Transparency Art!

BHG Do It Yourself magazine* featured an art project using transparencies and a printer.  Which gave me an idea for a large scale art project for my house.  But first! I had to test it...
Here's what I used:

Regular Gel Matte Gel Medium
inkjet printable transparencies (amazon!)
spoon (for burnishing)
canvas (I used an 8x10 simply because it's photo-sized)

I found a photo with enough color, but not too many details that I thought could work for this project.  I adjusted the color, making it really saturated with a high contrast. That helped keep the colors from blending together.
Then I printed it on a transparency sheet using the "highest quality" and "photo on matte photo paper" selections.  This helps get a lot of ink on the transparency. (If you have words on your photo, you'll need to reverse print it. I did this simply because I know the photo and don't want to view it backwards forever).

Once the photo has printed, spread some gel medium on the canvas where you want the photo to stick. I covered the entire surface, but it might be neat to leave brushed edges or change the shape. Use a thin, even layer. My first try, the gel was too thick, resulting in this:
Yuck! It smeared Hartwell's face and some of the transparency ink didn't stay on the canvas. You want this:
Nice, even application.
Place the transparency ink side down on the wet gel and sort of finger press to get both surfaces touching. (It doesn't move around once it's stuck down. It comes up a little as you rub, but lays back down in the same place).

Now use your spoon to burnish the ink to the canvas. Just rub in circles with medium pressure. Since my canvas was already wrapped on a frame, I placed a book underneath inside the frame so I could press without the canvas pushing in too much.

Once you've covered the whole surface, peel back a corner and see if it's working. You can kind of see what's sticking as you burnish, because it's transparent.

Keep going until you have the look you want. Since mine included people, I really wanted the faces to look normal. 
Here is my bad canvas:
And the good one:
 This video at metacafe really helped. Except for the thin layer part. I messed that part up to help you.

*I'd link to them, but they told me they had plans for a raised garden bed on their website and it wasn't there and the website acted like I was all crazy. So no link to you, Do It Yourself Magazine, if that is indeed your name...


CAS said...

Thank you so much for sharing this idea & the tutorial. I so want to try this with some photos.

Kathryn Michelle Jenkins said...

this is AMAZING! I will definitely have to try it. the tutorial is awesome.