Art History in the Making…

I usually paint with acrylics. I’ve done one mosaic (which took me so long I swore I would never do another) and today I woke up wanting to learn how to do photo transfers. The process entails exactly what it sounds like – taking a photo and transferring it to a canvas, piece of wood, tile, glass…anything you can paint on.

I watched a couple of YouTube videos online and decided to give it a try. There’s only one way to learn and that’s just to go for it.

Step One: I found a couple of photos to experiment with. They can be color or black and white, doesn’t matter. Just make sure they are high resolution.

Step Two: E-mail the pictures to a print/copy shop. I used Staples.

Step Three: Make sure to use Laserjet and not Inkjet printing. Also, get a couple of copies of the image you want to use just in case you mess up. This is trial and error, so it might take a couple tries.

Step Four: Get your materials. I used canvas for my first go-round because it’s a smooth surface and (I figured) the easiest to use. You will also need a gel medium, a paint brush, modge podge (to seal it when it’s done) and a sponge/cloth/spray bottle – basically anything you can use to moisten the finished product with when it’s time to peel the paper off.

Step Five: Watch a YouTube video and follow along. Trust me, you will have questions as you go and having the tutorial as a guide will be immensely helpful.

Step Six: Have fun. Seriously, what’s the point if you aren’t enjoying yourself. Pour a glass of wine and forget about everything else going on in your life.

Here’s my finished product:

My photo transfer of “Seattle at Night” was done on an 11×14 canvas…and even though I messed it up, I still kinda like it. Looks vintage.


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