Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gel Medium Canvas Transfer - Angels

I've been working on several projects for an upcoming show, but my favorite project has been my canvas transfer.
  I started with a box of 4 canvases I bought at a garage sale.

I'm always on the hunt for art supplies at garage!

I think the box was marked low because of the "guidelines" that were already stamped on the canvases.

I quickly covered the lines with Gesso so they wouldn't bleed through on my final project.

The pictures I chose where taken during a trip to New Orleans.  My husband and I spent a day visiting the old cemeteries around the city and taking pictures of the beautiful headstones, vaults and mausoleums. It was a cool, crisp day and the sky was unbelievably blue!

I printed all my pictures on my home INK JET printer. 
I seems "all the others" out there in blog land tell you that you must print on a laser printer or take your pictures and have them copied on a professional copier because your ink will run. can do that, BUT this project can be done with an ink jet printer. 
There is minimal run with the ink and I think the "old world" look of the prints is what adds to the charm of the project.
Be sure you use REALLY CHEAP paper (I like to use the recycled brand paper, it's easier to peel away.)

To begin, you will cover the canvas with your gel medium (a nice even coat). I like the matte finish, but you can use the gloss if you prefer.
Place your photo print side down and press it into the gel on your canvas.  I like to use an old credit card to smooth out the print onto the canvas. 
The image of your picture will begin to show through and you can feel the change in the texture of your paper as you work.

As your print continues to dry the image will become clearer through the back of the paper.

I let the project completely dry (usually over night) before I peel back the paper.
You can wet your canvas under running water, but I use a spray bottle to wet my paper.
Starting at a corner you can begin to peel the first layer of the paper away.  It's easy to "roll" the paper away with your fingers as you move across the canvas.

You will notice I did not press my picture all the way to the edge of my canvas.  I do go all the way to the edge on some of my pictures,  but because I wanted these to look like "old" canvases, I let the gel medium become lighter (painting less) along the edges.
Once you have peeled the first layer away let your picture dry again.  You will notice there is still a "milky" appearance to your canvas.  You will need to repeat this last step several times until your canvas is to your liking.  I let mine dry between each rubbing.  Each time you spray water on your canvas you will notice how much darker the picture will continue to work away the pieces of the backing paper on your picture.
(NOTE:  Be careful when rubbing where the wooden frame is along the edge...your picture will more easily rub off along that hard edge.  I try to place my fingers underneath the edge where I'm rubbing, without stretching the canvas!)

I wanted to add words to one of my pictures, so I printed them and set my printer to "mirror" so they would print backwards.  (You can use this setting on your printer if you do not have software to flip the image.  Look in your advanced settings.)

I cut the words out and painted the gel where I wanted to place my words.

Again...once the image is dry peel away the backing and continue to work the paper until it is to your liking.
(In the future I will print my words onto my picture and have it become part of my first layer rather than an additional layer to peel away.)

Here is another color image I printed from my ink jet printer and affixed with the gel to a canvas.
The image is crisp and clear and the color did not run.  The softness of the angel and the leaves surrounding her makes her appear very ethereal.

Another example of a color print. I embellished her with vintage lace around the edge and chipboard letters.
(Notice along the top where I rubbed along the wooden edge of the appears more noticeable because of the color of the sky.  This is what I was warning you about...go easy or you'll have that marking along each of your edges.)

Here is an angel I printed in a Sepia tone.  I have also hand tinted prints with watercolor pencils to add unique details. Totally  up to you!

I'm very pleased with how they each turned out, and want to encourage you to give it a try using your very own home printer!
The tricks for this project:
1. Print your picture using the "best" settings on your printer.  This will ensure good color.
2. Really get your picture pressed into the gel.  You can press pretty hard with the edge of the credit card to lay the picture down onto the canvas.
3. Don't rush..let your canvas completely dry before you begin the initial peel of the backing.  This will ensure your picture has time to "set" into the canvas.
4. With each successive peel, work in a circular motion on the wet canvas to rub off more of the paper.
I use a slightly damp rag to rub off the "piles" created with the rubbings. (This step may have to be repeated several times, until you are happy with the look.  This is also VERY messy!)
5. My next step is to use the soft side of an emery board to "sand" the surface to a smooth finish. Be gentle.  You can work the edges to look more worn with this technique.  You will also be able to smooth out any of the roughness left by each peel.
6. Finish your project by top coating either with another layer of gel medium, or with a water based finish.
Each picture will be your very own unique creation!
(Let me know if you have ANY questions!)

Till tomorrow...

1 Cowgurls said:

Maarte said...

Precioso el trabajo y muy gratificante.