How Can I Do Solvent Transfer Drawings?

by Kim Blakesley Google

An easy and inexpensive way to transfer an image to a porous material such as paper, wood or fabric is the solvent transfer method. Easily attainable and inexpensive materials are used within the process. Xylene solvent, acetone, tea tree oil and wintergreen oil are some of the mediums used in the solvent transfer method. A blending marker contains Xylene solvent and is easy to work with. Blending markers are available at local hobby and craft stores that sell painting supplies. Practice the process on a piece of muslin before completing the finished project.

Items you will need

  • Laser printed or Xerox copy of the desired drawing
  • Blending marker
  • 12-inch square muslin
  • Artist tape or painter's tape
  • Spoon
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Step 1

Place the 12-inch square piece of muslin on a flat, smooth, easy-to-clean work surface. Smooth all wrinkles and creases from the surface with your hands. Secure the four edges of the muslin to the work surface with artist tape or painter's tape. Note: The solvent transfer process works on any porous material. Muslin is an inexpensive material that works well for practicing the process. Use the correct size of porous material for the size of the photo you are using. Smaller or larger scale projects are feasible.

Step 2

Turn the laser printed or Xerox copied drawing right side down. Center the drawing on the muslin square. Tape the drawing securely to the muslin surface. Note: Ink jet copies of the drawing will not work using the solvent transfer method.

Step 3

Outline the outside edges of the drawing with the blending marker on the back of the paper. Coat the entire surface inside the outline with the blending marker.

Step 4

Place the spoon at the top edge of the transfer area with the cupped side of the spoon down. Hold the handle of the spoon and place your finger inside the cup. Move the cup over the transfer area in small circular motions while pressing down. Repeat the process over the entire transfer area.

Step 5

Carefully remove the tape from one corner of the transfer image. Lift the corner and look at the muslin to see if the image is transferring correctly. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until the transferred image is crisp.

Step 6

Remove the paper transfer image from the surface of the muslin. Allow the transferred image to air dry 10 minutes. Remove the tape from the edge of the muslin.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."