Image Transfer Over Watercolor - DIY Wood Plaque

Using Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolors, create a beautiful watercolor background for your image transfer on a wood plaque.

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Hi Blitsy Fans!

I have an awesome project for you today. I was so excited to get these Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant Water Colors and after I experimented with them for a bit (lots of trial and error when exploring a new-to-me medium - let me tell you), I came up with an idea to create a gorgeous watercolor background on a Walnut Grove Basswood Plank and then do an image transfer over top. I have done image transfers over acrylic paints but never watercolors because of the amount of water needed to remove the paper. As I played with the watercolors, I noticed they dried quickly and didn't move easily or at all once dry and I tried to put more water over them. That is what gave me the idea to try to do the image transfer. I'm not saying they are permanent because I wasn't able to confirm that and I want to play with them a bit more - also as I removed the paper pulp to reveal the image transfer, I did notice some of the color on the paper. However, it did work beautifully and I'm really happy with the finished result. Let me show you how and maybe you will be inspired to try this technique as well!

Supply List:

Dr Ph Martin's Radiant Water Color Set A

Basswood Country Rectangle Plank-7" To 9"X11"

Golden Absorbent Ground Watercolor

Liquitex Gel Medium - Quart

Watercolor Brushes

Spray Bottle


Helmar Workable Fixative

Helmar Crystal Kote Gloss

I'm going to prime my wood using Golden Absorbent Ground so that it will take the watercolor better without just getting soaked into the wood itself. I masked off the edges so it would be nice and even with painter's tape. Let this dry completely. Using a clay palette, I picked my colors (going for a sunset look) and placed a few drops in each section.

I created a wash of clean water where I wanted the color to be and started to paint in the colors overlapping slightly to blend them together. I also tipped the wood up to create drips and just let it blend on its own. I let it dry and then added another layer of color to intensify it some more. These watercolors are extremely vibrant but they still seemed to soak into the wood a bit. When I do this again, I think I will try two layers of the Golden Absorbent Ground.

Before moving on to the next step, let the watercolor background dry completely. I think next time I would honestly let this sit overnight before adding the image transfer. Print your image with a laser printer (this technique won't work as well with an ink jet printer - you want to make sure you are using a toner base for the best results.) Trim around the image as close as you would like. I chose to trim really close - this allowed me to see clearly where I wanted to place it. You want to make sure if you are using any type of text for your image transfer that you flip the image so you are looking at it backward in order that it reads right when you lay it face down.

At this point, cover the printed side with a thin even layer of Gel Medium. I used a brush but if you don't want the brush strokes, you could just as easily use a sponge applicator.

Let this dry completely. For this, I did allow it to dry overnight. It did feel really dry after a few hours, but I want to take no chances that it wouldn't transfer. In this process, patience IS a virtue for a clean transfer. Sometimes you may want a more distressed look and in that case, you don't need to leave it on overnight.

Now, it's time to begin the reveal! This is my favorite part - magic is about to occur! Taking your mister bottle spray the paper. You will see the image as the water gets the paper thoroughly saturated. Allow it to soak a bit.

Using your fingers, lightly start to rub away the paper pulp. As you do this, you will see the image remain on your project! Isn't that so cool! I literally gasped because I was so happy this was all coming together so beautifully. Add more water as needed to remove all of the paper. Let this dry and then embellish as you want. Before you add any other layers, spray the project with a workable fixative. I decided to add gold paint to the star and add other stars to the sky. Then once the paint was dry, I sprayed the entire thing with Helmar Crystal Kote Gloss to seal my project.

Close Ups:

Thanks so much for joining me today! Until next time, Happy Crafting!