Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gel Transfers

In this tutorial we will learn how to transfer images into fabric using gel mediums.

Things you will need:
1. Golden medium heavy gel
2. Some type of fabric
3. An image to be transferred
4. Roller

For this particular tutorial I am using heavy gel matte, but you can use regular gel and soft gel as well. Similarly, you don't have to use matte. Gloss will work the same way, but it will give you a glossy finish. As far as images go, I found it best to use an inkjet printout. Do experiment with other images such as magazine cut outs, brochures, postcards etc. I tried all of them, and to me inkjet printouts work the best.
Now for the fabric, I am using old cotton sheets. Begin by applying the gel onto the image. The easiest way to do this is to use your finger. Make sure you cover the whole surface. Don't let it sit too long or it will dry and won't transfer.

When you done, turn the image over and place it with the side that has the gel on it down onto the fabric. Take your hard roller and start rolling. Make sure to roll long enough for the whole surface to adhere to the fabric.

Let it sit for while. How long? Well, I let it sit long enough for me to make myself a cup of tea with honey and lemon. :-) Now, peel off a corner and if most of the colors transferred, peel off the whole thing. There is always going to be some ink still left on the paper. Don't worry about it.

As you can see, there is still some white paper left on the transferred image. What you want to do is get a wet paper towel and slightly dab the white spots.

Rub the wet spots with your finger. Do not apply too much pressure or you will rub off the actual image. Do it until there is no more white left. The second picture below show half of the image rubbed off and half with paper still left on it.

Finish the cleaning up the whole image and then apply the same gel that you used in the begining. This time, don't put too much. Just enough to seal the image. Let it dry.

You're done. You can use this techniques on various surfaces such as fabric, wood, cardboard and more. If you're going for a worn out look, just rub off more of the image. Don't get upset if you don't achieve the desired results on your first try. You have to get used to the gels and get the feel of it. After that it's a snap. I've ruined a quite a few images before I got the hang of. Different surfaces yield different results. Also, before printing out the image, make sure you bring up the contrast in your editing program. (I will do a tutorial on that as well)

As always, if you would like me to do a different tutorial, leave a comment. If I am able, I will do it. For those of you who have tried this tutorial and absolutely loved the results, consider making a donation (paypal). You can give as little or as much as you want on my main website

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Design Your Own Color Palette

If you're one of those people that have trouble picking the right color scheme for you project, one way to do it is to turn to nature (or take a class on color theory). I've recently seen an interesting post Beautiful Color in Nature: Frogs and Toads. where the author makes up a color palette from images of animals - frogs in particular. Looked easy enough, but when I set out to do it, it wasn't that simple. So here is what I'm thinking: Take one of the pictures below and make a color palette. It is interesting to see the different combinations that will come up from the same picture. Post the result in your blog and let me know, or send it to me and I'll post all of them side by side. The easiest way to do this little project is to use a color picker in photoshop.

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