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Creating Image Transfers Onto Acrylic "Skin"

series of acrylic gel skins with image on them


You can create an image transfer onto an thin sheet of acrylic paint that we call a "skin". Rather than transferring an image directly onto the surface this will allow you a different way of playing with the placement of the "skins". In this way there is a collage element to your process when you use this method of transfer.


Your image can be photocopied or lazer copied - these types of reproductions have the right kind of toner that works well for transfers. Some magazines may work but it depends on the method of printing so results may vary. Your image will be reversed so you may want to reverse it first before printing it. Inkjet prints don't transfer very well.


1. Apply gel medium to the surface of the image. Once dry you can build up more layers. This is important because you are going to rub away the paper and so if you don't apply enough layers of medium the skin may get destroyed as you try to remove the paper. I know some artist who apply 10 coats of medium - experiment with this as you may want a thinner skin.


2. Wait for it to dry - THOROUGHLY before the next step of removing the paper.


4. Soak the image in a tray of water. 


5. Once it is thoroughly soaked you can start to rub off the paper with your fingers. If it's not coming off that easy just let it soak a little longer.


6. Once all the paper it removed you can apply it anywhere you like on your surface by using more medium to stick it on : ) 


Image source [1]

About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

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