Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Graphite Enhanced Image Transfer

Hey All!

Today I wanted to share a technique that I've been messing with on and off for a while.  I finally got the results I've been looking for so I can now share it with you just in time for Halloween.  Why Halloween?  You'll see when I show you the finished images...

Graphite Enhanced Image Transfer

I know what you're thinkin...sounds difficult huh?  Well no worries...it's simply an image transfer enhanced with a pencil - LOL!!  Gotcha didn't I???  ;)

Seriously, this is so easy but the results are stunning so let's get started.

I am using the Orange Cleaner Image Transfer technique paired with ink jet black and white images that I printed right off my computer.  You can use colored images but I think the technique looks better in black and white.  Totally up to you though ~ if you want color, use it.
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(NOTE: All images used on today's projects are from Altered Pages)
Next, you want to trim your images...cut away any extra bits as shown.
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Now it's time to transfer your image.  I like to use a more substantial cardstock - usually a heavy cardstock or a manila shipping tag.  You need something that will take the moisture and hold up to the pencil later on.
Saturate your image with the orange cleaner and burnish with a bone folder or spoon.
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Remove the printed image from the transfer.  To speed drying I use my heat tool but you can let it dry naturally as well.
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Now begin adding the graphite to your image.  I usually outline or highlight the dark areas of the image first then go back and fill in large areas of black.  You really want lots of pencil lead in the dark areas.   Don't worry if it looks like scribbles right now...the next step will take care of that.  Besides, it's kind of fun to scribble these images up...it's like being a kid again!
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Now that you've got your image covered with the graphite, smear it, smudge it, rub it around....

***Someone asked about using a blending stump or tortillion stump for this technique.  You sure can use either. I just didn't want to give anyone the impression that they had to purchase either of the stumps to be able to give this technique a try.  If you have a stump, go for it, but if you don't you can still use this technique by using your finger :)
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Now you've got a GREAT ghostly image ready to use... 
He's perfect for Halloween don't you think?
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Here is my skull image ....
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And the vampire smile....
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And my ATC's that I made using the images!!!
Pretty creepy huh?
I love how they turned out.  I added a border around The Raven and drew a couple small spider webs for the skull freehand. 
Graphite Enhanced Image Transfers 016
This is such a fun technique, it's a bit messy (because of all the smudged graphite) but I think you'll enjoy it anyway because where else can you scribble like a little kid and end up with results like this?
I hope you give it a try and let us know how much fun you had doing it!


  1. Hi Ronni,
    I'd like to invite you to visit our new Color Challenge Blog. http://colormebeautifulchallenge.blogspot.com/ My friend, and I have been working on this new blog for over a month. Please come meet our new design Team on Friday August 31 and check out our new color challenge blog! We will throw out our very first color challenge this Saturday, September 1st!!
    I'd love to have you come play along with u

  2. Oh this technique looks fun Roni. I wonder if you use a paper stump or tortilon to smudge the graphite. It is used also for sketch artists and really produces nice effects. Might try this, I love image transfers. Thanks for sharing this new technique.

  3. Wow cool technique. Looks like I add Orange oil to my grocery list. LOL wonder how this would look with on-Halloween images? :) This goes on my "to try" list!

  4. interesting technique that looks fun... and that would smell good too!

  5. Cool. A fun new technique to play with. Thanks for the link to the orange cleaner trick, too. I've read of other people using Citrasolv and color magazine photos (National Geo especially, for the color) and making abstract images with the transferred ink.

  6. Love this technique, Roni. Kind of makes you feel like you "penned" (rathered "pencil'd") your first piece of art! Love this idea!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!