Image transfers can be done in lots of ways and I personally love experimenting with them in my artwork and art journal. Sometimes you want to include a photo image directly into your work and a transfer is a way to incorporate it more seamlessly.
I cover some of my favorite techniques in my Trace, Transfer, Transform online workshop to help you get started with image transfers. It can be daunting and a bit of practice and guidance can be just the thing. One important aspect about transfers to remember is that even imperfect transfers can add to your piece in unexpected ways.
Experimenting and playing will get you in the groove and open your eyes to the possibilities.
It is like a form of visual collage that adds to the layering and texture. And it’s just really a blast to fool around with to see what happens. Sounds like the kind of thing for you? Here’s a peek at my Trace, Transfer, Transform workshop:
Since I was a child I have always been obsessed with anything miniature and so I had to have this mailbox and some other stuff you can see here. These adorable model kits are super fun to build and then personalize with some mixed media supplies.
I painted the kit with acrylic paint – it arrives flat and includes glue dots for easy assembly.
I added some lighter blue and brown with a babywipe to make it more weathered looking.
Then I pulled the form together and secured with the glue dots. Looking pretty awesome already – just like the real USPS mailboxes you see on street corners in towns and cities all over the US!
Next I spiffed it up with my Love Tag, Star Tag, Numerals, and some of my other rubber stamps and different inks – more layers to give it that real feel with graffiti and just general grunge. In my hand you can get a feel for the size – I can’t get over how cute this little Mailbox is :)
You could of course go with whatever color or stamp and stencil decoration that suits you.
Do you like this mini version of a mail box? I could build a hole city if you let me ;) LOL.
“Heippa! My name is Riikka Kovasin and I am a mixed media crafter from Finland. I live in Helsinki with my darling husband and our two sweet daughters. Creating is my passion and a way of self-care. Besides family and crafts, my weeks are filled with a full-time job.
I have been doing all sorts of crafts my whole life. I really got into papercrafts after I found scrapbooking when my older daughter was about 6 months old – that’s over 10 years ago. Since then my style has evolved to more and more mixed media direction and nowadays, I tend to go dimensional and do more altered and mixed media pieces than regular layouts.
I absolutely adore getting my hands into paints and mediums! To me the process of creating is equally as important as the finished project.”
We are so excited to share some projects with you from Riikka, and this is the first of a few that will be coming in the next few weeks so check back for more :)
Hi there! It’s Riikka Kovasin here today to share a guest project with you. I actually made a couple projects, so you’ll be seeing me a few times in the course of next weeks.
As my first go I made some jewelry pieces. I really love the patterns of the foam stamps and love how satisfying it is to stamp with them, but on their own they are maybe a touch too big to be used as jewelry. As a pendant, maybe, but as I’m more into earrings the images seemed a bit too big. But no worries, I can always use shrink plastic! That way I’m getting the pattern and the feel of the foam stamp, but the finished piece is half the size! So satisfying!
For these three pairs of earrings, I used both white and black shrink plastic. I used acrylic paint to stamp the images and then colored them using alcohol and paint markers. The first pair is made using both the Grove Street and Fairview Fan foam stamp set. The circular piece has an earring stud at the back.
The dangly parts are made using both positive and negative version of the fan stamp set. To make the center fan a little bit longer than the other two I added a red glass bead between the circle and the fan.
The second pair has even more glass beads as there’s just the fans that are stamped. Again, there’s a stud piece at the back.
The last, but not least, is maybe my favorite. I made that using the Grove Street stamp, just alternated the color I was using on top of black shrink plastic. The first one is done with inky blue metallic acrylic paint, the second one pale blue metallic acrylic and the one nearest to the ear is then white acrylic paint.
These dangle all the way as I added a stud earring with a little ring on top.
I’m not a jewelry maker but these were so easy to do even I managed them! Now the only trouble is to decide which pair to use!
Stay safe everyone! Xoxo Riikka
Thank you Riikka! Wow who is excited to try foam stamps with shrink film now? I love all three of these possibilities and I love how they could work for a variety of different fashion styles.
Want to give it a try? You can find all my Foam Stamps here in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Riikka used:
I hope you had a chance to tune into my Instagram Thursday and Friday for a takeover from the super talented printmaker, book artist, and artfoamies designer Sarah Matthews!
When Sarah and I talked about the process and got to know each other we decided we would want to challenge each other by sending each other a background which then the receiving artist would finish up – A real Collaboration …passing the brush so to speak. Here is what Sarah sent me!
I loved it right away – in one of our conversations I had mentioned that I had a garden and some lettuce and she thought of her carved lettuce stamp.
I love the background and cool layering – It was sooo precious- But then I got to work.
And then I felt I would really not want to cover it more as I wanted to keep Sarah’s background alive and so I went for a final addition of adding some text.
I pulled out my woodblocks and some Speedball inks and added this …
I am quite in love with our collaborative piece. And if you want to see her take on my background -she will share it with a video on Monday. I do hope we get to make more art together in the future and as I said Lettuce build a better tomorrow.
