I've been experimenting with a process (and product: Omni Gel) that leaves you with an acrylic film that you then apply to your chosen medium (so far I've used the transfers only on fabric and paper). I used PVA to adhere the transfers, but I could have used other methods, such as stitching. After trying various papers and fabrics to back the images, here are the combinations that were the most successful. Here's what I learned from this experience (no doubt there are exceptions to these guidelines, but they were useful to me in this instance):
- I had the best result using images with simpler lines and larger blocks of white/light backgrounds. This allows the pattern/color of the substrate to which you apply it to be seen through the transfer.
- Smaller, repeated patterns on the substrate -- your fabric or paper -- worked well. Patterns that were too larger or two spaced apart were lost when I laid the transfer over them.
- A substrate with lighter colors worked best.
This is a transfer onto fabric. This image has quite a lot of white in it, so the pattern of the fabric shows through well. It's less important with this type of image that the pattern in the substrate be small and regular. In fact, it's not.
Another image on the same fabric. Again, the image has the qualities of a pen and ink illustration, so there is a good amount of "white space" that serves to make portions of the image transparent.
Here's an example of an image that has some very dark areas (the woman's hair), so that portion of the image is fairly opaque. There's also the question of whether the image and the substrate work well together, and I wasn't thinking much about that during this experiment. One one level, these don't go together well at all; but if contrast was your intention...
The paper to which the image is adhered was the scrap paper covering my table. There were some images stamped on it, and I wanted to see how those would show through.
Paper again. See the lines/grid on the image. When I printed the image, in error I had put paper in the printer that had already been printed on. So the image of the girl overprinted on paper that had an insurance claim form on it. Happy or unhappy accident? Depends on how I end up using the image.
This too is an image adhered to paper. As with the image above, this one overprinted on another sheet of "claim form" paper.
This paper clearly doesn't have a small or regular pattern on it. Nevertheless, it worked well, in part because this is a large image (about 5 inches in height).
It'll be fun figuring out how to incorporate these into my book work.