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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, November 27, 2007

How to make a digital Polaroid image transfer

OK, here’s the verdict: it’s difficult to come up with a convincing digital version of a Polaroid image transfer, and it takes a LONG time to do it. It is a lot easier to do these physically with the DayLab machine. But I am so addicted to my Photoshop, I just have to try to see everything that it can do.

Compare these two shots:





The frame on the second one still needs a lot more work. It is way too solid and dark. The upper one is better, but probably still needs a few ink smears along the edges to make it really good. Anyway, here’s what you’ve gotta do, and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth going to all this effort:

1. Scan a piece of watercolor paper or canvas to use as the base. You could also just create this in Photoshop using the texturizer. Save this as an 8 x 10 image.

2. In a separate file, create a border for the image transfer. I adapted the directions for creating a "grunge" border found here at Kirupa.com You’ve got to size your border to either 3 x 4 or to 6 x 8 to match the sizes of Polaroids (at least the ones produced by a DayLab machine).

3. Slop up the border a LOT, by erasing, smudging, etc etc.

4. Add a cyan layer underneath your border.

5. Move your transfer border onto the background that you created in step 1.

6. Open the image that you wish to "transfer". Size it to either 3 x 4 or to 6 x 8. Drag it onto the border and nudge it into place, transforming it as needed to fit within the border.

7. Use the rectangular marquee tool to select a thin border within the image and feather it a bit (only on the image layer). Apply a slight Gaussian blur. Use the blur tool and the burn tool around the edges as needed to blend.

8. Pick the color replacement tool, and using the cyan color from the transfer border, "remove"areas of paint.

9. Speckle the paint with a large brush eraser.

10. Set a clipping path to just the image layer, and adjust the lightness, brightness, and color balance until the fading looks like the subtle colors of a real image transfer.

11. Think about whether or not it might be better to buy the machine!


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, November 20, 2007

What you need to know about Polaroid image transfers

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try out an image transfer machine by DayLab. It is extremely cool! You insert a slide, expose a piece of Polaroid film, let it develop partway, and transfer the negative to a piece of watercolor paper or fabric! Very very cool.

This is the (mostly) developed picture…

…and this is the transfer from the negative.

If you do black and white shots, or shots with subtle hues, you can go in and color them afterwards too. Here’s a gallery of images on the DayLab site.

If you decide that you want to play with this type of transfer, first you need to know that the machine isn’t cheap! You might really want to think about taking a class if you can find one to make sure that you really enjoy the process. But here’s the rest of what you need to know:

DayLab has workshop teachers (note 2012 - sorry, link no longer works, but you can still contact DayLab through their site)  listed on their site and some simple instructions to get you going if you decide to just plunge in.



If you’d like to see some more work, I recommend my friend Carol Strand-Siebers's pictures. She also offers classes, and will be on HGTV sometime this spring doing a demo!

More information can be found at the website of the tremendously talented (and generous) Holly F Dupre, who has created a PDF book that you can read to learn about the techniques that she uses to create stunning and ethereal images like these:




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, November 13, 2007

Paper casting


Over at WetCanvas, we did some simple paper casting as an October mixed media forum challenge. The results were really fun! It’s so easy to do, as our friend Sue explained to us. Most of us used one of two simple methods:

* wet some toilet paper with liquid starch and press it into a mold, or
* wet a piece of watercolor paper and mold around the object with your fingers





Obviously there are a lot more sophisticated ways to do paper casting, but we found that these two methods were very versatile, and allowed us to experiment using stuff we already had around the house! Sue graciously listed many other links, which you can find over at the WC thread.



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, November 06, 2007

Making an art quilt


This little quilt, September Morning, is very similar to one I did awhile back called My Heart. The techniques are identical, except that I didn’t dye any of the fabrics other than the organza and the lace. Fortunately for me, I had some stained materials left over from the last quilt, so I just used those. The directions can be found here: Making a monchromatic art quilt.

Even though this quilt is much more colorful than the last, it still gives the effect of being monochromatic, with the addition of the neutral creams. The leaves were cut from a lucky fabric find from about 12 years ago. No, we don’t throw stuff out in my business :-)

Staining fabrics in coffee

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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