Wednesday 3 October 2012

Photo Transfers with {Satin Glaze} - easy!

Image Transfer - SO. MUCH. FUN.

Image transfer art by Julie Harrington - onto old book paper
How many books have you read, how many methods have you tried, how much product have you used trying to get images to transfer onto other surfaces? Well you are not the only one, but this is the method I come back to time and time again. 
Image Transfer to altered background by Leandra Franich

I love it because it is:
  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Reliable
  • Versatile
I'm not sure why this is is not a more commonly used method to transfer images. I have loved teaching and demoing this technique for more than a decade, and have used a variety of mediums to do so. I used to use Fluid Matte Medium, but it is still thicker than it needs to be, so you often get scratchy results where the image does not transfer (see 'sweet' example above). It still looks nice and distressed, but if it is part of the face that ends up scratchy, then its not a great result. I don't really like an absent nose, mouth or eyes! Actually a bad eye isn't too bad, you can put a button on top of it! LOL

The thing I have realised over time is the thinner the 'glaze medium' the better the results.  And lucky for us, we recently also realised that our own Satin Glaze product produced the best results of all products I have ever used, and it's loads cheaper than some mediums out there!

For beginners to this technique, start with fabric. You have a long 'open' time, so you can wait for ages before lifting the transparency off. Once you get good at this move onto card, paper, metal card. I have even transferred onto microscope glass! I am sure anything is possible, but the hardest surface to transfer to is vintage old book paper, as it is so fragile. If you don't get the timing right, you actually stick the transparency to the paper, or part of the paper tears, so you have to be pretty quick.

Bear in mind that if you are transferring to a less absorbent surface, you will need less Satin Glaze than you might use on fabric, because the fabric really sucks the glaze into the weave.

So what do you need?
  • fabric, fine weave cotton is best. I use curtain lining and bleached calico. You get great results on unbleached calico, but the cream colour of the fabric can suck the colour out of your image.
  • An image printed onto transparency film through an INKJET printer. Inkjet printers are the type that spray the ink onto the paper, this technique will not work with toner printers - they pretty much roll the powder onto the paper and set it with heat.
  • Satin Glaze from PaperArtsy
  • a damp baby wipe
So check out the video, and then I'll run you through a bit of nitty gritty stuff that might be helpful.

 A note on Images
  • Colour boost. Before I print my images, I boost the colour to maximum contrasts in photoshop and try to make them as zingy as possible. The brighter the better, you lose a lot of the colour when you transfer.
  • Transparency film. Some brands have a rough side, this give a bit of 'tooth' for the inkjet ink to grab to when it goes through the printer, so make sure you put it into the feed tray the right way up. Often they have a strip of removable paper at one end so the printer can sense and grab the sheet more easily. You can't use any old acetate or clear film, you need to buy the stuff specifically made for an INKJET printer.
  • Printer settings. Your printer might have a pre-set recommendation for Overhead transparency film. I override this setting, and i print on 'best' or the same setting you would use for high quality glossy photographic prints. The reason I do this is that the printer puts a LOT more ink onto the transparency film, which means more colour , more pop, and more ink to transfer onto your receiving surface.
  • Being efficient. The film is expensive, so make sure you design a whole A4 sheet with a variety images, don't just print one image per clear sheet, you pay about £1 per sheet. I buy a box of 50 from Staples (their own brand), and it does work out cheaper than a box of 10-20, but shop around. Don't make your images too big. I have transferred a wedding photo onto an 8x8" canvas - but it is harder the larger the image to ensure the Glaze is equally damp all over the fabric.
Image transfer - the dried result from the Video demo
So here is the dried result direct from the video demo. If you look closely, the most brilliant thing is there is no trace of glue, often with mediums you will get a shiny plastic coating still visible.
And if you look really closely, you will actually be able to see the weave of the fabric, it looks like the image has actually sunk into the weave. I love that effect, and that is what Satin Glaze can do.

You can do the same thing with our gloss glaze too, and that will have a slightly glossy finish to it.

And if you wish to add more colour to the image, then yes - water down the fresco paints liberally and build colour. This is best done with our translucent paints, or mix satin glaze into opaque paints to increase their translucence.  

Hope you enjoy that tutorial. Let me know how you get on. Practise makes perfect!

Have a great week



Words and Pictures said...

Brilliant - thank you so much for this... will definitely be giving it a go - need to come shopping for some satin glaze first, obviously!
Alison x

craftimamma said...

Smashing tutorial. Thanks Leandra. You got a wonderful result with this technique.

Lesley Xx

Anonymous said...

Is the image waterproof? Thanks

athina said...

Hello!amazing project!Can I use it with canvas? How many hours can I wait to dry the canvas? Thank you