Okay, ya. I’m a bit obsessed with image transfers lately, and I wanted to revisit this acrylic paint transfer technique I tried 6 years ago, which incidentally is 42 dog years and about 80 in internet years.
With this technique, we are transferring straight up paint over onto a piece of paper using gel medium.
Other image transfer techniques I’ve written about are:
- Image transfers onto wood
- Image transfers onto paintings
- More gel medium transfers
- Packing tape image transfer
- Self portrait iron-on transfer to wood
Materials For Acrylic Paint Transfer
- Acrylic paints
- Freezer paper
- Gel medium – I used this one in matte and gloss, but you can try other kinds and finishes, I just wouldn’t go too thick with the gel medium or too runny. Keep it medium.
- Bristol or other heavy weight paper: hot press watercolor, mixed media, etc
Acrylic Paint Transfer Technique
Lay out a piece of freezer paper and mark the corners of where your bristol paper are. This will be your painting area.
Paint in it. Remember: whatever you paint first will end up on the front when you transfer your piece to paper. So if you are painting something recognizable, remember to paint whatever you want to show up in front first.
Let each layer dry in between painting.
Cover the entire bristol paper with a layer of gel medium and place it face down over your dried painting. Rub your hands all over the paper evenly to burnish the paper onto the paint layer.
Let it dry for a few hours, and then gently try to peel away your paper. The whole layer of gel medium and paint should stay on the paper, leaving you with a nekkid piece of freezer paper. If you peel too soon, some of the paper might rip as you remove the freezer paper, so you want it to dry completely.
You might be wondering how this is different than just making a painting on paper and covering it with acrylic gel medium. I’ve found that not being able to really control exactly how the layers look as you paint them on leaves you with a little surprise art.
Like in the flower above- it was fun to paint the lightest pink daubs on, then cover them with the medium daubs, and finally the dark pink area. I obviously knew approximately how it would look, but then peeling the freezer paper away was still exciting.
Sometimes you like the ‘before’ painting better than the peeled transfer, as is the case with the purple flower monstrosity above. I like that abstract weirdness at the top.
This last one is a paint transfer I did of the paint on my palette! These may be my favorite ones!