This print transfer project is my 3rd rerun post as I spend Christmas with my family and eat TONS of cookies…
I remembered a technique from college, where you brushed 10+ layers of gel medium over glossy magazine pages, letting them dry in between. Then you wet the magazine page and gently rolled the paper away with your fingers to reveal the image had been transferred over to the gel medium. The result was a plasticky, translucent image to do with what you pleased. This is one version of a print transfer.
When I perused Golden Paint’s site for info, they had a really cool project idea using this technique, and an easier one. I thought it would be fun for Fen to try, and I was right (as usual). She loved it. This is a good intro to printmaking and mixed media techniques.
1. Make a painting. We used small canvases, but we’re going to try some on art boards, too.
- Small canvases
- Paint – acrylic, tempera or watercolor. We used acrylics.
- Paint brushes
- Acrylic gel medium. We used Golden brand soft gel in a gloss finish, but they have matte and semi gloss, too. I wouldn’t pick a heavy gel, because it’s thick and goopy.
- Ink Jet or laser print or photocopy of image to be transferred onto the canvas.
1. Sketch. I asked Fen to sketch out a scene, leaving an open area where she wanted the print of herself to be.
2. Paint it. I squirted out the following acrylic paint colors:
- titanium white
- cadmium red medium
- burnt umber
- cadmium yellow medium
- cobalt green
- green gold
- light ultramarine blue
When your child is learning to mix colors, it is better to have fewer color options to choose from, otherwise they will want to use EVERY color and the painting will look like rainbow vomit. Reign them in at first by giving them just a few colors to use in the painting. They can experiment with mixing the colors they DO have together to get new colors.
3. Let the painting dry thoroughly. Prepare your print-outs by cutting neatly around the image you want to transfer. Keep in mind that when you transfer the image, it will be a mirror image of what you see, so print it out backwards if you want it to show up the way you see the print. (Make sense?)
4. Use a wide brush to apply the gel medium to your painting. Use a good amount. We brushed it on the whole canvas going horizontally, and then again vertically.
5. Place your printout down upon the gel wherever you want it and press it thoroughly, but don’t wiggle it around. Let it dry overnight.
6. After thoroughly dry, grab a little dish of water and wet the back of your printout. Gently rub away the wet paper in a circular motion until it’s gone. Your image will remain! Leave as is (we did this) or brush another layer of medium over the whole painting.
For more inspiration, check out 17 Acrylic Painting Techniques to Try With Kids.