A friend recently asked how I do image transfers so I thought I'd share a simple step-out today in case others are curious too.
(Click on the photos to see a larger version with the lightbox feature.)
I begin with a photocopy or laser printer (toner-based) copy that I crop to the size I need after reversing it (the Photoshop command is Image-Rotate-Flip Horizontal).
Why reverse it? I may not need or want to but it will be necessary if there's text otherwise, the end result will be backwards. Pay attention to the direction Mona is facing as I work through this example and you'll see what I mean.
With a paintbrush, I completely cover the front of the image with an even layer of polymer medium making sure to work all the way to the edges. If an area's not covered--it won't transfer.
I flip the image and place the wet side face down on my support (in this case, a Journal Ticket). I gently press and smooth the image down with my fingers to remove any air bubbles. If there's an air bubble--it won't transfer.
I have to work quickly so the medium doesn't dry before I place it on the support. If it dries--it won't transfer.
Also, I try not to get any medium on the backside of the image but don't worry if I do--it just makes it a little more difficult to remove later.
If a lot of medium oozes out from the edges then I'm pressing too hard or I used too much medium. No worries, my image will still transfer and I'll know better next time.
I let it completely air dry which, in this case, only took about ten minutes due to the small size. In the past, I've rushed drying with a heat tool but sometimes it will cause bubbles and if there's a bubble... (you know the drill).
Now comes the fun of rubbing the paper away to reveal the image.
I add a small pool of water on my craft sheet then use my finger to spread it over the back of the photo. I let it soak a bit then begin to gently rub the paper away.
I avoid getting water on the ticket border or rubbing it since it's not protected with medium and I could damage it. Using small amounts of water in a controlled fashion is best--I don't want to rush this part.
I just keep adding a little water and rubbing away all the white bits and it doesn't take long before the magic is revealed.
The edges are the most delicate so I use careful, gentle rubbing in those areas. In spite of my caution, it's not uncommon to lose tiny bits and I don't mind because it adds a distressed appearance.
Notice how Mona is facing the opposite direction? Hopefully, you now understand why sometimes a reversed image matters. In this example, it was important to honor the direction Leonardo originally intended.
I hope you enjoyed this step-out and that you'll give it a try. I think image transfers are a terrific technique to use on mixed media projects.
You can check out other projects I've posted here on my blog that were made with image transfers if you need some inspiration!