Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gel Transfer is Awesome

Happy Wednesday!  So I finally got a picture of the gift I made for my in-law's 40th wedding anniversary:

(the in-laws are not aliens without faces, but they are kinda squeamish about being out on the internet)

I am so happy with how it turned out!  I started with an 8x10 canvas from Michael's that I painted a light blue (with Acrylic paint).

While that was drying, I opened up my Photoshop Elements and went to work creating a masterpiece nice photo layout.  (If anyone is interested in the how-to's of PSE, let me know and I can write up some tutes).  Once the picture was ready, I reversed the image (you'll see why in a minute) and printed it out on plain copy paper. 

And now for the magic... Paint on a nice even layer of Gel Transfer Medium and press the image into the Gel Medium (image side down).

A few things about the Gel Medium
I used Golden's and highly recommend it (although, take that with a grain of salt since I haven't actually tried any other kind).  And I used a cheap paint brush - I do not recommend that.  I had to pick little bristles out of the gel.  Next time I think I'll use a sponge roller.

A few things about the image transfer
After I pressed the image down, I smoothed...and smoothed...and smoothed...and squeezed out every possible little air bubble (because I really didn't want to have to start over). 

And now for the mess...  After the gel is good a dried (hours, even overnight) wet the paper down really well and rub all the paper off.  I used one of the Munckin's sippy cups to squirt the water on.

It took me three passes of water and sloughing to get all the paper residue off.  At this point it looked pretty, but I wanted a little more texture.  So off I went to Michael's (again) to buy some Crackle Medium.  I brushed/troweled on a thin layer.

Now, I must tell you...I had NO idea what I was doing.  I was thinking, "Oh I'll just put a nice layer of crackle medium on and it will spider like an old painting"  HA HA HA HA Not.  I decided to read a little online about the crackle medium...AFTER it was already drying on the almost done (but I just can't stop tinkering and the party is tomorrow) picture.  It dries OPAQUE.  So there I was at midnight, the night before the party...with the picture in the kitchen sink...frantically trying to wash off the crackle medium from the important parts of the their faces.  Luckily for me it worked.  The parts that I frantically scrubbed were free of opaque crackle medium and the parts that still had some looked pretty cool in a plaster-finish kind of way (if I do say so myself) - Crisis averted!  After that, I had used up any remaining desire to tinker with the picture, so I just added a little scrapbook heart embellishement and called it done. 

I absolutely love the image transfer process and I've already bought 3 more canvases! 


karebear said...

I enjoy this. Very cute.

Anonymous said...

Did you use an ink-jet printer? I've been wanting to try this with a picture of my son, but haven't gotten around to having the picture printed at Kinko's (or wherever) like the other tutes I've found say to.

Sweet Little Smoothie said...

I did use my regular ink-jet (I have a Dell all-in-one) and printed it out on regular copy paper.


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