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:
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post from Jordan Hill who is sharing an art journal page with a special self portrait technique to take on our theme this month: I am a Collage – We are all complex beings with many different facets. Create a “self portrait” piece using collage to represent parts of yourself, either literally or in an abstract way.
Happy October, everyone! I’m really happy to be here and sharing this project with all of you! When I was presented with this month’s theme of “I Am A Collage”, I immediately had an idea for a technique that I wanted to experiment with, which is quite different from things I’ve done in the past. I hope you enjoy following along with me!
I started this page with a self portrait I had already drawn and a piece of tracing paper. You could just as easily use a photograph to achieve a similar result, but I really liked this drawing and wanted to work with it. I then placed the tracing paper over top of the self portrait and drew the portrait in chunks. I did one chunk for the face and neck, one for the shirt, one for the glasses and two separate pieces for the hair (the left and right sides). I don’t end up using the glasses.
Next, I cut out the individual pieces of tracing paper to create patterns. I then selected some scraps of paper, traced my patterns onto the back of them, and cut them out with scissors. For more intricate pieces, you might consider using an X-Acto knife.
Once my pieces were cut out, I added a few more details onto the pieces using a black ink pen. This allowed me to add in the facial features and some folds and wrinkles to the sweatshirt without as much trouble as a lot of fiddly paper bits would have given me.
I then selected a page in my journal to work on. I ended up going with this one because of the quote along the left hand side of the page. I actually used this same quote on the Creative Squad project I did back in April; it is from a show/manga called Haikyuu!! I figured that it would be fitting to use something that is that important to me as part of this month’s theme.
Next, using two of Nathalie’s rubber stamps (the Empire Triangle Stamp and the Arts and Crafts Motif Stamp), I added some texture and interest to the background. I used the Arts and Crafts Motif in the lower left hand corner, and used the Empire Triangle Stamp to create a pattern across the background.
It was then time to add the focal point. Using the different pre-cut scraps of paper, I glued them to my background in layers, overlapping where necessary. I used a glue stick to adhere my pieces.
Finally, to finish the page off, I added a thought bubble shape using black acrylic paint and outlined it several times with a white gel pen. I haven’t added anything inside this thought bubble yet, but I think it will be a great place to add some journaling in the future. I hope you enjoyed following along with the process of this page and that you consider trying this technique for yourself in the future!
Thank you so much Jordan! I love how you created the self portrait and how you added different elements with various amount of details – it is a perfect example on how complex we are as human beings – we do have many facets.
I want to share with you one of my favorite tools to use with foam stamps – a StampBuddy! It’s a nice soft nappy foam surface that you can use with paint media so that it becomes an ink pad for your foam stamps. This is my go-to technique when I want to do a lot of repeat stamping for say making a repeating pattern, background, gift wrap, and such. If I know I want to stamp the same color over and over in an efficient and clean way, I use a StampBuddy.
A Stampbuddy holds your paint media, keeping an even amount ready to go for your stamping. I generally apply paint to it using a paintbrush or an old gift card/key card, spreading it around in the area I need. You can get a good overview of my process in this blog post where I use my Versailles Positive Negative set and a few colors of acrylic paint for a colorful pattern. Check out the post here.
See a StampBuddy in action – here’s a recent video I made for the Beyond the Paper workshop that shows how you can use a StampBuddy for complex patterns with multiple colors. In the video I am using the Triple Play stamp set.
In the video, you see a trick that I use often – stamping onto the StampBuddy with an archival ink to have a guide. This helps me use multiple colors at the same time and it helps with registration. You can see me doing it in this video as well:
Of course you don’t have to do this. Creative Squad alum Michelle Rydell shows us in this post how she stamps the Versailles set with excellent results:
Maybe fabric paint and sewing projects are your jam? I’m a fan too and I recommend taking some pointers from Creative Squad alum Marsha Valk in this post – she uses a StampBuddy with my Mid Century Squared and Groovy foam stamps, along with acrylic paint and fabric medium. After stamping on her fabric, she creates a really cool tote bag.
The StampBuddy will hold a lot of paint, so use it only if you have time to actually use it up in one session or when you want to do the different color method.
You can store the StampBuddy with paint in a ziploc bag for a day or two if you want to continue stamping the next day but if it is not a lot of paint in there, it will dry into the StampBuddy and then you cannot use it anymore- be careful
I used the paint up by stamping a sheet of gift wrapping paper – boom – one sheet down for the next presents.
Clean the StampBuddy when you are done with your creative time, wash it out with water until the water is clear. The stamped archival ink impression will remain on your StampBuddy. Do not let paint dry on the StampBuddy
Clean your Foam Stamp – I know there are different approaches- I do not clean it super crazy scrubby, but I want most of the acrylic paint off. For me this is a foam stamp and it should remain cushiony as this is what creates this kind of impression and it also lets me use other paint media than just acrylic paint on it.
