Butterfly Collage with Ink Jet ImageTransfers

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This week, I decided to give the Peerless Watercolors a try.  I purchased them at Art is You from Joanne Sharpe.

So, I stopped work early one night (5p.m.) (only one night, but i”m working on more of them) and I put on my jammies and sat myself down to play with the paints.  Let me just say what a great feeling it was to kick back and concentrate on my art.  Since my daughters are now both in college (help! send money), our nights have a bit more space in them.  Funny how fast the time goes and all of the sudden your here, their there and life moves on.  Screeeeeeech… halt… Sorry,  I got off track.  Continuing….

I decided to work on Strathmore Bristol paper and paint in patches all over the page like this…  Click on any image to enlarge.

Seriously, this page took me a couple of hours.  I had fun swiping colors off the “peerless” cards and onto the page. That took time and all with a small brush (water brush by Koi).  I love the puddling of the watercolors when you use more water.  They dry to a nice dark edge.

Once I was happy with the background,  I gave it a spray of PYM (Preserve Your Memories) to seal it.  You can see it deepens it a little.  I took this picture under a normal light bulb.  The top picture was taken under an Ott Lite.

So, my fine friends, I took it to my studio and scraped some gesso all over it (that’s why I had to seal the page first, otherwise the colors would have mixed), rubbed it off,  then buffed it dry.  Used black Staz On ink and a make up sponge with stencils (from Stencil Girl and Mary Beth Shaw = LOVE).  Added stamped, hand made foam stamps and of course some of my polymer clay ‘bellishments.  One of the parts I love the most, are my image transfers; the butterflies and the two women, under my teal heart..

Below, you can see some gold glitter trails it put in.

I get so lost in time when I am doing image transfers.  My favorite combination to make a perfect transfer is a transparency film and gel medium.  I did a few tests using different mediums and my best result was Golden Gel Medium.  I have not tried Liquitex, but I will someday.

I transferred on muslin  and cotton fabric, paper towel, masking tape and I did a packing tape transfer also.  I got the images from Dover Clipart which is copyright free.  You can join their mailing list and they will send you samples every week.  Click on THIS LINK and put in your email address.  You will get samples every week.  If you like them, you can save and download on your hard drive on your computer.

The technique goes like this:

Get yourself some transparency film. Maybe you know someone who might have some or you can split a box with a friend.  I had some old Lexmark ones and some I hadn’t used even after I printed on them  months or years ago.  You want to print on the matte side, not shiny.  Your best bet is to print a bunch of images on one page.  You can use Microsoft Word or Powerpoint to insert an entire page of images (please email me if you need help with that.).  This is my method. There may be other ways, for example, using a photo software would also work.

Cut your image out.

Spread some gel medium on the surface you want to transfer to and on the image itself… gently, you don’t want the ink to rub off.  Use the consistency of spreading butter on bread.  I use my finger to spread the gel, as I don’t want any brush line.

Lay the film with image face down on the gelled up surface and rub it down with your finger in a circular motion, working from the center and making sure your reached all around the image.  Now wait 5 or 10 minutes or even longer.. overnight even if you need to be away.  But, if you’re like me, you ain’t going nowhere and you want instant results.

After you’ve waited and I hope you were patient, peel up the film slowly.  Check a corner and see if the ink is now transferred to the surface.  If it did, then keep slowly peeling it off.  Did it work?  It works 99% of the time for me.

Here is a few pictures of my image transfer results…


The butterflies are on paper towel, cotton fabric (old ripped t-shirt) and masking tape.  I decided to color in the black and white clip art with the “peerless watercolors” and the “Koi” watercolors

I give the images a spray seal of the PYM so I  know they will keep their color and last a long time.

I made a bunch of image transfers on muslin fabric for my mom who loves her religious (catholic) books.  She wanted angels so she could sew them to her fabric covered books.  She was just in love with them.  I’ll be using my masking tape painted images on some other art; I wanted to use them on this page, but it didn’t seem to match.

Hope you enjoyed this post and I want you to try the image transfers and let me now how they come out.

And always… thank YOU for stopping by and leaving some blog love.

Judy ♥♥

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16 responses »

  1. FAB!!! How wonderful. You large piece is gorgeous and the transfers are stunning. I’m running out of adjectives to describe your work!

  2. What a great, juicy post, filled with all sorts of how to goodness, as well as a healthy dose of your own down-to-earthiness. Thanks for this and I LOVE your page.

  3. Thank you for all the great ideas and inspiration!!! I love the watercolor background and the end result. I haven’t tried to transfer images yet but will be saving this post for future reference. Thank you!

  4. Wow, so details Judy, love this post. I always shy away from transfers but you make it look easy. Looking forward to seeing you next weekend, who knows where we will go as a group? So glad we met, looking forward to many happy play dates in the future. xox

  5. Well didn’t you just read my mind. I was going to call you for a refresher on this because I’ve been meaning to get upstairs & try it for a canvas. Do you think it would be ok directly on a canvas or should I stick w/muslin & then putting the muslin on the canvas?

  6. You started with happy and bright colors (love the vibrancy of the Peerless) then added such wonderful layers! Your polymer clay touches are perfect! Thanks for the image transfer tutorial- I need to do that!

  7. Thanks for the step-by-step. I don’t think I’ve ever seen image transfers done in that way. I might have to try it.

    You’ve probably seen these, but these are some of the ways I’ve experimented with transfers, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

    One way to do it is with gel medium using a laser print (not inkjet) on paper. I bought an inexpensive laser printer for this purpose, and now I use it for most of my general printing because the ink is so much cheaper. Mine is only a black printer, so you have to do all coloring by hand. (I typically like to do it by hand anyway; gets a more unique effect.) But you can get laser printers in color as well. You just soak in water and then rub off the paper. It can be difficult to get it all off, but when it works, it looks like the examples you have here. I also have a special gel that removes images from magazines in a similar way, but I haven’t experimented a whole lot with that.

    I also discovered that Golden has a line of digital grounds so that you can print (using an inkjet) right onto the gel medium or even onto molding paste (I’ve gotten great results doing this using the light molding paste). This requires a varnish to keep it from fading, but at least you don’t have to peel anything off this way. And you can achieve a variety of textures.

    I haven’t done it in a couple of years now, but I might have to go play with my acrylic mediums again now…

  8. Just found your blog and enjoyed reading this post.. Very informative and I love the Gesso over the water color. LOL! Now that I know that I have to seal the watercolor first I will try it. Love learning new ways to use Gesso.

    I have not tried transferring images but the jar of molding paste I just received in the mail today said it can be used as a gel medium for transferring. Since I have the transparencies and can use my cutter for cutting out the printed images on the transparency. As well as have paper towels I have no excuse..

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful creations and how you do things. I definitely will be coming back to visit you. I love playing and learning different techniques for elements to use in my card making.

  9. Hi Myoriah.. a big thank you for your response. You know, I have never used molding paste as a transfer medium. Thanks for sharing that. I love that we can all learn from each other. Judy

  10. Wow Judy, jaw droppingly gorgeous work! So colorful and uplifting. I always love reading about what you’re creating. Thanks for sharing!

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