Tuesday, December 9, 2014


This project is not difficult at all, but the results are striking! 
  1. Print an inkjet photo that is high contrast, with many "white" and pure black areas. No gray to speak of! Print it onto an inkjet transparency.                                                                         
    transparency, Guhin
    A real scratchboard tool is great for this!
  2. Flip the transparency to the unshiny, printed side and improve the photo by scratching away some of the black areas. Great opportunity to add visual texture!                                                                                                                                                                        
    how-to, scratchboard, transparency
    Improving the inked side of the transparency.
  3. If some scratched areas need to be pure white for better contrast, rub a damp cloth over them to remove ink.                
    transparency, scratchboard, how-to
    Flipped over to the shiny, front side and ready for the next step!
  4. Next, let's add color to this thing. You COULD paint the back side with acrylics, as shown in this previous post. OR you can do it this way, with colored art paper!  Lay tracing paper over the front side of the transparency, and trace all the shapes that you wish to be colored.         
    Guhin, tutorial
    I'm tracing the mask shapes here, onto thin paper.
5. Use the tracing paper shapes in a sandwich to cut out colored art papers, and arrange the colorful shapes on a sturdy background the size of your transparency (or larger).          

collage, tutorial
I like warm and hot colors with black and white.
6. As you glue the colored paper to the background, keep checking  with your transparency that they are in position.  When they are dried in place, adhere the transparency (shiny side up of course) on top.  All done!
collage, tutorial, Guhin
Original photo and mixed media art copyright Paula Guhin


  1. Thanks for sharing this cool technique!

  2. What type of adhesive (glue) works best for attaching the transparency to the background? Especially since it's vinyl onto paper or another thirsty surface?

    1. Thanks for asking, Anon, but it is a tricky question for me. I've had soooo many failures with buckling and more, so I think it's best to either stitch it on or use attachments at the very edges. I sometimes run a very thin line of gel medium along the edges, in places. Paula


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