Jan 17 2009

Acrylic Image Transfers

Transferring images can be done with photocopies, some magazine images, inkjet or laser prints.  I suggest using a high contrast laser image for your first efforts because I think the results are more reliable, but the options are open for trying practically anything.  In regards to imagery, try whatever you have a strong connection to.  Winter skies hold a fascination for me, with the filigree of naked branches against a sky.  Many people have an attraction to vintage photographs, or ephemera that comes through their hands regularly through magazines. Other ideas: family photos, scientific illustrations, clip art…

I’ve been intending to do some videos of the acrylic gel transfer that I’m using in my mixed media class.  I’ve noticed that there’s already plenty of artists doing this on YouTube, so I’m including some of the best ones I’ve viewed here. There’s so many ways to do image transfers and I haven’t tried all of them yet.  It can be a little tricky, so practice, practice, practice! .. and have fun!!

Gel Medium Transfer
In this demo by Darlene Olivia McElroy, the artist uses a magazine image, transfered with gel medium, a brayer, and water spritzer. You can also do this with a laser copy (high contrast recommended). The brayer can be substituted with the back of a spoon, and water can be sponged on if you don’t have a sprayer.

Check out some of Darlene’s amazing artwork on her site: http://darleneoliviamcelroy.com


Inkjet Transparency Transfer 

Artist Gary Reef adds transfer images using his inkjet printer, transparency film, and acrylic gel medium (he calls it “impasto gel”:


Gary’s website: http://www.lovingmixedmedia.com

Thick Acrylic Gel Transfer

Here’s another way to do a gel transfer that requires a thick slather of gloss gel or soft gel medium, dried face down on glass.  Takes a bit longer, but very effective!  (Hint: you can probably speed drying time with a hair dryer)

Part 2 shows the completion of the process, the cleanup and lifting stage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTxfYS8pFSc

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Acrylic Image Transfers”

  1. Thank you for pulling this information on image transfer techniques together. I exclusively use acrylic medium transfers to create gel skins which I then collage into my paintings but it’s good to broaden your horizons.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Margaret. Thanks so much for your comment. I’m amazed at how fast someone can find a post on a blog, since I had just posted this entry. It’s a testament to how well blog technology works with search engines!

    Anyway, I checked out your gel transfers on your own website. Very cool! Mind if I post one or two on my blog? Perhaps you could explain a little about your own process, for the benefit of my readers?

  3. I have only been blogging a month and it is all new to me. Everyday I find out something new. I have to say, it has broadened my horizons and given me great access to other artists.

    By all means, post several images from my site. My process is very much “a one thing led to another” approach. I never set out to work the way I do. I am really a painter who has over time evolved into mixed media collage because of my interest in layers and texture. I have never tried to put the way I work into words . That will be a challenge. My friend describes it as “mucking around” until it’s right! Hopefully I can come up with better than that. I’ll wait to see the images you choose and make a comment. Thanks.

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