Image Transfer & Rubbing Techniques

With image transfers, the toner that makes up the picture is lifted from one surface and applied to another. In the process, the image is reversed horizontally. The transferring technique allows you to place all or select areas of a photograph, illustration and drawing onto or next to existing images in a seamless kind of collage.

Wintergreen Oil and Solvent Image Transfers  

You can use oil and solvent to loosen the toner from photocopied images. Once you’ve released the ink, you can transfer the image to another surface. This kind of transfer is a great way to place photographic images onto materials that can’t go through a printer, to give photographs a painterly effect, and to collage images. This video walks you through the process of transferring an image with oil.

The wintergreen oil we use in this demo is a compound that’s commonly found in health food stores. The oil contains methyl salicylate (the main ingredient in aspirin), but in very concentrated quantities, so the oil should NOT be ingested or applied topically. The image transfer process does not involve eating or touching the oil. As demonstrated in the tutorial, use the cotton swab to apply so that you do not get the oil on your skin.

In terms of safety, the oil is certainly preferable to solvents such as acetone and turpentine. But as with any chemical, prevent the vapor from being an irritant by keeping the bottle capped and by using the oil in a well-ventilated area or using a respirator if in confined spaces. If you need additional information, the Material Safety Data Sheet is online.


Inkjet Transfers

Want to transfer a photographic image to ANY surface? With the inkjet transfer process, you print the photo on a sheet of wax paper so that it can be transferred to another surface or material. This video tutorial shows step-by-step how to create an inkjet transfer.


Image Transfer with Projection

In this video, Charles Falco describes how he used projection to enlarge and recreate an image on another surface.