Friday, July 9, 2010

Gel Transfer Experiment

I started to experiment with acrylic gel medium transfers. From what I've found floating around on the web, there are about four thousand different ways to go about it! I am trying a few techniques simultaneously. First, I photocopied some images onto acetate in b & w. I painted a few 5x7 gesso coated boards with a light layer of acrylic and then coated with gel medium. I cut out parts of the acetate image and rolled them (coated with medium) on to the board with a brayer. From what I'm seeing so far, I think the gel medium must be allowed to dry, and then the acetate can be peeled off. I'm finding that it is helpful to use some sort of barren tool to burnish the image before peeling off the acetate. Results have varied, drying times have varied, but I'm getting close to the proper procedure.

I also took a paper photocopy and covered it with a thick layer of gel medium. After this dries, I will be able to soak it in water and peel the paper backing off. This will produce a clear and flexible image transfer which can then be collaged into a piece. Again, I must wait for it to dry before moving on.

Of course, I had a failed experiment with printing directly onto the transparency film. What a mess. The inks began to bleed immediately.. which was sort of cool.. but when I attempted to transfer the image, all of the ink just smeared through the gel medium. I don't think I'll try that technique again.

I will be testing out a few more variations on technique before working on my larger pieces.

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