How To Create A Matte Medium Image Transfer

A while ago I posted  The Wildflower Diaries: Crown Vetch and some of you were interested in how I created the main image and transfered the text to the canvas.

It has taken me a little while to get the photos of this process done, but they are ready now so let’s get to the step by step of it all.


The first thing you should know is that there are a few different ways of creating an image transfer. I tend to use this matte medium option almost exclusively, but search around and it won’t take you to long to find other ways of doing this.

Also: it is recommended that you select a photocopy that was created on an actual photocopier – not a photocopier/inkjet printer combo because the machines use different inks and the inkjet ink tends to run. All that being said – I use my home printer/copier half the time and it works ok. The ink will run a bit, but if you are careful it shouldn’t be too bad.


Sketchbook notesStep one: Select the image or images you like and photocopy them.






June 005Step two:  Coat the photocopied image with a layer of Matte Medium.

 Note: I am using Daniel Smith’s Matte Medium but others work as well.

Wait for the Medium to dry and apply at least another three or four coats, allowing the photocopy to dry between coats. If you applied the medium vertically the first time, apply it in horizontal brush strokes the second time and so on.

While you wait, give your canvas some base colour.


002Step three: collect a towel and a bowl of water and place your photocopy on a surface that you can allow to be wet.  I’m using an oversized cutting board to make the clean up a little easier but you can use whatever you like.

Wet the back of your photocopy and wait a second or two for the paper to absorb the water.



005Step four:  Begin gently rubbing away the paper with your fingers. The paper will tend to curl as you move your fingers back and forth.


Keep rubbing until all the paper is rubbed away.











It should look something like this when you get near the end.






009If you are using an inkjet copy like I am here you may want to wipe the back of your transfer with a paper towel to pick up the excess ink.





015Step five:  pour matte medium on your pre- painted canvas and spread it with a sponge brush. Place your transfers on the canvas however you like and then “glue” them in place by brushing another layer of matte medium over the whole canvas.


Have fun!


One response to “How To Create A Matte Medium Image Transfer”

Leave a Reply