Emulsion Transfers

Emulsion transfers are a technique of transferring photographs onto a wide range of surfaces. This is done by covering the surface with emulsion paint and pressing a photocopy of your photo face down onto the wet paint. You then wait for at least 20 minutes until the paint has dried fully, and then you apply water and rub at the damp paper to reveal the printed image underneath. For my first set of emulsion transfers that I completed in lesson, I applied white emulsion paint onto brown paper and I selected a few of my own photos that I photocopied in black and white. 

Overall I like the grungy effect these transfers have however I decided to try using different backgrounds for my next transfers and to make the image more bold and crisp.

As you can see for these images I chose interesting bits of paper and magazines that I transferred the images onto. For example in the transfer above I put a photo I took on a street in York and put it onto a street map I found. My favourite transfer I created is of an old photo of me and my sister that I put onto a brown piece of paper, it has a really vintage feel about it and reminds me of some of the work from Odette England that I've looked at where she took photographs of places she lived as a child and damaged the film which gave the images a really old and damaged look to them. 

For my next set of emulsion transfers I bought two small pots of emulsion paints to work with, that were a mint and mustard shade, and used them to create an interesting effect with pastel coloured papers as my backgrounds, which I thought the two shades would compliment really well.

This is my personal favourite emulsion transfer that I have created as I love how strong the contrast between the elements is and the bright colours I used. The photo I transferred is one of my portrait photos from my first project and I love the texture that this technique has given to the original image.

To take my transfers to another level I decided to incorporate some collages that I assembled over my photocopier and tried transferring some newspaper images onto the paper as well to see what effect they would bring.

For my first collage I used an old photograph of me and my sister and layered ripped sections of text from a newspaper over the top. I also ripped some coloured sections from the newspaper and surrounded them around my photocopy. The non photocopied paper is definitely not as easy to work with but it still gave an interesting texture to the transfer. 

For this transfer I simply gathered some old cuttings from newspapers and photo albums and layered them onto my photocopier. I decided to use my mustard paint over plain white paper to create a more simple contrast and gives a more retro feel to this transfer. I personally like that this isn't just a square image and worked harder to tear at the paper as well as rub it to give a really worn and aged feel.

For this transfer I gathered some newspaper cuttings and applied them straight to the paint. They definitely prove why it is best to do this technique with photocopies because of the ink but again this experiment created an image with an interesting texture.

Overall I really liked experimenting with this technique and bringing more of an art element into my work, I definitely want to do some more physical experiments to see how I can manipulate my photos in another way to create a new and interesting effect.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    paint sprayers