This final image was created using a combination laser transfer, acrylic paint and oil pastel.
I love combining digital art with traditional art and one easy way to combine the two is by using laser transfers from your laser printer in combination with paints on paper.
This image was created using a laser transfer as the base image in my Ecosystems Sketchbook with layers of acrylic and oil pastel on top. Laser transfers are not acid-free, but by covering the image with acrylics and a final coating at the end, you will be able to make it last long enough to enjoy it. Please note that this method uses chemicals that should only be used in a well-ventilated area and that you should take adequate precautions when using petroleum-based thinners. Please read the precaution on the can of the product you are using and follow the safety instructions.
A color laser print out of a medallion was used to make the base image. I did not create a mirror image because I didn't care if the image was reversed from the way it was originally created. If you are using type or another image that needs to be in a specific orientation, be sure to you your printer's settings to print an inverted or mirror image of your design or photo.
To start, I designed and printed out an image using my drawing program. I intentionally used bright, saturated colors because some of the intensity is lost during the transfer process and I wanted my base image to be visible below several layers of paint. If I would have used lighter colors, the image would have been much more subtle. I printed the image on a color laser, but you can also transfer black and white laser images using this method.
Next, I placed the image face down onto my journal. Once the image was positioned, I applied a rag saturated with lacquer thinner to the back of the laser print and rubbed it into the page until I could see the image through the back of the paper. Note: It will take some experimentation to learn how your thinner works with your laser print, so if you are unsure of what results you will get, try the transfer first on a scrap piece of paper until you are happy with the results.
I applied the thinner to the entire image and burnished it to press the color into the paper. More burnishing produces stronger images although the transfer will never be as clear and sharp as the original printout. If you require more perfect transfers, other techniques which add another layer of material will work better such as Lasertran and inkjet transfers or Water Slide Decals.
Once the transfer was complete, I peeled away the color laser print out to reveal the image. Note the image is much softer than the original printout. This is quite normal and is to be expected using this technique. I can give your art an aged look that is difficult to achieve by hand.
The image transfer. Note how it is much softer than the original print.
I added metallic gold, acrylic paint that had been thinned with water to create a shimmery, aged look. It took several layers of this to build up enough color to create the effect I was after.
I used multiple layers of acrylic paints of different colors to add depth and intensity.
Once I had the background color the way I liked it and the paint was dry, I added horizontal pencil lines so I would be able add aligned text on top of the image. The pencil lines were very light to not obstruct the image.
I added hand-written text on top of the art using a white oil pastel. The oil pastel is dense and enabled me to create opaque, cursive text on top of the image. Once I was finished, I coated the entire piece with a clear acrylic spray to seal it and to prevent the oil pastel from transferring to paper or hands. The sealer also protect the artwork from dirt, grime and moisture.
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