Artist Tutorial: Núray Rose, Transfer Technique & Some Notes

Hello, there! So I thought it would be a good idea to start my first (of many) post(s) by sharing my own experience in using the transfer techniques in my art pieces.

1) Using “Picture This” Transfer Medium:

The artwork you see above is a preview of how I employed the transfer technique in the background. The piece is still in progress of being created, but anyway. Let’s jump back in time to how it all started!

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At this stage, I had already created a clean outline of my drawing on a wooden panel and rendered the face a bit using a regular black watercolor pencil. Since the pattern is not going over my figure – as I want to use the wood grain and not have any paint in that area – I traced the figure onto the pattern paper, then cut it and positioned the pieces to make sure everything was good and ready for the next stage.

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Second stage: applying the transfer medium. For this piece, I used a transfer medium called “Picture This”.  What I did was that I took two brushes of different sizes; one for the large areas and one for smaller places. I began by spreading a thick layer of the medium all over the spots where I wanted the pattern to go. I didn’t mind the medium getting onto the hair area because I could always go back over it with black acrylic paint. After that I carefully positioned each of the patterned paper pieces and made sure to get of all the air bubbles that may have formed in the process.

I left the piece for a whole day before going back to it just to make sure that the medium was completely dry and the paper was ready to be pealed off.

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To get rid of the excess paper, I used a damp sponge to moisten the surface then started slowly peeling off the paper. Sometimes I would use the sponge: lightly rubbing it in circular motions over the surface to reveal the pattern. And sometimes I would use my fingers in the same manner. I did that a few times with a few hours between each “peel-off session” so that I can give time for the surface to dry out, showing me the parts that still need to be peeled off.

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2) Using “Mod Podge” Medium:

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Mod Podge is originally a sealer used mostly in more a “crafty” fashion rather than in paintings, I guess. Though, I decided to try it and see if I can transfer an image using it.

I applied it in the same manner as I would do with the Picture this medium, only this time, I acutally applied it on the paper and placed it face down on a canvas.

I’ve added some white acrylic paint to the eye to give it a glow and a few lashes. It is important to note that when I was using Mod Podge, I barely left it for around 10 to 15 minutes. The paper was still a bit cold, so it wasn’t completely dry yet. If I had left it over night like I did with Picture This medium, I believe the results would’ve been better. Though, I do like the “textured” effect/result in both experiments.

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3) NOTES:

  • When printing a picture for transfer, any printer would do. Some prefer laser printers, but any kind of printer is fine.
  • Before printing a picture, make sure to flip it horizontally in Photoshop or any other software you are comfortable using that has this option. Always remember that because you need to turn the picture face down when transferring it.
  • It is better to apply the transfer medium to the paper (the side where you have the image, of course) rather than the surface you are going to be transferring it to so that the medium doesn’t dry by the time you are done coating the entire surface and are ready to position it onto the surface. This note is mostly effective when using a wooden panel of a relatively large size. I suppose it doesn’t matter much where you apply the transfer medium to if it’s a canvas and/or if the area of the surface is not too large. Just make sure that the medium is not dry. The white areas around the figure in the first piece are parts where the medium had dried before I placed the pattern, so the colors weren’t transferred onto the pattern.
  • Make sure the whole surface is coated well.
  • When positioning the paper for transfer, pass a ruler over the paper to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • (OPTIONAL) Wait around 15 minutes after applying the medium and placing the image, then flip the panel/canvas face down and place some weights on top of it. This helps press the paper better onto the surface.
  • You can use any kind of brush, bristle or soft. Whatever you are comfortable with.
  • When peeling off the paper, make sure you don’t rub too hard, otherwise the pattern itself will start peeling off.
  • The colors will most probably change. You will definitely notice differences between the original vibrancy of the color on paper vs. the transferred effect. I personally don’t mind it, as I like more muted and toned down colors. You can always apply a thin paint wash or paint over the pattern with color where you want the areas to be more vibrant.
  • Make sure to wash the brush right after using the transfer medium with regular soap or special soap so that the medium doesn’t dry on the brush.

Well, that’s it for now. I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found answers to (some of) your questions. If you have any more inquires or would like to share your experience regarding this fun technique, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be more than happy to read it and reply back!


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