Fototransfer is something that I have experimented with so long ago it seems like a previous life, transferring for example polaroids.  I keep encountering it in works that I really appreciate, like in a series in Robert Rauschenbergs exhibition inspired by Dante’s “Inferno”.  It is time to explore this again.


Coat both the paper and the image printed on a laser printer (not inkjet) with the acrylic media or transfer gel/gloss gel medium etc. and apply wet on wet.

Let dry for 24 h, or blow dry with a hairdryer if impatient.

Then wet the paper again with a sponge , let soak for a little while and rub off the paper back of the photo. Let dry, then repeat til all the paper back is gone.

Cover with transparent gesso or clear acrylic laquer.


I created a few pages in Photoshop with various yoga related texts or words in sanskrit and had them printed with a laser printer. Inverted image as it will be mirrored when transfered.

I tried two different acrylic mediums. Reeves Gloss Gel Medium has a chewy, sticky, paintlike texture. The paper sticks well, but its difficult to avoid uneven surface if that’s important for the motive. Great to build texture if that is wanted.

Amsterdam Acrylic medium 012, gloss, which is much more liquid, so easier to apply without excess.

The transfer worked similarly well with both medium:

I started out thinking of this technique for creating background, but I really like the almost “skinlike” character of the paper and can well imagine a body out of this….

Here I used smaller pieces together with watercolor and ink for background experiments:

My trials with newspaper and these two acrylic media were less successful. The paper sticks too well and rubbing off rubs off all. The exception was the Arabic newspaper that has a more slippery surface than the others.


I have tried transferring newspaper with lighter fuel and rubbing as Rauschenberg apparently did before, which works, but the drawings still smell so strongly you can not have them in your room two months later.

Foto transfer is a technique I definitely want to use for some of the layers in this Assignment.



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