Today I took a brief respite from my assemblage stuff to work on a pair of small (6 X 6" and 5 X 6") collages on hardboard that incorporate a transfer technique. Basically a "transfer" is just what it sounds like; an image is transferred onto a substrate. There are dozens of ways to transfer images, but I like to use a gel medium process, which essentially embeds an image (the toner) into the gel medium (a kind of white glue that dries transparent).
Basically, after gluing down a background (I used a map and a piece of sheet music), the gel medium transfer process is simple. One, brush a layer gel medium on the background. Two, lay the image you want to transfer--image-side down--into the wet gel and use a brayer to push it down and squeeze out air bubbles. Three, allow the gel medium to dry completely. Four, rough-up the back of the transfer image paper (I just use sand paper). Five, wet the paper and gently rub it away; this takes awhile because you have to move slowly and take away the layers a little at a time. If everything goes well, all that should be left is your image.
Here are my two example from today. For the first one, I layered a black-and-white image of a heart over a map of the Midwest; later I went back and edged the heart in red ink. For the second collage, I layered a color heart image over sheet music.
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.