Gel Medium Transfer with Film: Technique by Jane LaFazio

When you want to apply a drawing or painting to fabric and you don't have the resources to print your own fabric, what do you do? Use an image transfer technique.

image transfer quilt by jane lafazio
Quilt derived from art journal pages with stitching,
image transfers, and paint, by Jane LaFazio.

Image transfers can be accomplished many different ways, and different materials and techniques yield different results. You can accomplish a photo transfer with an inkjet-printed image and water, and that may suit your creative purposes just fine. An emulsion transfer will give you a dreamy, evocative image.

But if you're going to want a more durable, crisp transfer image-one that you can stitch and manipulate-you probably want to look one of the transfer papers or films now available.

Mixed-media fiber artist Jane LaFazio often incorporates her paintings and drawings into her art quilts using image transfer techniques. One of her favorites is a gel medium transfer technique using product called Grafix® Dura-LarTM Wet Media Film. This film is available online and at most art supply stores, and it is reusable.

For example, she used this method to transfer an image of a pink zinnia onto a vintage cocktail napkin (see "Zinnia"). Here are her easy steps.

1. Print your image onto the film using an inkjet printer. (It's best to use the printout immediately.)

2. Thinly spread soft gel medium over the surface of the fabric.

art journal art by jane lafazio
'Zinnia' by Jane LaFazio. Jane used
this page from her art journal as an image transfer.

3. Place the film, printed side down, onto the wet gel, and burnish it.

4. Lift the film carefully and wash off the film immediately, as the film can be reused.

5. Let the fabric dry completely.

TIP: To enhance or slightly alter the color on the image transfer, use water-soluble crayons.

You can then stitch around the image and overlap ephemera and lace-or whatever suits your style-to finish your fiber art piece.

In her Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM video From Art Journaling to Art: Drawing Watercolor and More Techniques for the Mixed-Media Artist, Jane demonstrates easy techniques for drawing and painting in your art journal. Then she shows how to take your journal art and incorporate it into mixed-media and sewing projects with image transfers, stamping, free-motion stitching, and collage.

Nobody does it better than Jane, whose delightful personality and encouraging teaching style will help you get past any fears about your drawing or painting skills. For a truly mixed-media experience using image transfers and more, be sure to get From Art Journaling to Art, available as a DVD or download.

P.S. Have you tried making image transfers with film and gel medium? What were your results? Any advice to share? Leave a comment below,


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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