Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Is it cheating?



For my painting Dig this!, I tried something different with a transfer experiment. I had kept a magazine article explaining how you can transfer a photocopy onto a canvas or a panel by using acrylic medium gel.

I started by reversing the digital photograph I had as reference and then printed it onto an A3 piece of paper.

I printed several copies at 100% and 80% size to see the one that worked best. With the unusual placement of the canvas (diamond shape), I selected the 100% version, otherwise, the background would have been too large (in particular the foreground).








I traced an axis on the canvas and worked out the placement of the image before applying the medium gel.





In order to transfer the image, I painted the front of the photocopy with a coat of acrylic medium gel, using a household paint brush.










I then applied the paper onto the canvas and pressed with my hand to remove any bubble. The canvas being soft, I could not press too hard, so I turned the canvas over on the table and laid some dictionaries to press the photocopy onto the canvas.



As the canvas is prepared with several coats of gesso, it is not as absorbent as raw fabric, wood or paper. I did not know if the transfer was going to work. To increase my chances, I decided to let the paper dry (although I may not have waited long enough) and then to moisten it again with a sponge to remove the paper. I theory, the image should stay glued to the canvas thanks to the acrylic medium gel.




When I removed the paper, some of the image also came off, probably because I did not put enough gel medium on parts of the photocopy.

I managed to remove most of the remaining paper pulp using a rubber.

The final transfer is less than perfect. I actually like the distressed look of the transfer as a base for my painting. It feels quite “industrial”.











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1 comment:

Jim Serrett said...

Benoit, you could probably have an entire blog dedicated to the question, "is it cheating"?
In an era where artist are printing digital grisailles onto canvas from photo shop programs. Transferring images might seem traditionalist. LOL
Years back we would take magazine ads and transfer the image using a coat of lighter fluid. You would end up with images that had a silkscreen feel to them. And could make some interesting photo collages. Today we can do that in any simple picture program.
For me at least each new piece should be a challenge to my skill level and a learning experience, something I can build on. I also believe an artist should use any resource they can to achieve the imagery they are after. So it might just be as simple as do what you are comfortable with. For the results you want. I would say there is much easier ways to do this today. But did find it to be a unique tip.
Anyway enjoyed your Blog, great work on your site.
Jim