Follow these 6 easy steps to create beautiful acrylic gel transfers.
What is an acrylic gel transfer?
Acrylic gel transfers allow you to copy an image or printed material and embed it into a layer of acrylic gel. This technique has many applications from adhering the image transfer onto a painting to jewelry making.
Step 1: Gather You Materials
Step 2: Tape Down The Image
Tape down the image to your work area (mine is a glass table so that the gloss gel can be easily removed if needed) to prevent moving or buckling of the paper.
What kinds of images can I use?
For best results use images or printed materials without a coating. For example: newspapers, book pages and photo copies. For this project I choose a coloured image of the Old Faithful Geyser. If you would like to use a personal photo, make a photocopy of the photo first. Use a Laser printer not an Ink-Jet printer for best results.
Essentially, what we want happen is for the ink on the page to transfer into the acrylic film. If we were to apply gel directly on a photo there would be no ink to remove. Capiche?
Step 3: Apply Gloss Gel
Apply a thin layer of acrylic gel (I chose Liquitex Gloss Gel) to the image. Allow to dry. Drying time is between 20 minutes to an hour depending on the thickness of your coats. You will know when the acrylic gel is dry because although the gel appears white in the bottle, it dries to a clear finish.
Step 4: Continue to Apply Coats of Gel
Apply consecutive layers of acrylic gel in alternating directions in order to ensure even application. Apply 4 - 10 layers of gel until you build up a substantial layer. Allow each coat to clear before applying the next coat. If there is any "milkiness" on your image, this means it is not dry yet.
Step 5: Soak The Image
Once the image is dry (approximately 48 hours) emmerge the image in luke warm water to dissolve the paper. If the water is hot, the gel may soften too much. If the water is cold, you will have more difficulty removing the paper. Soak the image from 10 - 15 minutes.
Step 6: Remove Paper
Gently rub off the paper from the gel. There is usually a small layer left after scrubbing the initial layer off. The image will appear noticibly cleaner & clearer.
Once the transfer is completely dry, use the scissors to trim the image if necessary.
And there you have it kids! My first gel transfer is ready for use.
Note to self: Next time use a sharper, more saturated image.
This blog was created to share my belief that the art making process can be a vehicle for empowerment.
I am living proof.