Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Artist Transfer Image Transfer Technique

I don't know if you have seen one of the newer products offered at Altered Pages - Artist Spackle - or not but I have to tell you I am in love with it.

It says on the jar that it's great "for structural, dimensional, and textural applications" and can also mixed with various color mediums and be thinned for other applications.

Personally I find it to be a really interesting texture medium that is almost like a sticky dry frosting. I know, that doesn't make any sense at all but seriously, that's what it feels like when you start playing with it. It's like sticky frosting when you first pick it up and try to spread it but it's not a wet sticky, it's a dry sticky. So far I've only used my fingers to spread it out because I think they are the best tools for some jobs. I initially used it for my Steampunk Shadow Box Kit. The entire outside of the box was covered with it then painted using a bit of Maya Mist. It was lots of fun because the texture it created was amazing.

Well, I have to tell you I'm not one for following the directions, coloring in the lines or climbing into a box... I love to experiment and do my own thing. The Artist Spackle is no different, after my initial use I thought it would be fun to play with it a bit and see what it could do.

Now if you've read my book - Teach Yourself Visually Collage & Altered Arts you know I have an entire chapter on Image Transfer techniques. I love em and if I'd have had my way there would have been several more included in the book but alas...there's only so many pages in a book (at least that's what my editor kept telling me).

Anyway, I love Love LOVE to mess with Image Transfers so here's what I did....

Artist Spackle Image Transfer Technique

Artist Spackle
Collage Images  (laser printed) - Altered Pages
Cardstock, Chipboard, Etc.
Glossy Accents


1. Trim the laser printed collage images from the sheet.  Remember if you leave a white edge around the image that space will show up on the final image. I didn't even think about this when I tried this out so I ended up white edges around my images.  I fixed a couple of them which you'll see down below. 

Set these images aside for now.

2. Scoop out a bit of the spackle and spread it on your foundation material...I used chipboard (atc blank) and plain old white cardstock.

AP 002

Here is what it looks like at this time.... almost looks like a pop-tart w/o holes huh?

AP 001

3.  Immediately press the image face down into the wet spackle.  Remember, any area that isn't touching the spackle will not transfer!  For a more complete final image, burnish the image with a bone folder or the back of a spoon.  Work from the center out towards the edges to help remove any air bubbles that might be trapped beneath the image.

Don't worry if you mess up the spackle around the edges...you can fix it up after your done burnishing the image.

  AP 003

4. Let the image dry completely!!!  You must let the spackle dry completely, if you don't you will ruin the image.  The spackle can be thinned with water while it is still wet so if you attempt the next step too soon you will simply dilute the spackle and wipe the image clean off your project.

5. After your image is completely dry it's time to remove the paper leaving the ink embedded in the spackle!  Squirt the back of your image with water and let it soak in for 30 seconds or so.

AP 005

6. Begin near the center and start gently rubbing the wet paper back and forth.  You will notice the paper start to roll up off the image/spackle.  This is exactly what you want it to do.  Keep going.... 

AP 006

Continue rubbing until you feel that all of the paper has been removed.   You can add a bit more water if necessary but not too much.  You don't want to dissolve the spackle.

AP 008

7. After you feel you have removed all of the paper, wipe off the image with a dry cloth and let it dry.  You may notice your image has a bit of  a cloudy appearance.  This means there is still a bit of paper left on the image. 

You can re-wet the image and rub the remaining bits off.

AP 009

8.  Now if you tried step #7 and you're still left with a bit of haze you can use this handy dandy little tip that has worked for me numerous times.  Add a drop or two of Glossy Accents to the image and rub it over the entire image with your fingertip.  As the GA dries it magically hides the last remaining bits of paper and gives the image a bit of gloss, protecting it at the same time. 

Some people think this is cheating but I just think it's a perfect finishing touch.

AP 010

And here are how my images turned out......

AP Artist Spackle Image Transfer 001

This is one of the images that I fixed the white edges.  After I was done removing all the paper and added the glossy accents I went back and dabbed on a bit more spackle around all of the edges covering the white areas.  You can shape it up a bit as well letting you control just how much or little of the image peeks out of the spackle.

It was finished off with a bit of Maya Mist.

AP Artist Spackle Image Transfer 002

This and the next image were made on white cardstock.  I tore the images from the rest of the cardstock once I was finished.

This image was finished off by mixing a bit of 3D Mixers with Crackle Accents which I then painted on the spackle.  It was also painted over the white edges that I left on the image ;)

You will notice a couple white areas near the center of the image that didn't transfer.
This was a couple of air pockets that were left under the image.  I don't mind them because I don't think image transfers should be perfect
(IMO - If you want a perfect image you should just use the original image.)

AP Artist Spackle Image Transfer 005

And finally the last image I left as it finished out...I simply tore it away from the rest of the cardstock.  You can see the white edges I was talking about ~ if you look closely you can even see a bit of another image left over along to top edge.  I didn't even notice that when I cut the images out! 

There are also two small areas that didn't transfer on this image either but it just gives it a bit of character I think.

AP Artist Spackle Image Transfer 007

Sadly this technique doesn't work well with ink jet images.....
I gave it a shot and it does transfer a bit it's more a ghost image than with the laser images. 
It is a cool look though that might work with some projects....
just something to keep in mind.

AP 013

So, there you go...
A fun new Image Transfer technique to stick in your
"To Try" file!


  1. I had to laugh at your saying you used your fingers. It reminded me of when some folks on About.com were asked what their favorite scrapbooking tools were. One woman listed "Jesus tools," and, of course, we all wanted to know what they were. "Why, your fingers and hands, of course!" was the answer!

    I haven't yet seen this spackle in my LSS, but will be on the lookout! I am getting into my art journal, and this would be a messy addition to that, I am thinking!

  2. I love the tecnique do you think you can use photo paper since I don't have a laser ink jet printer??

  3. How very cool Roni! Thanks for the product introduction. Love learning about new materials!

  4. that is so awesome. I will have to try that some day if I get the supplies to do so. I have done the transfer tape technique. works great using it


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!