Basically, to create a canvas transfer, you take a printed copy of a photograph (see note at end of post!) and, using a gel medium, transfer that image to a blank canvas. Due to the method of transfer, your image takes on a beautifully aged appearance.
To start this process, you'll need:
a plain canvas
a paint brush
gel medium (I used Liquitex- Matte Super Heavy Gel from Hobby Lobby- don't forget your 40% off coupon!)
a home printed image on regular printer paper**
**please note, the original image has my daughter facing the other way. In my haste, I forgot to tell my printer to print a mirror image. Don't skip this step, especially if your image has words in it!
1) Gather your supplies, print a MIRROR image copy of your photograph and trim the border from that image
2) Paint a generous amount of the gel medium over the entire canvas surface
3) Press a copy of the photo, image side DOWN, onto the canvas, making sure to center it and then smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles. Then...walk away for 6 or more hours before going on to step 4!
4) After 6+ hours, sprinkle your canvas with water (I just used my finger tips to do this, but a water bottle would have been even better!) and begin rubbing the paper from the canvas, leaving the image on the canvas. This is the trickiest part of the entire process! Be extra gentle as your rub and peel the paper from the canvas.
**A few tips: Do NOT over-wet your canvas or over-rub one area. The spot in the lower right corner is where I used way too much water and the brown blur in the top left hand corner is a spot where I rubbed too aggressively. Learn from my mistakes! Also, be especially careful over faces. It would be very easy to distort the face by excessively rubbing. Imagine your cutie pie with only one eyebrow or no nose. Yikes! Be extra delicate in that region.
This process might sound complicated, but it's really not! It's a lengthy project only because you must allow the gel to dry between steps. I started one evening, let it dry overnight and finished the next day. It was SO worth the time, though!
Got any cuties you'd like to put on a canvas??
Update: my initial tutorial said to use a laser printed copy of a photograph. That's what Elsie from A Beautiful Mess used. However, my hubby has recently informed me that our printer is an inkjet printer!! Ha! I'm such a dork. So, the moral of this story is that this process appears to work with both laser printers and inkjet printers. Great to know!
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