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Altered Art Canvas - How To Transfer Pictures

By Edited Aug 16, 2015 0 1

If you love to craft, paint or draw, and would like to try something different, then try altered art. This is fun and a great way to use your imagination. It can get you out of a rut, and into something different.

Altered art on canvas, is almost like scrap booking on canvas. It can tell a story, or anything you want. You have a few more tools you can use on a canvas, and therefore this can look great.

One of the things that makes altered art neat, is being able to transfer pictures to a canvas. You can do this a few ways.

Altered Art Canvas - Decoupage

 

You can take your picture and copy it onto thin paper, cut it out and then using modge podge or thinned white glue you can spread glue on the canvas and then on the back of the picture you wish to decoupage, and then push all the bubbles out and then put another layer of the glue over top. You can do enough layers so that you don't feel the edge of the paper.

You can do this with printed letters to give your altered art a title or anything you want. Many people like to tell a story with altered art, such as a vacation. You can take a large canvas and start putting vacation pictures, drawings, copies of event tickets, posters, and more on your canvas by using decoupage.

Altered Art Canvas - Picture Transfer

Photo Transfer Medium

Plaid Mod Podge CS12652 2-Ounce Photo Transfer Medium
Amazon Price: $7.29 $4.86 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 16, 2015)

This is a really neat way to transfer pictures to a canvas for your altered art project. It creates essentially a photo copy right onto the canvas, with a very thin almost transparent layer of the paper. This takes a little longer, and some patience, but can really add to your altered art project.

To be able to transfer a picture properly, you can do this with either transfer medium gel that you can purchase at a craft supply store or you can get the same effect with water based varnish, or even white glue, but I find water based varathane (varnish) works best.

You take your picture and you head to the photo copy shop, because this needs to be done with a laser printer not a inkjet, since the inkjet print will run and fade, as the color is not as permanent.

Altered Art Canvas - Mirror Image of Pictures and Photos

 

You need to get the photo copy done in a mirror image. So, that your finished altered art project will show the proper way.

Cut out your copied, mirror imaged picture, and then decide on the canvas where you want this picture to go, and then with a small paint brush, put on a thick layer of the varathane (water based varnish) and then place your photo copied, mirror imaged picture face down in this varnish.

This is a really neat way to transfer pictures to a canvas for your altered art project. It creates essentially a photo copy right onto the canvas, with a very thin almost transparent layer of the paper. This takes a little longer, and some patience, but can really add to your altered art project.

To be able to transfer a picture properly, you can do this with either transfer medium gel that you can purchase at a craft supply store or you can get the same effect with water based varnish, or even white glue, but I find water based varathane (varnish) works best.

You take your picture and you head to the photo copy shop, because this needs to be done with a laser printer not a inkjet, since the inkjet print will run and fade, as the color is not as permanent.

Altered Art Canvas - Mirror Image of Pictures and Photos

 

You need to get the photo copy done in a mirror image. So, that your finished altered art project will show the proper way.

Cut out your copied, mirror imaged picture, and then decide on the canvas where you want this picture to go, and then with a small paint brush, put on a thick layer of the varathane (water based varnish) and then place your photo copied, mirror imaged picture face down in this varnish.

Smooth out any bubbles, but make sure not to get any varnish on the back of the picture, as this will make the paper hard to get off.

Altered Art Canvas - Let Dry

 Now let it dry overnight, or for at least a few hours. Then when it is completely dry, get a bowl of water, and take a small paint brush, and gently brush on some water. Do not soak it, let it gradually get the paper wet. After a few seconds, you will see the paper getting wet.

Now take your finger and gently start rubbing off the paper. This takes some time, but has a brilliant effect. By doing a mirror image in the copy, it will now be the right way around on the canvas. Once you have gently removed the paper your image will show.

Basically what has happened here is that the ink of the copied image gets trapped in the varnish (or the transfer medium, if you went that route) and you are just rubbing off the paper backing. This is why it is important not to get varnish or glue or transfer gel on the back of the paper, or it is difficult to rub off with your wet finger.

Altered Art Canvas - Get creative

 Once you have your image showing, you can brush off the bits of paper, let it dry, and you can paint or add to your altered art canvas. If you are doing a vacation altered art canvas, you can cut letters out of travel magazines and get them copied and transfer them to your altered art canvas, or get large letters printed off the computer and then copied. You can get creative here.

You can add your own paintings, arts and bit and pieces. You can use textured paint and use stencils and/or stamps. The textured paint is a great way to hide the edges of your transferred photos. Almost like a large scrap book page. You can have your transferred photographs done in black and white, then transfer them to this canvas, and then color in parts of the picture with paints, essentially altering them. This makes a stunning altered art canvas. This is not limited to canvas either. You can do these photo transfers on unfinished wood items too.

It is a fun project, and if you would like to try photo transfer then you can try it with the method above (I use this one, as I have water based varnish around anyways for other projects) or you can get Photo transfer gel at craft shops, or online. In which case follow their instructions carefully.

Find out More Techniques with This Book

Image Transfer Workshop: Mixed-Media Techniques for Successful Transfers
Amazon Price: $24.99 $5.35 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 16, 2015)

Altered Art Canvas

 I personally love the idea of photo transfer, as you can make the photos look antique, and you can do this on wood as well. It makes for a great altered art project. When rubbing off the paper, don't be rough, be gentle and do this a layer at a time, you will get faster at it. Why not try a sample one first to get the hang of it, before you try it on your main canvas.

If you love scrap booking, and would like to try altered art, then just think of the things you would add to your scrap book page, and try something similar on the canvas.

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Comments

Sep 29, 2010 3:48pm
divaonline
A friend of mine does this photo transfer process. I love the finished look of it. Thanks for explaining how it's done.
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