At the end of my little crafting session yesterday I was feeling good about the torn and stitched paper background. This is how I left it yesterday:
This morning I was up bright and early, and ready to take on the rocket science. I love computers and technology. I’m lucky enough to have one of those mathematical/logical brains that enjoys the challenge of solving issues in these particular realms. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be a genius. I’m more of a ‘dog with a bone’. I like to chew away at the issue until I’ve either whittled it down to nothing, or until I’ve found a bigger and better bone. The computer thing doesn’t scare me. What does scare me are printers, scanners and photocopiers. I’m sure that printers have little annoying gremlins living in them. I press ‘print’ and by the time the paper has been thrown from the printer either the paper has been pulled to one side, chewed, or half the ink has been licked off the paper by the said gremlins. Daring to look inside the printer to solve the issue is a risky business. This eats too much time and causes too much frustration. I use the printer only when I can’t avoid it. Photocopiers are even worse. I lay the paper in what I think is the correct place, press the button, and all hell breaks loose. Lights flashing, thousands of copies start churning themselves out, collated information becomes incoherent garbage, A4 turns into A5 giants and I generally switch the off button and do a runner! Scanners? They are another species. I can never find the settings and I can never find the resulting scanned image. I think I have used my scanner about 3 or 4 times in the many years I have owned it. Today, I have had my ‘dog with a bone’ head on. This is where it took me.
Firstly I wanted to achieve a number of things with photoshop;
- Scan the image.
- Find a way of viewing the image and any changes at the same time in Photoshop
- Alter the colour of the image:
- Alter the size of the image to A4 (the size of the photocopy transfer paper I have bought).
I won’t bother you with all the ups and downs of trying to work out how to scan the image and all the time taken finding the image and then working out how to change the settings from png to jpeg. It took a while, but I managed it. I also made an imortant discovery. The scanned images go into a ‘Scans’ folder which is located in the Pictures folder on my computer. Well, I never knew that. Too easy!
Next, Photoshop. I wanted to view the original image at the same time as viewing the image with any changes I made. I searched the Internet for a solution and I could not find one. So, thinking head on. After a short time I realised I could rename the file so that I had a second copy which would be altered. I could then open the first one, so they are both open at the same time, place them side by side on the screen in photoshop and I have what I need. Easy! Here is the saved screen print (you can save the screen print by pressing the windows key and PrtSC on your keyboard at the same time – the screen dims briefly and the file will have been saved in a ‘Screenshots’ folder which will have appeared in your pictures folder):
Am I boring you? Am I going too fast? Nearly finished with the technical stuff.
After altering the colours (to make them more intense and to make the blues more purple-ish) I wanted to print A4 size. In photoshop you can change the canvas size to 29.7cm x 21.0cm (go to Image, then Canvas Size for this – don’t forget to save as jpeg):
After a few warnings about the image being cropped (and me selecting yes because by this time I would have said yes to anything) I pressed ‘Print’ to print the image on ordinary paper (with an x pencil marked in the corner so that I knew which way to place the Transfer paper) and the printer started to whirr and buzz. Thankfully there was no hissing, spitting or ripping to be seen or heard. Phew!
OK, so now I had the original and a print of the altered image. I was ready to take on the biggest gremlins. After comparing the printed image with the original, I thought that I may have altered it too much, so I decided to print the unaltered image onto the transfer paper. I placed the Lazertran Inkjet Textile Transfer Paper into the printer the correct way (the back has a grid printed onto it so you know which side takes the ink), took a deep breath, held it, and pressed print…………………
I’m still here! It worked! Here are (from left to right) the original, the altered print and the transfer paper print.
The transfer was ironed onto polyester cotton. This took only a few minutes, and it was left to cool. After removing the backing paper I could see that the image had transferred completely. Here are the original torn paper background and the transfer print (which is on the right): As you can see, the colours are similar. The texture, however, is quite different. The print feels quite rubbery and flat (just like a thick printed area on a T-shirt), not quite what I had in mind. Though the technique does work I felt I would have to continue to search for alternative methods to transfer the image.
I then went on to try another technique. I’d read that you could use acrylic medium to transfer an image onto lutradur. So, out came the matt medium and the lutradur. The matt medium was painted onto the lutradur and the image was placed face down on top of the lutradur and rubbed with the back of a spoon. This was the result:
As you can see, the image did transfer but it was a very faint print. Again not quite what I had in mind.
I’m pleased to say I’ve learned lots today. I’m still pondering what to do about the image transfer.
Just to finish on a positive point though, here are some of the backgrounds with just a colour change from the original file:
Tomorrow I’m going to try tearing fabric to produce a similar background.