This ridiculously simple technique for transferring images into a plastic yields a wide variety of possible uses.
The thin nature an flexibility of the gel makes it well-suited for incorporating into artworks. It's transparency gives some interesting possibilities... think light boxes or night lights (I did a multi-piece light installation with gel medium transfers as part of BFA work). The malleability makes it well suited for jewelry and other small craft projects.
This tutorial shows the basics - more the process than a final product - your imagination can take it from something simple into something amazing. There's almost an infinite number of applications across the arts and crafts spectrum.
And i realize the image of the BMW isn't the most artistically dynamic, but it works pretty well to show the process.
Step 1: Materials
The basic materials list is pleasantly short. What you'll need:
- acrylic gel medium
- dish or tray
- scissors (in case trimming is necessary)
- an image to transfer
notes on the gel:
the beauty of this technique lies in the nature of the acrylic - you can adjust and modify the gel to suit your needs... whether using retarder to increase smoothness, mixing in acrylic pigment, or even mixing in other materials (i've seen everything from gold flake to sand mixed into the acrylic gel). I use Liquitex's Gloss Heavy Gel Medium, but any clear acrylic medium works.
notes on the image:
Any image can be used for transfering, although some work significantly better than others. Uncoated magazines/newspapers work beautifully, but more coated photos/postcards/etc. may or may not transfer well - a color photo copy would be recommended to increase the probability of a successful transfer. Laser printed images work, but ink-jet prints generally don't work as well.
notes on the brush:
you can use any brush you'd line, whether bristle or foam. The different textures of the brushes will lay the gel medium down differently and will yield varied final products.