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Printing and Mounting Your Digital Art

December 27, 2009

“Ant Farm” – Digital Collage, Heat Transfer on Arches Cover Paper
Image size 4 x 4″, Paper size 14 x 11″

Here’s another idea that I’ve had success with in my own work, and it relates to the previous discussion about mounting small works on paper to a larger background for impact.

In this procedure I create a small digital image, print it onto a good quality heat transfer medium, such as a commercial grade T-shirt transfer (I’ve tried several and don’t have a real preference) cut it down to just the image, and iron it onto a larger piece of good quality heavy art paper, following the iron-on instructions included with your transfer medium.

My favorite substrate for this is Arches Cover Paper because of its nice velvety and slightly spongy consistency. This paper works amazingly well because it tends to “grab” the heated transfer and incorporate it into the paper very much like fabric would. You can buy sheets in a variety of subtle neutral colors.

Other papers may work as well for you. Bristol board is good because of its smooth surface. Watercolor paper has too much tooth.

I usually print my images with my regular inkjet printer, because I feel the plastic contained in the heat transfer will encapsulate the ink and protect it from UV light. If you are concerned about the archival qualities of your work, a second way to do this is to get your image printed on a color laser printer. The color toner in these printers is as archival as anything you can find.

The above example is a scan of a real-life collage that I created, printed onto transfer paper and ironed onto gray Arches Cover Paper.

If you decide to try this, remember to flip the image horizontally before you print it onto the transfer paper.

I don’t have photographs of me doing this because right now I am out of transfer paper.

For More Inspiration

Seth Apter has begun publishing the fourth edition of  The Pulse, a compendium of ideas and inspirations from more than 200 artists in the online community. You could stay for days at Seth’s blog!

An Exhibition Opportunity

Here is information about a series of proposed online exhibitions, the first of which will be in January 2010. My friend Sheree Rensel, aka Wizzlewolf, has conceived the idea as a way for artists to bring their work to a wider audience. There are no entrance fees. This is a free exhibition and a wonderful opportunity! The theme of the first show is “Go Away!” If you click on the link you will be able to print out the prospectus for this exhibition.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2009 6:43 pm

    Great idea using heat transfer. Very clever. Thanks for the link to the online exhibition opportunity and many thanks for getting the word out about The Pulse!

  2. Annette permalink
    December 28, 2009 6:02 am

    Good stuff today . . . as usual. Thanks, Martha

  3. gem13 permalink
    January 4, 2010 8:31 pm

    I always enjoy your postings … good stuff and thank you – I hope you and yours have a wonderful 2010 bringing you all things creative, productive and healthy >> Gina

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