How to Transfer a Photo to Canvas | Bluprint | Michaels

How to Transfer a Photo to Canvas | Bluprint | Michaels


(light guitar music) – During my senior year of college, a local artist came in
and taught a workshop on matte medium transfers. What this process,
basically, enables you to do is transfer a photograph
onto almost any surface. You’re then able to go on top of that and draw little textures,
other drawings, illustrations in the foreground and background. I absolutely fell in
love with this process because it fuses art and design. I’d just finished my first job and I was about to take a
trip over to Southeast Asia. At the time I’d absolutely fallen in love with the aesthetic of
vintage luggage travel tags, and I thought the idea take that aesthetic and apply it to that matte
medium transfer process and try to sell some pieces
to make a little extra money. Selling these pieces ultimately fueled my creative entrepreneurism
and it inspired me to start a design business in Denver. And I’ve since continued
to create art and design for businesses big and small. I’m Adam Vicarel and
this is my Maker Story. (jazzy music) To get started, you’ll
need a few supplies. Sharpie paint markers, some pencils, Micron pens, some acrylic paint, erasers, sponges, oil pastels, the print out that you’ll be transferring, a stencil, a straight edge or a ruler, some water, matte
medium, a smoothing tool, some paint brushes, watercolor paint, scissors, pallet paper, a
canvas, and some paper towels. (jazzy music) So step one in this process is actually getting our print out. We wanna be sure that
our print out is done on a laser jet printer. We want our print to
be in black and white. This isn’t crucial, but
what it allows us to do is add color wherever we want. And lastly, we wanna be sure
that our image is mirrored. We’re actually gonna cut out the background of our photograph. What this allows us to
do is go in later on and add any additional
design elements or textures. So we’ll get started with actually adding a layer of matte medium directly on top of our image
as well as on the canvas. And then with a broad brush
I will just lay an even coat across the entire image. And it’s okay if your matte medium goes onto your canvas at this point. So now we’re just gonna take
our matte medium soaked paper, set it aside, and do the exact
same thing to the canvas. (jazzy music) With both surfaces still wet, I will take my print and
put it directly face down, matte medium to matte medium. Once it’s down on the matte medium, it does start to stick like glue. I will use my smoothing
tool to smooth the image directly onto that canvas so
that there’s no air pockets. Let it sit and dry for six to eight hours, or even overnight. So now that all of our
matte medium has dried, we’re ready for the actual
transfer process itself. We’ll simply apply water
to the back of this paper, and slowly rub until
our paper pulp rubs away and the actual image
itself stays on the canvas. You definitely really do need
to put a little elbow grease into that to really get that
paper to start coming up. It’s very common for
little bits and pieces of your photograph to actually
get rubbed away and come off. Again, this is an art, it’s okay to show a little bit of that process, or have things be imperfect. Now that our image is fully
transferred and dried, we’re gonna move on to the next step. And that’s gonna be to
add a little bit of color and find some distinguishing features. And what’s fun about this process is there really is no right or wrong. So feel free to get a
little bit experimental. And then lastly, as a little touch up, I’m gonna go through
with a moist paper towel and clean up a little bit
of the areas on my face where some of that blue hit. Now we’re ready to add
some background elements. You can really choose to
do whatever you’d like, whether that’s adding shapes, stars, words, whatever you would like to do. You don’t need it to be perfect. I’m gonna move back
over to my water colors and add a color in the background. You can really choose whatever you’d like, however, I would encourage
you to choose a color based off of the emotion
you want to evoke. I’m gonna go in with
a little bit of pastel and just blend a little
bit of the foreground into that background. So I’m gonna start with my black, gonna find some dark areas. And I’m gonna grab my white or my cream and I’m gonna do the same
thing on the opposite side. So now we’re gonna move
over to our acrylic paints and we’re gonna paint a contour line around the edge of a
portion of our photograph. What this does is it
highlights a particular area or portion of the image. So at this time, our piece is getting pretty close to complete and we can now take the opportunity to go back in and add any free-hand
or stenciled elements to make the piece have
a little bit more depth. The last step, though, is you wanna paint the sides of your canvas. This enables your piece to feel
very complete and finished, so when it’s hanging on a wall it looks like you’ve
considered every side. The last step is to add a final fixative. And what this does is
it simply puts a coating over top of the entire
piece and prevents it from smudging and smearing
as we move it around. You wanna be sure that you use
a very well-ventilated room or, ideally, do this outside. This process doesn’t
only apply to portraits. You can do this for any type of image, whether that be a landscape, a novelty item, or a plant,
or an animal at home, or again a portrait of
yourself or a friend. Let your imagination run wild
and do whatever you’d like.

14 thoughts on “How to Transfer a Photo to Canvas | Bluprint | Michaels

  1. This is awesome! I used to teach jewelry making classes at Michaels is there a way I can share a maker video on Michaels channel? I loved sharing my experience of how to make accessories and this video is so inspiring. 💜🎨

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