Onlyuse a small amount of paint with your StampBuddy – you will be surprised how far it will get you and it also prevents paint from seeping into the creases of your stamps- which a) wastes paint, b) makes it harder to clean up your stamp, and c) gives less nice stamped images.
I hope this has helped you see how you can use a StampBuddy the next time you get your ArtFoamies out for some fun.
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.
“He said: “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow. So today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”
The red/pink part of the Art Journal spread was done with some mono printing on a gelli plate. I used my Downtown Foam Stamp onto the plate and love how the pattern came through.
I painted part of the spread over with black gesso and once dry stamped on top with the Versailles Stamps from my Large Floral rubber stamp Set. For the white I used the second white pad in the Moonlight Duo Stamp Sets. So cool – once the white is dry it is permanent and it is pretty opaque as you can see.
I really love how this turned out – there is something about the grungy look of the monoprinted part and the black and white that just speaks to me.
Here are some of the supplies I used for this page:
Printing on top of plastic sheets or overhead foils is a fun way to create transparent elements for your work or nice dividers for your art journal but my favorite of all must be using Shrink Plastic. From wine charms, to embellishments to earrings. Using the foam stamps with inkpads of your choice, stamp your desired images.
Then heat the shrink film up as the manufacturer recommends and you will get a tiny version of your stamped image. Too cute! Here is a sample where I used the shrink film to create myself some new fancy earrings.
Day 23 – Scratch!
Another fun way to use Foam Stamps is to stamp onto some Ampersand Clayboard to create some great textured designs.
Stamp on top of the clay board with acrylic paint or spray ink or inks and then start scratching into the design. It is like doodling by scratching- better then coloring books- trust me!
Day 24 – Bits & Pieces
How about using bits and pieces of foam stamped paper to create something new?
You could create a tangram which is a puzzle which consists of 7 flat geographic shapes which put together can create a new shape.
Simply google tangram, print out the template, glue it on some white or black paper, start stamping with your foam stamps and cut it.
And then go and play …
Here are the different foam stamps I used for these prompts
I love to emboss with my foam stamps. The foam surface creates some added texture even if you use super fine embossing powder.
Simply press the clear embossing pad onto the foam stamp and then stamp on paper. You can add just one solid color of embossing powder to your image and then heat emboss.
Or for even more fun, add several different colors of embossing powder and heat emboss one after the other.
Another fun way to use embossing powder is to use the positive and negative sets and layer the embossing. I hope you try it
Day 9 – Resist
I am a huge fan of resist techniques and this has always been one of my favorite ones.
Apply clear embossing ink to your foam stamp. Stamp onto paper. Sprinkle UTEE (ultra thick embossing powder) on top and heat emboss. Let cool and then apply a very thin layer of acrylic paint or acrylic ink over the surface.
The paint or ink will dry slower on top of the UTEE as that area will resist the paint. Use a moist rag or a baby wipe and gently wipe over the raised UTEE pattern to remove the paint.
What remains is a wonderfully textured clear pattern.
Day 10 – Pastel
I love using Pastels with my foam stamps. In order to make the pigments stick you need a little trick though. I usually use a clear embossing ink pad and apply it to the stamp, then I stamp onto paper.
My favorite pastels are PanPastels but you can use over pastels as well.
I apply the pastel with a tool over the stamped surface and wherever the embossing ink is on the paper the pastel will accumulate more and collect more of the pastel.
The stamped design will appear darker.
Here are the foam stamps I used for those prompts. Hope you enjoying the Foam Stamplifier Challenge!
Ha- lol – I am not sure if I like this or if I feel slightly pushed into a psychedelic 60s comic – but I sure had fun playing ;)
I loved mixing up a hand cut stencil, my hand carved rubber stamp and my new Groovy Foam Stamp. I used spray paint with the stencil, an ink pad for the rubber stamp and acrylic paint with the Groovy Stamp.
Once all was dried brushed on yellow acrylic ink over the whole spread – and there you go …you feel like you landed in a 60s Bugs Bunny comic LOL.
My wonderful friend Tina Walker is at it again – she invited several people to join her Stencilfied Prompts. The prompts are music related and each week she is posting a song. You can be inspired by the lyrics, the video, the album cover or anything related and the only restriction is that you have to use StencilGirl Product Stencils. Here is my take on Prompt 4:
This week’s prompt was She Used to be Mine – Sara Bareilles – another song I am not really familiar with …I do have a very grungy, alternative music style- but it was fun to listen to the music and use part of them.
For this Spread I started by using my Mesa Verde Stencil on top of a partly painted background and spreading a thin layer of Heavy Gesso over the stencil. Using a palate knife makes sure you can apply the gesso pretty evenly.
After the gesso dried I layered my Granada Stencil on top and used spray paint to create a second layer – i love how the two stencils work together. I used the Millie Stamp from the Actually I Can Stamp Set on a piece of tissue paper and then added it to the background with Fluid Medium. This way I could make sure to still see the background shining through but was also able to add the stamping regardless of the texture.
Added the journaling and there it is. Here are some of the supplies I used: