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Showing posts from February, 2007

Polymer medium transfer film technique

There are so many ways to transfer images to your collages, altered books, and other mixed media projects. Every artist has favorites, and I thought that I would do a series of tutorials for you on the 7 methods that I like the best. I invite your input and comments during this short series: please share any additional tips that you can think of, your favorite products, your successes and failures. Or send me pictures of your work using transfers! Polymer medium transfer films are fun to use in your work. Since they need to dry overnight, it’s a method that you can’t use when you’re in a hurry. But it’s a great method for preparing batches of images to store for later use. Magazine images and fully saturated printouts work well, and the process will not reverse the image, so writing can be included. Store them between sheets of parchment, freezer, or waxed paper. 1. Liquid polymer medium (the gloss style) works best for this technique. Use a sponge brush and apply 5 thin coats of mediu

Adding an embossed layer to your photos

Here are two of my photos that show ice just in the beginning phases of crystallizing on a local pond. Since the patterns the ice was forming were so subtle, I decided to add an embossed layer to each photo with Photoshop to enhance that effect. 1. Here’s a close-up shot of some of the detail from one photo. The resolution of our computer screens is very low, so you’ll have to take my word for it that the photo is much clearer and sharper in person! 2. Use the layer palette in Photoshop to add an embossed layer. Copy your image and desaturate it. Go to filter>stylize>emboss, and choose your settings. I usually use a couple of pixels for height at 500%. 3. Change the blending mode to “overlay” and play with the opacity slider until you like the effect. I’ve used approximately 40% opacity here. I don’t know that you can really see the difference in these low-resolution photos or not. But play with it in Photoshop or your favorite imaging software and I promise you will see a big d

Multiply your color options

With Photoshop or other image-altering software, you can easily change the color of a background piece that you’ve made. This raises all kinds of interesting possibilities for digital mixed media work. One of my favorite techniques, which you’ve seen many times now, is to collage or paint a background, scan it, and then add digital elements to it. Even when I end up using the actual background piece in a physical art project, I’ve still got the scan to use as many times as I wish. There are many ways to achieve the same effect in Photoshop, so I’ll explain one easy method for altering the color of your scanned background. I'm going to use Francis, Walter, and Grace , shown above, as an example. 1. This is a piece of Lutradur which I painted with acrylics, stenciled, and stamped with black ink. Lutradur is a non-woven polyester fabric used in the automotive industry. It’s incredibly tough and stiff but has a soft surface. It can be melted to create wonderful organic shapes or to hav

An encased collage

Have you ever had the experience of getting your collage papers laid out just the way you want, and then when you have to lift them to apply the glue, you just can’t seem to get them to go back the same way? I hate it when that happens! Casting about for a solution, I came across Jonathan Talbot’s collage method . I highly recommend buying his collage book : Jonathan is a tremendously talented and generous man, and he has packed this small instructional manual with years worth of his own experience. I have borrowed from Jonathan’s method to create this encased collage. It’s also a very handy method to have in your repertoire when you want to deal with delicate, old, or crumbly papers. It seems at first like you are spending forever on the prep work. Well, it takes about the same amount of time as a traditional collage, except that the major time is spent on the front end instead of in the adhering process. Try this method and see if you like it! You may never go back to traditional