Combining photography with other forms of visual arts has the capacity to produce a very interesting and appealing final piece. Therefore blending mixed media and image transfer, two methods that are often done independently, is probably the ultimate union and can generate some exciting results.
What you need:
• Inkjet photo or laser photocopy
• Collage materials such as: newspaper clippings, designer or hand-made papers, stamps, ticket stubs, brown paper bags, wrapping paper, etc.
• Acrylic or water paints
• Mod Podge or gel medium
• Spray fixative
• Canvas or wood panel
• A water spray bottle
• UV-resistant clear finish
1. Gather your collage materials and lay them out in a design of your choice on any size canvas or wood panel. Adhere the collage pieces onto the surface using Mod Podge.
2. Make sure to cover the collage pieces with Mod Podge so it not only adheres the papers to the canvas but also protects it for all eternity (or at least a few years).
3. Next, cover the collage layer with watered-down gesso. It will mute the layer a bit and also will tie the pieces together.
4. Optional: add a thin layer of acrylic or watercolor paint of your choice. Don’t over do it so it doesn’t overwhelm the other layers.
5. Let the collage thoroughly dry.
6. Convert the photo of your choice to black and white (not grayscale) by adding brightness and 100% contrast. If you prefer to use a color photo (like the one used here) make sure to mute the colors.
7. If you are using an inkjet, print a mirror version of your image onto standard printer paper and protect it with spray fixative.
8. Cover your image with Mod Podge and press it face down onto the collage. Rub gently with your fingers to smooth out any air bubbles.
9. If you are using an inkjet photo you will have to wait only about 15-30 minutes for the Mod Podge to dry and for the transfer to complete. If you are using a photocopy let it set for a few hours, preferably overnight.
10. Spray the back of your photo with water and gently remove and rub off the excess paper with your fingers in order to reveal the transfer. If you are using a photocopy you will have to repeat this step until all the excess paper is completely gone.
11. For the final touch you can add text, letters, gesso and paints.
12. Preserve your art work with a protective finish such as “preserve it!” by Krylon for inkjet or Krylon Crystal Clear if you used a toner based photocopy.
Applying the UV finish will help minimize the foggy appearance created by the leftover paper.
13. Clean up the mess!
If you like this article you can find it and many more photo processes in the new book:
Spice Up Your Photos [eBook download]
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