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Topic: a transfer technique  (Read 6048 times)
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« on: June 22, 2004 07:05:41 AM »

I just had someone come to my site asking about how I did my transfers, so I thought I would share the email I just sent to her.

You can get a good look at the final results by going here:

Ok! I'll let you in on my technique, it's VERY inexpensive, and easy-though your fingers get a little tired.

What you need is acrylic medium- doesn't matter if it's gloss or matte, just that it's gloppy and thick. I'm currently using some type of liquitex, then some photo copies (I actually used the ones from work for the old folks- i'm sure they wondered why I had made a million copies of old people) anyhow-- you want laser photocopies on regular old office paper.
Then, take the medium and glop it all over your photocopy, if you want to cut out the background- you should do it before you glop the stuff on (obviously)- cover every inch in an even thick layer of the stuff.  Then apply it to the canvas- face down. You then take something flat to get out air bubbles (you'll see what I mean when you try it for the first time) I like to run something like a jar lid down the center and then out  to the sides (you'll have some medium coming out from the edges). Then- you allow it to dry. Once it's dry, take some water (I use a spray bottle that I use to spray my plants) and start scratching away at the paper- I use my fingernails, a little bit of pressure is fine, but if you rub too hard you can destroy the transfer.  Once you get most of the paper off, you might see a haze of paper left over- sometimes i'll get the rest off by rubbing it off, sometimes i'll use some of the medium mixed with a little bit of water and the paper kind of disappears. There you have your transfer! You are basically floating the photocopy in medium.
You can also put layer after layer after layer of medium (allowing to dry inbetween layers) on a photocopy and instead of applying it onto a canvas, just take the paper off to have a translucent transfer.

It's a technique that an instructor at the school of the art institute of chicago taught me, and I've been using it ever since.

The old folks were all found in a church directory from like 1982- they were only like an inch tall to start with, so once you blew them all up they were really really cool. The finished size was way above the paper size, so what i did was tile the photocopies to get the larger size. Everyone i showed them to thought they looked a little worhol-ish.

As you may know, it's never recommended to use acrylics over oils-but the great thing for you is that you can start out with this technique and then oils are fine over acrylics!

I hope my directions are clear. It's really easy, but like i said, your fingers get tired-if you work smaller to start, it might be some help.  All of this works with certain color prints as well, the ones that are not water based should work fine. Also, if you want to do straight out collage- the medium is an excellent adhesive,  you still will need to get out the air bubbles. If the thought of putting a lot of pressure (rubbing the paper off) on a stretched canvas makes you cringe, you can do these transfers onto a wood base like this one was
, or do this on unstretched canvas and then put it on a stretcher frame.

Let me know if you have any questions!

-amy beth
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015 10:40:05 AM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2004 08:30:09 AM »

Great tutorial!  I like your work and can't wait to try this!

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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2004 10:57:53 PM »

hey supah, do you think this would work on color prints from my bubble jet printer?

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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2004 11:56:23 PM »

do you think this would work on color prints from my bubble jet printer?

If i understand correctly (as I have done similar transfers before with acetone and photocopies before) is that you must use something with toner in it, like a photocopy. Unfortunately, color printers do not use toner. Some massive office-style laserprinters use toner, not ink. You might try going to a copy shop and asking if their photocopiers use color toner, in fact, that's something i've been wondering myself. Otherwise, you can just do it in b+w and then paint over it or use colored pencil.

« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2004 10:50:54 AM »

Another way to transfer a print is to use acetone (which you can buy at an art supply store...or just use cheap nail polish remover that doesn't have any kind of moisturizing oil in it.).  This will give you a similar result, without the texture of the acrylic medium.  Basically, you need a fresh laser-printed or photo copied image (black and white or color).  Tape your print face down on whatever flat surface you're transferring to, and -soak- the paper with the acetone.  Rub it with the back of a spoon or something similar so that the paper sticks tight to the surface underneath.  Let it dry, and peel the paper off carefully, a little at a time.  The paper should peel off, leaving the toner image behind.  If you hit a spot where it didn't transfer, just lay it back down, apply more acetone, rub hard withe the back of the spoon, let it dry and try peeling again.  If it's really stubborn, you can put a little acetone on the front of the image too.

Just make sure you do this in a well-ventilated place!  Enjoy.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2004 11:48:04 AM »

You can also heat transfer toner.  I originally learned this technique for using toner to block a copper or zinc plate for etching, but I've also gotten it to work on paper and cloth. 

The easier to control (but more equipment intensive) method is to hold your iron in a bench mounted vise, hot side up.  With the heat set as high as you can for your medium (obviously, you don't want to burn it!), lay the thing you want to transfer onto on the iron, right side up.  Take your photocopy and lay it face down where you want the transfer to be, and rub around with a spoon (remembering to insulate it from your hand!) or a burnisher.  This is even easier if you put your master copy on a transparency, because you can see right where you're putting it. 

The more haphazard method is to lay your photocopy face up on the ironing board, then the item you want to transfer face down on top of it, and then iron it.

« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2004 08:45:37 AM »

hey supah, do you think this would work on color prints from my bubble jet printer?

I would say experiment with the bubble jet stuff but know that the brushstrokes applying the medium will distort any water-based media. But the black (or red if you can find a copier with red toner) toner will stay put. and thank you for thinking i rawk!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2004 08:47:30 AM by supah » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2004 08:52:36 AM »

Another way to transfer a print is to use acetone (which you can buy at an art supply store...or just use cheap nail polish remover that doesn't have any kind of moisturizing oil in it.). 
another way as i was taught at saic was to use WINTERGREEN OIL in a similar fashion, which you can buy at a pharmacy.
Warning:I was told that this technique was used exclusively with pre-printed materials like a postcard or a magazine
Warning #2: I was also told that with changes in printing processes it is a hit-or-miss process depending on the original inks used in the mag/postcars/whatever you're trying to transfer
Warning #3: Even though wintergreen oil seems like a very benign material, it is actually very strong and you should use with a lot of ventilation.

« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2004 10:05:34 AM »

Does anyone know if there is toner in newspaper ink? Huh

So turn
Up the corners of your lips
Part them and feel my finger tips
Trace the moment, fall forever
Defense is paper thin
Just one touch and I'd be in
Too deep now to ever swim against the current
So let me slip away- Dashboard Confessional
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2004 11:43:36 AM »

I'm not sure!  Don't forget though, that your transfer will come out backwards.  So you'd probably be better off scanning the newspaper, flipping it in photoshop and then using one of these techniques to transfer the copy.  You could even do a color print if you wanted to get some of the color and texture of the newsprint on your piece.
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