Image Transfers - Dull versus Shiney Image transfer

by Liza Posar
(Melbourn, Australia)

Mixed Media Art Questions

Hi Milliande,

Hope you can help me with this problem, I have no problem transfering my images (using medium gel) to canvas or other surfaces. The problem is when the image is dry and ready and I rub the top layer of the image and the transfered part is exposed, it turns into a dull white, so the image is not clear. When this happens I try rubbing it gently to remove any residue that might be left but a few minutes later it turns a dull white again. And when I keep rubbing then the image itself starts to peel off?


Liza Posar


Mixed Media Art Questions answered by Milliande

Image transfers have a high hit and miss ratio depending on the kind of product you use to achieve the image transfer ..I had a similar question the other day is what I wrote ..

" Gel medium transfers are notoriously temperamental and it all really depends on 2 things to have a successful gel medium transfer

~ first the surface that you are transferring onto
~ second the gel medium used for the transfer

The best and clearest gel medium transfers are achieved by transferring a design direct onto unpainted paper or canvas... the surface is absorbent enough to react with the paper and ensure a smooth transfer

With transferring onto canvas that has previously been coated with collage papers and ephemera it can be a little bit of hit and miss to get a clear transfer depending on the texture and structure of the ephemera and collage elements

EAch different element would potentially react to the transfer differently ..leaving uneven transfer pieces... one way to go around that is to coat the entire piece with an even layer of glaze or medium first and then transfer on top of that..but as to how clear the transparency remains when another layer is added on top is again a bit hit and miss

I would choose a photo that has a very high contrast.. can be adjusted in photoshop etc.. if it its to remain on top as a contrast to the background collage

Different gel mediums also react differently ...I prefer Goldens Soft Gel Medium in matte for the grungey look of the transfers..however the chalk content that makes the medium matte also leaves it slightly milky... and not soo seethrough

In contrast the Golden gel medium in Gloss gives a more transparent and less milky transfer ..but adds the gloss effect on top of you collage ... "


So in essence ...the milkyness is usually a result of the added chalk content in the gel medium opposed to the gloss version of gel mediums which gives a more transparent feel .... I would imagine the semigloss would give a image transfer result that falls somewhere in between the 2 ... there may also be differences between different brands of gel medium company may add more or less matting chalk agent to their product etc

hope thishelps
...milliande :-)

Mixed Media Artist

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