Matte Medium & Tape Transfers

Teaching Art

From journaling to mixed media art, transfers are a great way to add text, texture, and images to your artmaking. I learned several techniques in my papermaking course at university and have recently incorporated some of these techniques into my lessons. The students were amazed that they could ‘make stickers’ and transfers images to surfaces ‘like tattoos’. Below are some easy ways for you to add transfers into your art as well as how to teach transfers to your students.

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InkJet Printer Images

For transfers explained in this is post, the images that are used need to be printed from an inkjet printer as opposed to a laser printer. The matte medium and the adhesive of the tape stick to the printed ink from the paper leaving the transferred image. High contrast black and white images and text work best. Because the images are transferred background, any words, characters or symbols must be reserved on a computer program before printed to ensure the when transferred they can be read correctly.

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Tape Transfers

Using adhesive clear packaging tape, apply the image sticking the image on the adhesive side. Then, wet the back of the paper with a wet cloth or rage or run under water. Once the paper is slightly transparent, begin rubbing the paper off the tape. The white paper rolls and rubs away relieving just the black ink image sticking to the adhesive. Continue to rubbing until all of the white paper pulp is off the tape. Use a clean dry cloth or rag to pat dry the tape. The tape is still slightly sticky allowing it to stick to surfaces.

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Matte Medium Transfer

The matter medium acts like the adhesive of the tape and created a thin layer of medium for the ink to adhere. Brush on the matter medium unto the surface you are placing the transfer on. Place the paper ink side down onto the medium. Be careful not to get the matte medium on top of the white backside of the paper. Although it to dry and use a wet cloth to wet the paper until it is transparent and you can see the images beneath. Then using your fingers or gentle with the rag, begin rubbing the paper away. Often some of the images rub away which creates tarnishes, antique effects. Rewet the surface to continue to rub gently until all of the paper pulp is rubbed off. The technique also works on cardboard and most surfaces however because you need to wet and rub the paper using a heavier weight paper for the background is important.

Latex Glue Varnish

I often use a latex glue to varnish the surface of a collage or artwork with transfers because it helps to seal the collage items, gives a slightly shiny surface finish and also helps to intensify the black of the transfers.

For the artwork below, students began by making backgrounds with watercolor. Then they added cut out collage items from lai see packets. Lastly, they added matte medium transfers before putting a coat of latex glue on the top.

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