is to make your own release/trasnfer paper.  Take some regular paper and paint it with a light coat of olive oil.  The paper will absorb the oil and get somewhat transparent.  You don't need a lot of oil.  Then paint the paper with a layer of clear acrylic gel medium.  Let the acrylic dry.  Now you can run your home made transfer paper through the inkjet printer.  Print on the acrylic medium side.  Let the ink jet image dry a day and then paint it with a layer or two of acrylic medium.  Now you can remove it from the transfer paper by rubbing a little along the edge and sliding the side of a butter knife under the acrylic.  I've used this home made transfer paper with my Epson ink jet and it works fine.  No guarantee how it will work with your ink jet though.  I find it is best to use these transfers sheets within a couple weeks.  The acrylic gets harder and stiffer after while and doesn't bend in the printer as well.  You can also take these plain unprinted transfers sheets and do rubbings on brick or wood or what not with an oil pastel or charcoal etc.  So then you have a rubbing transfer you can add to your painting.

Keep in mind when you do print that your transferred image may come out reversed, depending on how you apply it to the surface.  You can reverse it before printing if that is important for your results.

Thot of another thing.  When you do the technique where you wet the paper and rub it off the acrylic, it often leaves lots of little paper nubbins/bits.  It's good to get as much of those off as you can.  But it is also true that a final cost of gel medium on top will usually clear up the surface some, even if there is a little residual paper.  You could try printing on rice paper also, after giving it a couple coats of acrylic medium.  It helps to use a paper that is easy to dissolve/rub away.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 05:18:43 PM by PaulsArt »

Offline seanwelker

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1106
  • Karma: 52
  • In Chicago, yes, but my heart's in the 202.
    • View Profile
    • sean welker dot com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 11:25:28 AM »
I'm playing with image transfers lately too.  That's a bit eerie.

I take fresh photocopies (or even prints) from a toner-based printer.  Placing the image down onto the surface I want to mark, I apply nail polish remover to the back of the copy.  Using a spoon or brayer, I rub the image in, pressing harder in the areas where I want more detail + making sure the paper doesn't move during transfer.  After a few minutes of this, I peel back the copy carefully. 

Factors you can play with to achieve your own desired results: how much you saturate the photocopy, how long you let it sit atop the surface to be marked, how much/how hard you burnish it onto the surface, how long you let it sit after rubbing. 

You can also experiment with the fluid you use to initiate the transfer.  Though I've never tried it, I've heard turpentine, acrylic medium, and even blending markers can produce similar results.

As previously mentioned, you're transferring the mirror image onto the surface, so if it involves text or other considerations, you'll want to reverse the image.   

Best of luck! 
sean welker is a creative based in Chicago.
website - www.seanwelker.com
twitter- sean_welker
facebook- http://www.facebook.com/seanwelker?ref=name#!/pages/Sean-Welker/44683081519?ref=ts

Offline RicGarcia

  • Patron
  • Mid-Career Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
    • ricgarcia.mosaicglobe.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 02:00:27 PM »
Cool approaches to image transfers. 

I had success with gesso image transfer. I used the technique to enlarge sketches  from a 3x5 book for a group show.
1. laser copy or laser print your image to a sheet of paper.
2. Work in an area where you can be messy.
3. Apply a smooth coat of gesso to the surface you'd like to transfer the image too. maybe 1/16 inch. I used a hand squeegee but a piece of thick card stock works too. I also experimented with brushing the gesso on and it worked well too. you may get brush marks.
4. Place your paper image side down onto the gessoed surface.
5. Apply enough pressure to the back of the paper with your squeegee so that both surfaces make good contact. Some gesso may come out of the sides.
let them dry for a week
6. Wet the paper and start rubbing it off. I used bond paper. DON'T. ( thanks for the brand name tip Barry!)
7. You now have an image transfered to a gessoed surface.

How I reversed my image:
I scanned my sketch then flipped it in Photoshop  I then printed and transfered.
Another way would be to have a printer with a print feature in it's command dialogue window that allows you to flip  or  Mirror the image. Those are some of the terms I've seen used.

Here are some how to links on Goldens' web site covering the topic of image transfers. Any brand of acrylic will work.
http://www.goldenpaints.com/artist/directransfer.php
http://www.goldenpaints.com/artist/geltrans.php
http://www.goldenpaints.com/technicaldata/transimg.php

Offline funkergirl

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: 30
  • white wave
    • View Profile
    • jlvart.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 08:31:50 AM »
thanks for all the info everyone!  :smt001

I bought some acrylic medium and going to try some out this weekend.

I forgot about the blending pens!  Thos are great.  I am going to have to pick some up this weekend as well! i have nail polish remover too I could try. 
cheers, darlin

Offline funkergirl

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: 30
  • white wave
    • View Profile
    • jlvart.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2009, 12:42:47 PM »
Another question about the blending markers.  Can these be done with ink jet prints or only laser copies?  Is there a specific amount of time that you have to transfer the image after printing it?  Thanks again all!
cheers, darlin

Offline Perstef

  • Established Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 210
  • Karma: 23
    • View Profile
    • perstef.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 09:27:11 AM »
I'm not sure if you're still looking for resources, but I do a lot of different transfers techniques.  I was a big fan of Xylene transfers in college, but teaching HS I'm always looking for non-toxic or no fume options.  I've worked a lot with inkjet transfers which are super easy, just run a transparency through an inkjet printer and brayer or burnish it onto a wet substrate.  Depending on how wet the paper or fabric is you can get a really nice painterly effect. 

The Image Transfer Workshop book is a great resource for a lot of different transfer techniques.  You can usually get it for under $15 on amazon.

Offline Erin Antognoli

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2293
  • Karma: 55
  • Urban Holga Photographer Extraordinaire!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.erinantognoli.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 11:23:25 AM »
ink jet printers never worked for me... or at least what i did. the ink would run as soon as it got wet, or would bleed as soon as the acrylic medium came in contact. they don't tolerate moisture of any kind well. i have done similar to what barry described, though some of the other techniques mentioned seem interesting as well.

Offline J. L. Grillo

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 781
  • Karma: 48
  • Paper Cat
    • View Profile
Re: image transfer
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 11:40:51 AM »
Thanks for posting all of this information ya'll!

Offline Perstef

  • Established Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 210
  • Karma: 23
    • View Profile
    • perstef.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 09:22:45 AM »
Ink jets can be temperamental.  If you want a clearer transfer, barely wet the paper and use an ink jet specific transperency.  If you want a painterly one, wet the paper and use a laser or photocopy one.  Notably I also use a cheap printer on regular settings.  The more ink the printer puts out the more likely it is to run.

One of my kids tried something new that was pretty cool.  Ink jet into gel medium.  The thickness of the gel kept the image from running and the colors were very vivid. 

Offline Rogerrr

  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 587
  • Karma: 15
    • View Profile
Re: image transfer
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 12:25:54 PM »
what's the deal with polaroid transfers?

can you still get the film?

I heard Fuji was making some types of polaroid film...but unsure which types


Offline Jesse

  • Administrator
  • Uber Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 12564
  • Karma: 47
  • Networking Art!
    • View Profile
    • jessecohen.com
Re: image transfer
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 03:33:30 PM »
Polaroid is gone.  However there is a topic in the photo board about a company that's trying to re-brith polaroid instant film.
http://artdc.org/forum/index.php?topic=11286.0

Fuji does make instant film, but it's not polaroid film.