A couple weeks ago Kim and I went to a lecture about Marbling Paper at Kremer Pigments in NYC. It was a great lecture by Sarah Oppenheimer and I learned a ton.
While I love the Western style of paper marbling I was totally taken by Suminagashi – which is the Japanese paper marbling technique where you basically float sumi ink on top of water.
We couldn’t try the technique ourself since it was a lecture and demo but I knew I had to try this at home.
The pictures you see – starting with the one above are all from my second try. The first try was a total disaster and I didn’t take photos because basically I just used “bad words” and tried to figure out what was going on. My ink would mostly blob to the bottom of the container , the ink would just run off my paper …water everywhere- ink everywhere – you get the picture.
But ..of course I wouldn’t give up – after some digging for information of what possibly could have gone wrong and some research and reading I was ready for the second try and that was wayyyyy better.
For this second trial I used Sumi Ink – which is the black ink you see in the pictures as well as some Shellac Inks by Kremer Pigments. You also need a surfactant (which can be watercolor medium, dishwash soap, a marbling surfactant, soap nut ….and it is a trial and error to see how well they work) and two or more Sumi brushes. The problems of my first trial were a mixture of wrong surfactant and also dipping the brushes way too far into the water.
Basically you start with for example two or three brushes- here in the picture above you see a sample where I worked with three brushes . One will be dipped into the surfactant and the other ones in ink. Then you patiently dip just the very tip of the brush onto the water surface and alternate between the brushes – meaning between the colors and the surfactant.
At some point you will have tons of rings on your water surface and you can then either manipulate the “design” with some “wind” – meaning carefully blowing the surface or using a hair of your scalp to go through it. Then you lay paper -preferably washi paper on top of the surface and slowly pull it off.
Does that sound stressful to you? LOL- not at all- all good. The washi paper as the one above was my favorite result but also the most complicated to handle. Taking it off of the water and not ripping it – not folding it and just handle it in any normal way was sooo tough – little bit of stress here …but I think next time and with more practice that will work well. Having some non-washi paper on hand definitely helped.
Look at the gorgeous pattern and the texture of the washi paper- I cannot wait to use this as collage paper but that will take a bit hahahah- I need to pet it a bit more before i can let go ;)
The one above was after I blew onto the surface before adding the paper on top – I love how the rings just went nuts and zig-zaggy . BTW this was done with red and black ink. The colors will always be very very washed out and muted, which is the charm of this. For me this creates so many opportunities to incorporate the paper into my artwork without being overpowering.
For this one above I used a hair of mine and swirled it through. Apparently the oil on your hair makes sure that the rings won’t get interrupted as it would if you would use something else like a comb – but don’t quote me on this- I haven’t tried a ton yet because I first wanted to get a feel of how things work …without having the ink coming off the paper or just sitting in the bottom of the tray.
It was so much fun and I love the couple papers I made with my first sitting. I could have done way more papers but the problem was basically space – next time I def. have to set myself a bit better up – close to the sink and also with some better space for the paper to dry.
I would also love to try some other colors and actually also different inks- for example also acrylic inks. I am not sure if it will work but hey – that doesn’t stop me ;)
The blue came out quite nice
And then this one – I pulled the blue ones on the top and then instead of cleaning and skimming the water right away I added some black ink with surfactant and then printed again – I love the result.
The one on top is a layered print – first I printed black and white and then blue and white on top . I love it- but have to practice this also a bit more to get some better prints.
And there you go – a pile of paper that I love. I cannot wait to do this again. If you want to try it yourself find different videos about Suminagashi – and start maybe with a small container and dishwasher soap and see if it works – It seems to be quite a trial and error if you do not want to dive right away in the “traditional right way” but I have to say – I enjoy that journey because that gives me the possibility to adjust to my own needs and to what I have.
I cannot wait to show you some art journal spreads I used them for.
Do you like those prints and how could you see yourself using them?
It was fun being invited by the peeps at Ranger to participate in the 2019 Ranger Designer Challenge with the focus on Dina Wakley Pouring Medium. The pieces are yearly displayed at Creativation former CHA -a big Craft and Hobby Trade Show happening every January.
I have played with pouring medium before and it was especially fun to play with Dina’s Cell Creator.
Here is my piece for the challenge
It was really fun to play with Dina’s products – even though it was a bit out of my box as it is so different from what I usually do and use. But hey- it is called challenge for a reason ;)
It was also fun to spy the piece here and there on social media since I didn’t go to the Show this time
Here is a another art journal spread using the hand carved stamp I showed in my Creative JumpStart 2019 class video ( you can still join us if you want – lots of fun tutorials). Here I inked it up with black archival ink
and used it cut apart as shown in the tutorial. I also used it with my RubberMoon Rubberstamps – I love the mix of hand carved and hand sketched next to each other.
I painted the stamped images and the background in with acrylic inks and acrylic gouache and added the journaling with a white sharpie. Love how the colors glow.
Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread: