Acrylic gel lift and transfer

A taste of what will soon be a book by Brady Wilks.

Writer and photography / Brady Wilks

The Acrylic Gel Lift/Transfer is a process with many stages, ultimately enabling the artist to apply their photographic work to a wide variety of surfaces. The process entails the creation of a positive print, applying acrylic gel to the print, curing the gel, soaking the gel coated print, removing the paper backing, then applying the final suspended ink to a new surface. This exercise will illustrate the non-traditional acrylic side down version of the process that has been developed as a way to further control and manipulate the photograph. It celebrates the old transfer aesthetic of being a reverse of the original capture and allows more manipulation of the ink side before it is sealed. Although it may require more work, patience and care than other transfer processes, it is a wonderful variation and has its own unique aesthetic quality.

Many details have been left out in order to allow for exploration and experience with the process and the formulation of creative ideas.

Supplies for Acrylic gel lift and transfer:

  • Inkjet Printer
  • Typing Paper (for speed, other fine art papers take significantly longer to release)
  • Acrylic Gel Medium (choice of transparent Matte or Gloss)
  • Synthetic Bristle Brush
  • Palette Knife (optional)
  • Acrylic or Rubber Brayer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Tray or Plate to soak prints in
  • Substrate Material (desired final surface for print)
  • Scissors
  • Razor knife (optional)

Surface substrate options:


Although it may seem redundant to transfer from paper to paper, with the wide variety of handmade and fine art papers available, this process can in fact produce dramatic results. As can be seen through the process, the acrylic skin can be folded, stretched and creased while being applied to the substrate of choice. These textures and anomalies of ink loss, creases, and bubbles can still be taken advantage of even if paper is the desired final substrate. This is a similar look to Polaroid emulsion lifts.


Because many printers cannot accept very thick canvas rolls, this technique can be utilized to apply images to canvas. Many painters and mixed media artists utilize similar techniques in their work.


Light colored woods will produce the highest contrast print, as the wood color and structure will show through the translucent areas. However, when using wood, it is best to use a higher contrast image to compensate. Darker woods tend to be more difficult to work with. The wood can be oriented in a way such that the striations of the grain support and enhance the image. This is a personal preference choice.

Suggested Species List: Pine (all varieties), Oak, Red Oak, Poplar, Cherry, Mulberry, Bradford Pear, Apple, Lilac, Maple (all varieties), Spalted Maple, Box Elder, Ash, Yellow Heart, Lati, and Birch.


Using glass allows for the option of back illumination. Also, additional substrate materials (such as gold leafing, glass beading, etc.) can be applied to the back of the glass and seen without altering the texture of the transfer itself. This can enhance the depth and dimension of the image.


Mounting to mirrors is similar to working with glass however the reflection on the underside of the skin provides additional depth, visual texture, and interest.


Sandstone tiles have a wonderful texture that, when paired with the transfer, add a unique surface difficult to reproduce otherwise. There are also many gel mediums containing various texture materials (such as sand, glass bead, fiber, etc.) to create varied textures on a number of surfaces.


Similar to wood, the striations within various rock formations can provide interesting patterns to be revealed underneath the transfer skin. The difference is that marble usually comes polished while most wood grain allows a relief to show through.

Found Objects

Essentially, just about any material can be used as a substrate, lamp shades, barn siding, cigar boxes, instruments, plastic and any other found object able to accept the application of the thin skin.

Variations of the transfer

One method makes use of transparency printer paper to transfer the ink into a gel-coated surface. Once pressed, the transparency paper is removed.

Another method uses gel on paper to suspend the ink. The paper is only partially removed via water and the transfer is placed with the ink side down on the blank surface producing no inversion or reversal.

The method developed for this instruction uses gel on paper to suspend the ink. The paper is removed via water and the transfer is placed with the image in reverse, ink side up. This is the process used to further manipulate and control the transfer and is the one described in detail for the instruction below.

1 Make a print
Using white typing paper, print the desired image using a plain paper profile with at least 720ppi photo quality resolution. The image should be fairly high contrast. It is important to note that regardless of the substrate being transferred onto, some details will be lost, especially in areas of shadow. This is simply a part of the process. The darker the substrate, the lower the contrast will be in the end due to the material showing through the highlights.

2 Coat and cure the print

a. There are many variations on coating the print. This stage is extremely important. In order to make the most of your transfer, it is important that this step is approached with patience, regardless of the coating method being employed.
b. The first method is to apply a thin coat of gel using a brush to apply gel in a single direction across the entire image. After applying this thin coat, it is advised to use a hairdryer on a cool or medium heat setting to accelerate drying and curing time. Do not use a high heat setting as it could damage the gel. However, this hot setting can be used to burn in, boil, and bubble the gel skin if that particular aesthetic is desired in the piece. Do this layering at least 4 to 8 times alternating brush stroke direction between layers.
c. The second method is to apply a few thick coats curing and drying between each coat. These thicker coats take a lot longer to dry and it is important to only use the cool setting on the hairdryer. Hot air could potentially damage and alter the gel with bubbles, cracks, and imperfect thicknesses. This may be the desired effect however is not as predictable as with thinner layers of gel.
d. The third method is to apply a single very thick coat using a palette knife to glop the gel down off to one side and distribute the gel across the image in 2-3 soft-handed strokes. The gel will even out slightly but this method could be used to get some heavy textures on the surface similar to encaustic / wax work. Typically, it will require 8-10 hours for thicker applications to dry minimum. When using this method, several images can be prepared for transfer and coated at once, letting them dry and cure overnight to full transparency. (drying times vary across regions due to humidity and temperature.)
e. Many other variations can be discovered through experimentation. A successful starting point would be 8 thin layers alternating brush stroke direction and fully curing between each coat.
f. Alterations – A small amount of pigment can be added to the gel medium but should be done sparingly in order to maintain transparency. Another alteration could be made by brushing in some texture and tracing elements of the image to produce depth and dimension. Using textured gel at this stage makes paper removal difficult but some textured gels work very well as a final coat.
g. Before moving to the soaking stage, the image may be trimmed if desired so that it becomes borderless, without paper edges.

*Note: When using a hair dryer, do not cure the gel with the paper lying flat on a stiff surface for too long as it could create moisture pockets or “sweat” on the underside of the paper. Instead, hold up one corner or side of the paper carefully while drying the print with a hair dryer. If this is not done, it could result in bubbling or a breakdown of the gel when soaked in water. Curing fully is the most important consideration before soaking.

3 Soak the print
Depending on the print size, a tray or container will be needed that can accommodate the full size of the image or more. When working small, a simple plate can be used with very little water.
Distilled water or most well water works best. A warm to mildly hot water temperature is best when removing the paper backing, as the fibers of the paper soften more easily. Using water that is too hot could damage the gel or cause it to bubble. This could be used creatively but the bubbles will remove most of the ink in those areas. Lukewarm water produces the best results. This ranges between 98 and 105° Fahrenheit.
Soak the print, gel side down. The water can be seen penetrating the paper backing. Before submerging the paper, fine-grain sandpaper can be used on the back to accelerate the water penetration but not needed with typing paper. If typing paper is used, the soaking time is very quick. If fine art paper is used, such as Somerset velvet or enhanced mat, soaking times will be much longer. Typing paper soaking times range from 1 to 5 minutes but some paper require hours of soaking. This process cannot be rushed.

4Release the paper backing
Once the print has soaked, leave it in the water and start to gently rub the paper side in an easy motion side-to-side starting in the center. You may consider changing the water to make it warm again. (Using cold water makes the gel act brittle and easily torn.) The fibers of the paper will begin to pill and roll away gently. Once the first layer of the paper is removed in the center start to work from the center out to the edges, holding the print down with one hand and gently rubbing with the other. This step is extremely delicate! Be careful not to rub too hard or too much or all of the ink can be lost.
The other methods don’t require the removal of all the paper. This process is a little more involved as the paper must be removed in several layers, rinsing the print and adding fresh water so the pulp doesn’t build up. If too much pulp is allowed to build up, it can slip under the gel layer. If this occurs, the pulp can easily remove ink from the surface of the image by incidental agitation. Again, this could be used in an intentional way for further distortions and loss of details.
Once the desired amount of paper has been removed, carefully rinse gel image, removing undesired pills and fibers from the surface.

5Dry the skin
Drape the gel skin over a drying rack or another smooth, non stick surface that will allows air to dry the film. Be careful not to allow the skin to become stuck to a surface or other paper materials as this could damage or alter the skin. Alternately, the gel skin may be dried with a hair dryer on a cool setting to accelerate the process. It may be draped across the hand or arm while drying, if small enough. The end result is not a thoroughly dried film, rather the acrylic side of the image should be mostly dry and the ink side should still be damp but not dripping.

*Note do not dry the ink side. Be sure only to dry the back side, the transfer must be finished while the ink side is still wet. This will allow the removal of any last bits of paper. While it is still wet, it will be difficult to tell if all of the paper has been removed. If any paper is left, it will eventually dry white. Again, this effect might be desired for a certain aesthetic quality.

6 Prepare the surface material
It is essential to work quickly so that the ink side isn’t completely dry before pressing it to the final surface. Coat the substrate surface with an even amount of gel medium. This layer should not be too thick or too thin. Do not allow this layer to dry as it acts as glue between the substrate and the gel transfer. The transfer will be applied at this time.

7 Apply the gel skin
Lay the gel skin gently on the surface. At this stage, purposeful stretching, folding, creasing, ripping, etc. may be carefully done. Depending on the original coating method the skin might be very delicate and brittle.
Use the brayer to roll out the air bubbles starting in the center and working up, then starting in the center and working down. Do this until all the air bubbles are out unless those effects are preferred. Once the gel skin has been applied over the surface and rolled out, fold the excess over the edge of the substrate and spread some of the excess gel around the edges to act as glue.
At this stage, if desired, more of the remaining paper backing can be removed from the surface carefully with a wet finger, but be extremely cautious to not remove too much ink. Once this process has been completed, apply several thin coats of gel as was done with the original coating, brushing each layer in a different direction and curing between coats to finish the process. If there is any creasing, folding, tears, or bubbles excess gel will build up in those areas. Three things can be done to remedy this issue. First the thin areas can first be cured with a hairdryer then the excess in the areas can be rubbed out. Second, the brush can be cleaned and used to wipe up the excess in those areas. If using the brush method, be sure that the direction of the strokes is not changed or it will be evident once the gel is cured. Third, a single thick coat can be applied and allowed to dry overnight.

*Note, if a high heat setting is used, air pockets and bubbles may be produced due to expansion. This is an interesting effect but not always desired. To avoid them, use a very low heat or cool setting on your hair dryer.

The finishing of your work is full of options. The most important being finishing coats of acrylic gel medium, applied similarly to original print before transfer, alternating direction and curing in between layers. Trimming and folding edges provides a clean presentation. Painting the sides or framing the work would provide a gallery ready presentation. Bee’s wax or synthetic wax (encaustic) can be used to encase the print and offer added levels of dimension to the lift.

Problems and solutions for Acrylic gel lift and transfer

Some common issues occur within the process. This section will explain why it happened, how to fix it if possible, and how to prevent it in the future. You may also choose to do some of these problems on purpose for a particular aesthetic.

– IMPORTANT: There is a lot of paper left on the surface after it dried.

This is the most common issue and many will have this problem first starting. If the piece dries and too much paper is left on, the surface will dry white. While the print is wet it will be hard to tell if enough paper is removed because the paper becomes translucent and less white while damp. Take extra steps in removing the paper, changing the water and removing more paper 4 to 5 times. Be very delicate as not to remove too much ink. Another option is to remove the last bits of paper with after it has been applied it to the substrate. Carefully rub off the extra paper while the ink side is still damp with a finger, gently pilling the paper up and off in a circular motion. Brush off the excess pills and repeat until the texture is mostly smooth. Again, part of the aesthetic is leaving a little texture and paper in certain areas to enhance the image. If this type of transfer does not work for you then try only removing 2 layers of paper and doing the ink side down method which is much simpler and produces more detail.

Gel dissolves during soaking:

If the print was not cured properly before the soaking stage the water will mix with the gel and turn it to paste. This causes the print to be destroyed when attempting to remove the paper. To avoid this, first let the print dry thoroughly before applying gel (allow the ink to cure from the original print). Second, apply very thin coats of gel, using the hair dryer to thoroughly cure each layer. Once again, be careful not to allow moisture to build up underneath the print. It is not uncommon for some sweat to occur, so a piece of cardboard or other absorbent material can be placed underneath the print to help absorb the moisture. Alternatively, the print may simply be handheld while drying. If a single thick coat of gel is applied, wait several hours (usually overnight or longer) for the gel to fully cure.

Gel bubbles suring soaking

If the print is placed into water that is too hot, expansion bubbling may occur between the thin coats of gel. To avoid this, use luke-warm water.

Air bubbles and air pockets

If a brayer is not used to roll out the transfer, there is a risk of air bubbles and pockets being left behind. Later, as the gel is heated during the curing of the finishing layers, the heat of the hair dryer makes the air and moisture expand disallowing that area to stick to the surface resulting in a bubble. This can be remedied by using a needle to carefully puncture the smallest hole possible and remove the air. This small puncture can then be covered with a small amount of gel medium. To prevent this problem in the future, a harder brayer may be used and proper pressure applied. Be patient and spend a few extra moments rolling out the bubbles.

Micro bubbles during cure times

Small heat-bubbles can appear when the gel medium is applied too thin and the heat setting of the hair dryer is too high. The gel can be heated to a point of boiling expansion if not monitored carefully. This problem is not easily fixed and involves scraping off the gel before applying fresh coats. This can lead to damage of the image itself. It’s also used as a creative tool for added texture, depth and dimension.

Brady Wilks is a fine art photographer, print maker, and professor of photography. He is currently showing work in many galleries, selling prints, writing how-to articles, teaching college darkroom and alternative process courses and workshops in the greater D.C. area.

37 thoughts on “Acrylic gel lift and transfer”

  1. Hi,
    I would like to know the inkjet image transfer process to the like marble, tile, gypsum board and wood etc,
    1,what type of media using for print?
    2, what are the chemical (resin or epoxy) using ?
    How is the process?
    Pls give me details, I would like to start a image transfer business, its very help full for me
    Thanks in advance

  2. I have heard that old (1960’s) magazine cover images can be lifted with this process, but the newer magazines won’t work. Do you know why this is? Thanks.

  3. Hello, I found so much great information.
    I’be been experimenting with transfers but not as you does. I love the results over wood, the difference is that I place directly over the surface the image with the medium. I was wondering which would be the differences between both techniques.
    I see that at the end there is a skin of medium to transfer with the image, it makes it more difficult to place without not dirtorting the final image.
    Would like to read your opinion, thank you Brady.
    Have a great day!

  4. I have been looking everywhere for a transfer technique to transfer an image directly to a mirror. I have not been able to find anything stating how to do this to make the image look clear so it looks as though it is floating on the mirror. Is this possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much

  5. I have been doing transfers with my students for years but recently noticed, that after painting a few coats, letting it dry between and cure for at least a day, that when I remove the paper backing, the emulsion
    crinkles. Water used is cool. I don’t know why this is happening, I’ve taught students this for years without any issue. Suggestions?

  6. Hello Andrea

    I have had several students try this with success. I have not heard of any mishaps but just be sure that there is not any electrical dangers when installing. When making an acrylic skin, it will transfer to most plastic surfaces, which I imagine your electrical outlet cover would be made out of. The trick would be in trimming the holes.

    If you would like to learn more information my book was just released by Focal Press titled Alternative Photographic Processes: Crafting Handmade Images.

  7. I was wondering if this method would work for me by putting the photo onto a plastic light switch cover? Thanks in advance!

  8. Sorry I missed a few comment replies.

    @ Mike – I am unsure of the permanence issues associate with heat and acrylic gel. That would be a question for conservator or a scientist at the gel company. I have had my work in over 120 degree environments with no issues but I can’t speak for the safety of using it on a lamp shade. If the shade is far enough away, I don’t imagine there being a problem but don’t take my word it. I am no expert there and I wouldn’t know if there was any harmful off gassing. Sorry I can’t help.

    @ Laura, thank you for your added input and I’d love to hear about your success with the transfer.

    @Denny, I am not clear as to what you are asking. There is an acrylic gel medium that comes in gloss and matte finishes. I am not sure what regular means. I use Golden brand acrylic gel matte medium. Sometimes I use gloss for certain things but it is much thicker and I don’t prefer that finish.

  9. Excellent job! Can u plz tell me if there’s a regular gel medium and a gel medium image transfer? Are they the same?

  10. This has been an amazing site! I am about to do my very first gel transfer and I thank ALL of you for your questions, and a big thank you to Brady for his experience. I am here to answer a question posted by Shelly, posted last january. Pan Pastels are an amazing way to add colour to anything that has “tooth”. They are pure pigment, so, you can alter, antique, distress or colour to your hearts content with this medium, and it is what I use when doing my mixed media. They are literally eye shadow for paper….and they go well with all mediums, and can be applied to any substrate as long as there is some tooth for the pigment to grab on to. And now….I am going to try my hand at gel transfers!! Thanks Brady for a great site….I have bookmarked it!

  11. I’m new to image tranfer, but guess this is the method used on numerous TV show intros,
    especially ghost or fantasy related. My question is related to heat. From what I’ve read above heat is bad news. Thus is there any way to employ a translucent transfer method which could be used on lampshades?
    Thanks, Mike

  12. Hey Scott,

    Yes metal is used often and can work really well depending on the reflectiveness, and tone of the metal. If it is a dark metal you will lose highlights when removing paper. Be sure to clean the metal of any oily residue, and pre coat it with acrylic gel. One issue you might have is peeling. If the metal is thin, you should wrap the skin around the back of the plate to reduce the chance of peeling. There are other specifics but I’ll let you experiment. Remember to start small when trying new materials.

  13. Hi Dan. The sharpest image and best color not only depends on your printer but also the transfer method. To get better edge fidelity, contrast and color you will want to try the other method which is the Acrylic side Up method, so that after you remove some of the paper…. you leave some behind to retain highlights underneath the ink. The method listed above (Acrylic side down) does not give you the same richness in color because most of the paper must be removed.

    Try the other how-to, don’t remove all of the paper, and use a substrate that isn’t too dark. I don’t use laser with this process, I prefer Inkjet on regular copy/typing paper. I hope this helps. let me know your results.

  14. How can I get the sharpest image and best color. Is it the printer for exp. Ink or lasor. After soaking it it never seems that great. And I make sure all the paper is gone as well..pleas help.. thanks

  15. Hi Beth, sorry for the delayed comment. I’ve done many prints with final coats of wax. I am assuming the acrylic (once dry) is porous enough for the wax to hold nicely. I make sure I use really thin layers by first brushing on a little wax, then using a hairdryer to heat it back up and blow it around the surface making it smooth. I have only have one issue, where a print was dropped and a portion of the wax cracked at the corner. I simply heated it back up with the hairdryer and it was fine. My ultimate answer with any of your experiments is to work small and make notes of your tests. This will insure you don’t spend a lot in materials learning.

    Thee are other ways to wax the print that I have tried. Dipping the transfer into wax on a hot plate and using a wax emulsion that you paint on and let dry. This is normally used for wood turners and it’s called Log-end sealer. The problem is that it is very messy and once dry, delicate / easily scratched, unlock beeswax which can polish up nicely.

    Hope that helps some. Let me know how the experiments come along.

  16. Hey Shelly, Sorry for the delay.

    You can add color in several ways. As long as the print is on matte paper (as most should be for this process) you can use markers to tone the image before using gel (some materials might spread the original image and others like waxy crayons wouldn’t work very well. The other way would be to transfer the image and then add color washes before sealing it with gel.

    Hope that helps some.

  17. Hey Beth Huffaker, try the COLD WAX METHOD for adding a wax texture onto the transfer… I am in my studio now, and am going to experiment with image transfer onto rusty steel lids, and cold wax with it…. I’ll let you know the results.
    This is a really great tutorial here, thanks for all the info.

  18. Hi Brady,

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I was wondering though about applying encaustic medium over the acrylic? How is the wax able to fuse with the acrylic layer? I’ve always assumed that the two won’t mix.


  19. Question–and thank you for any answers!

    If using a B&W image (I don’t want a fully colored end result) from an inkjet printer, is it possible to add some areas of color to it ?

    Would it be colored before beginning the transfer process or after transferring to the substrate?

    If after transferring, would you add color before or after sealing w/the gel medium?

    What paints/dyes/inks would work? (I usually prefer water-based, but…)

  20. Hi Betsy, sorry to hear you are having problems. Your Epson should be just fine. How long did you let the print dry after it came out of the printer? I found that some paper / ink combos need to dry a lot longer (sometimes over night) in order to solve what you are describing. Basically when you print, you will want to let it cure for some time. The gel you used may also have been an issue. Also, how many layers and how thick were the layers… did you dry them thoroughly with a hair dryer between each addition?

    I hope I can help you solve your issues… you should’t need to change printers by any means. The Epson line of printers have all worked for me.

  21. Greetings Brady, I took your workshop at Pyramid in Silver Spring over the summer. I am now getting down to do my own transfers and have hit a wall. I used an Epson 3800 pro at work to print out my color images. I did not use Golden matte medium, but Sax matte medium. Once soaked, and removing the paper in the water, the ink pulled away from the skin with very little pressure. I realize I should go get Golden, but Iam thinking it is more an issue of the ink. My Brother HL2140 B&W laser does not work at all, nor did the Canon Pima inkjet prints I used in your workshop. I thought for sure the Epson 3800 PRo would be a winner, but not. What is a tried and true inkjet printer that I can get for my home that is affordable and proven to work? Do you have any specific suggestions?

  22. Heather, let me see if I can help you. One of the reasons I don’t do that method as you are describing often is because it takes a lot of time to remove the paper.

    Here is what is happening. When your print is wet it is transparent, as it dries, the paper that is left behind goes from transparent back to opaque. After the initial removal of paper, you will have to continue getting the image wet with a very small amount of water and continue rubbing the paper off carefully as to not remove too much ink. This is one of the reasons I started working with the alternative which is acrylic side up. I am not sure how your laser print will react to the extra paper removal. If this is a problem then try the acrylic gel lift… and transfer process as described. Its a lot of work but you have more control.

    Let me know how this comes out.

  23. I used the method of sticking the picture on the gel itself like Jo said, and it was working well, but when it’s drying its like foggy white and i can no longer see the image.. do you know what could have happened?

  24. Thank you Brady Wilks. I miss the darkroom and all the fun of experiments, to include emulsion lifts and transfers. It’s quite exciting to stumble upon your detailed tutorial and feeling motivated to get back to hands on photo manipulation.

  25. Hi Jo,

    Sticking the image directly on the surface is a pretty standard way of doing it. Most of the tutorials and videos will show similar methods. The reasoning behind the photocopy and laser prints is the ink comes off easier.

    This method of applying the gel to the print with several layers (using copy or typing paper) allows the ink to bond to the gel and once fully cured you can remove all the paper and use that skin as a way to put it on a number of surfaces and bend it, stretch it, fold it etc. Something you can’t do with a traditional transfer as you described.

    As for the color, I am not sure why your image lost it’s color and went red. In order to help you more I will need to know what kind of printer, ink (dye? pigment?), drying time (did you let the print fully dry before applying the gel? many times applying gel right after printing will smudge and mix the ink into the gel removing color and applying a color cast like what you described).

    Basically, you will want to print with pigment ink if you can. Let it dry over night, them apply the gel not pressing too hard with a brush. This should fix your problem but again, if you could describe the details more I might be able to give you a better solution.

    I hope I can help you fix your problem.

  26. hi
    i tried a similar technique to stick image directly on surface with gel, reverse transfer, and once dry rub paper off – this worked fine- but they said to only use PHOTOCOPY or LASER prints NOT INKJET.
    i tried your technique with inkjet as suggested but the image lost its colour- went red when applying gel- so is this the inkjet ink causing problems ? i think it faded as soon as the gel was applied so assume i didnt wash too much- and not as much as i did before when it worked.

  27. Hi Isabelle,

    I have not heard of that issue yet being pinkish, but I have see prints get toned a certain color depending on a few variables. Feel free to send me an email of the results and maybe I can help more specifically but, I have seen some prints get toned from the ink while the paper is being removed. This can happen if you don’t let your inkjet print fully cure (24 hours after printing should be safe) This can also happen during the gel coating stage. If the ink on the original print isn’t dried after coming out of the printer, you can spread the ink around giving it a cast depending on the inks found in the image. It is most apparent with black.. as it will turn the gel grey.

    Another possibility might be associated with what you soaked the print in. If it was a tray that you have used another chemical with like developer or other processes, it may have toned or reacted with the print?

    If you give me a few more details and a picture of your issue I should be able to help. 🙂 Here are some questions to answer. Print type (dye / pigment) paper type, color of the image, tap water? well water? etc.

    Hope we can resolve your problem. 🙂


  28. Hi Brady Wilks,
    I looked at your article on image transfers and i have an issue i don’t see anywhere in it. My image kind of turned pinkish.. (after the paper was removed and after it dried).
    Would you know why?
    Thank you so much!

  29. Here are some differences between them and their relationship to the process. Dye ink will dissolve completely if left in the water long enough. Pigment should only partially dissolve. This doesn’t mean much in regards to the process because you are only soaking the print long enough to remove the paper. Furthermore the acrylic gel is holding on to those inks fairly well. Just make sure your print is fully dried and cured before applying the gel, and make sure your gel is fully dried and cured before soaking. Also, watch your pressure when removing paper, the ink is soft and can be easily over-removed.

    Another difference is fading, technically some dye based ink will fade faster than pigments due to their consistency. Either way, don’t put any dye or pigment print in the sun unless you want it to fade. The permanence of either ink suspended under the acrylic gel should be good when watching your lighting.

    Thanks for asking this, I certainly need to bring this up with more detail as a small section in future how-to’s and in the book.


  30. Yes, metal is a great substrate however, you need to take a few extra steps. Be sure to debur your plates or file / sand the edges so they are not sharp. Second you will need to make sure you have a little extra print to wrap around to the back of the plate. You will need to use glue on the backside to make sure it stays. With paper and wood, it has an easier time bonding with the substrate. Metal is so smooth that there isn’t much for the skin to adhere too so it is a little more likely to peel. Using glue on the back or even another sheet to pinch the folds together should work great. The same goes for glass, marble, stone, etc.


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