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Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Caulk image transfers


Today I’m wrapping up the series of tutorials that I’ve been sharing on my favorite image transfer methods. This last one, using clear acrylic caulk as the transfer medium, is a really wonderful and very permanent method, but it’s also more time consuming and a bit more physical. You really need to use a strong and heavy base to receive the image, and I especially recommend a canvas board or masonite.


1. Toner copies work best, so I recommend xeroxing your image. Like the paper transfers that we did, caulk transfers reverse the image, so keep that in mind as you prepare your picture. Paint the surface of your canvas and apply any other collaged images desired before doing the transfer. Leave a good deal of extra paper around your image so that it will be much larger than the caulked area. You need to avoid getting any of the caulk on the back side of the paper when you go to do the transfer.

2. Apply a thin but thorough coat of caulk to the canvas in the spot where the transfer is to be placed. Position the image ink side down and burnish well to remove all air bubbles. Let it dry overnight.

3. Tear off the extra paper and wet the paper backing thoroughly. Rub off the paper. You’ll have to rewet and rub several times before all the fibers will be removed. The image will be embedded in the clear caulk when you are finished.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Contact paper transfers



Contact paper transfers, aka packing tape transfers, are a very handy method to have in your repertoire. They are very easy to do and use cheap materials. As if that weren’t enough, this is the one method that does not reverse your image!!

Toner copies from a copy machine or text and images from magazines work the best. Inkjet prints will be very faint, so you’ll want to print out your text in bold face. Experiment and see what you like best, but my experience leads me to take my inkjet printouts to a copy machine before using them!


1. Place clear contact paper or a strip of clear packing tape over your text/image. Smooth it out and burnish it well. Cut it out to whatever final shape you will desire.


2. Soak the tape in warm water, and rub the back gently but thoroughly. The paper backing will rub off, leaving the pigment behind on the tape. You will probably have to rub and re-rub several times to get all the paper fibers. I've been told that baby wipes perform miracles in removing the paper fibers!


3. You can store these transfers for later use by sticking them onto a piece of freezer paper (the shiny side). When you are ready to use one, simply stick it down onto your work.

4. Top the transfer with matte medium if you don’t like the shiny finish of the tape. As you finish up your collage, you should plan to cover or deal with the hard edges of the tape in some way.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fabric image transfers: transparency transfers


As we saw in the last post about t-shirt transfers to fabric, the transparency transfer method yields a more delicately colored and transparent image. Here's how to do it:



1. Print out your image on the rough side of an inkjet transparency. Prepare the receiving cloth, ironing it flat if needed.


2. Apply a thin but thorough layer of polymer gloss medium to the fabric. Position the image and burnish it well. The fabric will probably be slippery, so hold your image down carefully.


3. Remove the transparency carefully, and top the image with matte medium to cut the shine if desired.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Fabric image transfers: t-shirt transfers

Last week I talked about a couple of my favorite methods for transfering images from one paper to another. Today I want to look at transfering to fabric instead. There are two methods that I use more than any other, and I want to start by showing you side-by-side what the final results look like:


The first is a t-shirt transfer, and the second is a transparency transfer. It’s easy to see how much more pigmented and opaque the t-shirt transfer turns out to be. Both of these methods will reverse the image, just like the ones we saw last week, so keep that in mind when you are printing out your inkjet picture.

We’ll start with the t-shirt transfer method:


1. Print out your image with a bit of extra saturation of color. Prepare the receiving cloth, ironing it flat if needed.


2. Use parchment paper to protect your iron and board. Iron the transfer in place, following the manufacturer’s specific directions for heat and time. Peel off the transfer paper.


3. Again using parchment paper to protect your iron, iron waxed paper over top of the image to remove the plastic-y feel of the transfer. Peel off the waxed paper. I learned this trick from Rice Freeman-Zachery on a radio interview that she did.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Paper image transfers: photo paper


Photo paper is another alternative for paper image transfers. You will generally get a transfer with much more saturated and even color than with plain paper. This method also reverses the image, so keep that in mind before you print out your picture. There are only a few differences in method from the steps listed above:


1. Print out your image on gloss or soft gloss photo paper.


2. Apply polymer gloss medium in a thin layer to both the image and to the receiving paper. Position and burnish as explained before.


3. Peel off the image paper and clean it up as explained before. Top with matte medium to cut the shine if desired


4. The finished piece, Never Doubt.


Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Paper image transfers: plain paper


This is a collage piece from one of my art journals that used a ghostly-looking image transfer of a young woman. Some people ask why anyone would want to use a transfer rather than simply collage the actual picture or a copy of it into the work. The usual reason is because the artist is looking for that transparent, irregular quality which simple cut and paste cannot achieve. Look at the image again and notice how you can see right through the woman.

This piece was made with an inkjet printout on plain copy paper…nothing fancy, not coated paper or even particularly heavy. This type of transfer will give you the most irregular and ghostly results. In fact, the results are almost always a surprise!

This transfer method reverses the image, so if you might want to reverse it in an image editing program if direction is important, especially if there is text involved!


1. Prepare your receiving paper by painting it and adding any other images that you might want to be underneath your transfer, showing through.


2. Apply a thin layer of polymer gloss medium to the receiving paper. Quickly position your image, print side down, and burnish it well.

3. Peal up the image paper before it begins to stick too badly. It takes practice to know exactly how long this will take, but don’t worry…irregular is GOOD! If some of the white paper sticks, it can be easily rubbed off with moistened fingers after the polymer medium dries.


4. Top your piece with matte medium after it dries if you don’t want a shiny surface.


That's it!  A full list of all my image transfer tutorials can be found here or in the sidebar. 

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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