Photo Transfer- John Sinal

Turn Phototcopies Into Artworks On Canvass

Photo transferring used to belong solely on t-shirts. Here’s how to take this idea out of the closet and put it on your walls.

Photo Transfer- John Sinal


CREATIVE SOLUTION | The first thing that comes to mind when I think of photo transfers is the unoriginal projects first year art students have to do. But one day, while I was making some photocopies, I thought about how transferring images onto ready-made mini-canvasses from an art supply store would leave them with an impression that looks painted on but without the brushstrokes. Photocopy transferring, I subsequently learned, can turn any snapshot into art.

How To Transfer A Photocopied Image

1. Choose an image—I have done this project with both photographs and plant leaves—and have it colour-or laser-photocopied.

2. Give you canvas a coat of white, water-based flat paint. Once the surface is dry, apply a thin coat of matte acrylic medium (available at art supply stores).

3. Before the acrylic medium dries, place the copied image face down onto the canvas Gently tap the paper down to ensure adhesion.

4. Let dry.

5. Over a plastic washing tub of warm water, use a sponge to moisten the paper until it is soaked through. Rub the paper gently with your fingers until it starts to peel away. Remove all the paper this way.

When fully dry, the canvas will have a soft film of paper fibres. Apply two or three coats of the acrylic medium, allowing it to dry between coats, until the image is crystal clear.—Brendan Power

Photo: John Sinal

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