Artist Resources: Image Transfers

Image Transfers have to be one of my new favorite painting concepts, and I've been studying numerous ways to achieve them.  There are several ways to get an image to transfer from a laser copy directly to a painting surface, or to print directly onto paint with an acrylic gel skin.  There are also ways to transfer an image in encaustic, opening the door for amazing collage ideas.
GAC 100 works well for image transfer

One of the fastest ways to transfer an image is using a laser printer or xerox and an acrylic medium.  Inkjet prints do not work with this method because the images move and disappear on the paper with waterborne medium.  However, there is a huge variety of mediums that work to transfer an image, such as gloss medium, matte medium, soft gel, polymer medium and many of the GAC products from Golden Artist Colors.  
  1. Crop the edges of the paper as close to the image as possible, so that there is very little extra paper.
  2. Coat the surface of the substrate thoroughly with the medium and a soft brush (Faux Sable is my preference).  You can transfer an image on a panel, canvas, piece of furniture, wall, whatever accepts paint.
  3. Press the image face down on the surface.
  4. Use an HDPE plastic overlay (High Density Polyethylene does not stick to acrylics) on the image and press down with a plastic trowel or brayer to push the image completely into the medium and adhere to the surface.  
  5. Remove the plastic and let the image sit a few minutes.
  6. Gently peel away a corner to see if the image has adhered; if not let the image sit a while longer.
  7. Once the image has adhered, peel away the excess paper and very gently rub off the remaining paper with a wet fingertip.  
  8. Let the image dry throughly and continue removing any paper as needed with water a gentle rubbing.
The above technique is shown below from a video produced by Golden Artist Colors' Materials Specialists Team.  

For more information on image transfers in acrylic, refer to the Golden Artist Colors website and video library.  There are also videos on using Digital Grounds to print on or creating gel skins with images in their library.

For more information on image transfers in encaustic, refer to the R&F Handmade Paints website and Encaustic Resource Library.

Keep Painting, 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.