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Packing Tape and Gel Medium Image Transfers


Image transfers add an interesting layer of depth to collages, thanks to their transparent look that allows the background to show through the image Ė an effect you canít achieve with straightaway cut and paste. There are a number of ways to transfer images, and today weíll look at two of the more popular methods. One uses clear packing tape (also called packaging tape) or contact paper, while the other uses gel medium. These methods work well with toner-based photocopies and laser printer output, and also with magazine cutouts as long as the pages are not coated with plastic, as some magazine covers are. These transfer methods are not recommended for inkjet printouts, as the printer ink tends to be water soluble, although some artists say that spraying fixative onto the printout beforehand will prevent it from bleeding.

Reminder: Donít wash the paper rubbings down the drain to avoid clogging.

Method 1: Packing Tape / Contact Paper

You will need:

* Toner-based photocopy, laser printed image, or magazine cutout
* Clear packing tape or clear contact paper
* Gel medium
* Scissors
* Bone folder or metal spoon
* Bowl of water

Cut out or tear around the image you want to use. Place it face up on your work surface and cover the image with packing tape, trying to keep it as wrinkle- and bubble-free as possible . If the image is wider than the tape, lay down strips of tape next to each other with a bit of overlap until the whole image is covered. Or cut a piece of contact paper thatís big enough to cover the image, peel off the backing and adhere the contact paper sticky side down onto the front of the image.

Thoroughly burnish the packing tape or contact paper onto the image to allow the image to stick. Soak the image in a bowl of water for a few minutes until the paper becomes soft. Lay the image face down onto your work surface, and rub off all the paper using your fingers. Wet the paper as needed if it dries out during the process. You should now have a transparent image left on the packing tape or contact paper. Allow the image to dry, then attach it to your project using gel medium.

Method 2: Gel Medium Transfer

You will need:

* Toner-based photocopy, laser printed image, or magazine cutout
* Gel medium
* Brush
* Scissors
* Spray bottle with water

Cut out or tear around the image you want to use. Place it face up on your work surface and brush on an even layer of gel medium. Allow to air dry. Apply three to four more coats of gel medium, allowing it to dry between coats. When the last coat is completely dry, lay the image face down onto your work surface, and spray the paper with water. Rub off the paper with your fingers, wetting it as needed and rubbing until youíre left with a transparent image. Adhere the image to your project using gel medium.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Mia C. Goloy. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Mia C. Goloy. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Mia C. Goloy for details.

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