Photo transfer with mixed media

Manhattan Bridge.  Mixed media Image transfer

What you need:
1) Inkjet photo or laser photocopy (black & white or color)
2) Canvas Panel
3) Mod Podge
4) Mixed media materials (such as designer papers, newspapers, stamps etc.
5) Water spray bottle
6) Acrylic paints
7) UV-resistant clear finish

1. To create a similar artwork begin with any size canvas panel (12” X 9” in this case)
2. Using Mod Podge cover the canvas with textured papers (sometimes called designer or decorated paper), old newspapers and other found objects such as ticket stubs and stamps. 3) At this point, it’s a good idea to brush this layer with a coat of Mod Podge or any other gel medium for better hold and protection.

4. Next, transfer a photo of your choice, you can transfer an inkjet image printed onto a STANDARD printer copy paper or use a toner based photocopy of your photo. For this transfer I chose a photo of Manhattan Bridge which I took from Brooklyn Bridge in 2004. I chose this picture because it has a nice contrast between the shadows and highlights areas. Before transferring it I printed a mirror image of this picture with my inkjet printer, then took it to Kinkos and made a Xerox copy of it. (Generally Xerox copies have longer life than inkjet printouts).
5. In order to transfer the image, coat your photo with a nice amount of Mod Podge (any Gel medium can be used here instead) and placed it face down into the background layer canvas. Using your fingers gently smooth out any air bubbles.
6. Set aside and let it completely dry. If you are using an inkjet printout it only needs about 20 minutes to dry but a photocopy requires a few hours, however for better results it is recommended that you let it dry over night.
7. After the transfer is dry spray the back of it with enough water (no need to soak) in order to rub off and remove the paper back which you can do using your fingers but you can also use a damp sponge. (Make sure to repeat this step as many time as needed to remove all the excess paper or otherwise the transfer will have a white ghost-like layer over it.)



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8. When the transfer is ready you can use watered-down acrylic paints to add some color in different areas for added interest. In addition you can use distressed ink around the borders.
9. And finally don’t forget to protect your masterpiece with a UV-resistant clear finish.

And now you know what I do on cold rainy nights.


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13 comments for “Photo transfer with mixed media

  1. January 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Awesome! I love it!

  2. January 1, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing how you created it. And a happy new year to you too!

  3. January 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Nice. It’s a very interesting piece. Transfers are so unpredictable, but I like that about them.

  4. January 4, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Great collage, it really fits perfectly with your transferred image.


  5. January 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks for the detailed description of your process! I have admired your work from afar for quite some time. LOVE what you have going on here at your site!

  6. January 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Lovely work, as usual. Thanks for your constant generosity when it comes to sharing your techniques. I’m a firt-time commentor, but a long-time follower, and I wish you a happy (and creative) New Year too!

  7. February 22, 2010 at 5:18 am

    The piece is beautiful! Thanks for the instructions.

  8. February 22, 2010 at 8:14 am

    So beautiful!!

  9. February 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Amazing. I am really inspired by this piece. Thanks!

  10. ann
    February 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    thanks for sharing this…lots of image transfer good to learn another!! going to try it now!!

  11. Jan
    June 3, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Amazing — how ingenious!

  12. June 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I saw this and had to try it. I ended up making photo transfer tiles. I had so much fun! Thanks for sharing.

  13. July 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I’ve been wanting to get into collaging some of my photos and this post gives me loads of ideas. I will also be mentioning it on my blog, Elemental Cheapness in a post about DIY, keep up the good work!

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