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  1. #1
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    Printing on Canvas

    I'm looking for a way to do work digitally, print it on canvas, and paint on the canvas without any problems. I've scoured the internet looking for what I want, and alas, nothing. Donato has this method I found:

    http://www.donatoart.com/technique/mounting/mounting.html

    Thing is, that's just for making black and white copies, as far as I can tell. (I also don't know anything oversize engineer copiers) I might use my big canon inkjet printer, but I'm not sure that'll take canvas, and since I don't want to risk breaking something I'm not going to try it just yet. I've tried simply printing it out on photo paper, gluing it down, matte mediuming the whole thing, and then painting on it, but it doesn't seem like I can get a nice painting surface out if it (full of ugly bumps and inconcsistencies). Doable, but not pretty. Furthermore, inkjet inks aren't waterproof last time I checked, so painting over them doesn't seem very workable.

    I like the surface of canvas, so I'd really like to be able to: a.) start digitally and finish up on canvas, and b.) avoid the ugly-looking process of transferring line drawings like we learned in art school. I'm also willing to spend serious money on an "expensive" printer if it's needed. Any suggestions?

    edit: ALSO, anyone know of a decent large scanner? It seems like I have to spend literally thousands of dollars for a scanner that can scan just 11x17. Any info on this issue is also appreciated.
    Last edited by theincredibleandy; March 25th, 2005 at 09:28 PM. Reason: scanner info is also nice
    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com


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  3. #2
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    is this the kind of thing you're talking about?
    http://www.power-graphics.com/pages/canvas.html

    there's other places (hopefully less expensive) but i think its the same idea

  4. #3
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    I'm not looking for a business I keep coming to for this kind of thing. I'm looking for the equiipment to do it myself. I'm sure my teacher in college didn't do a Giclee print every time he wanted his value study put onto canvas. In fact, I think he MAYBE used some kind of machine at Kinko's before he got something of his own. If anyone's ever heard of someone doing this, let me know.
    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com

  5. #4
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    I know that there are special inkjet printers that bake shops use to print photos onto the top of frosted cakes. I have to assume that these same printers could print onto canvas. I don't know much else about these printers or how much they cost but it may be a good place to start your research.
    Mark Hannon
    Art Direction & Design
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  6. #5
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    could try transfer with liquitex

    this is maybe not really what your looking for but here you ll find a couple of methods to transfer your print on to any surface...

    the main idea is you use liquitex gloss medium varnish (not matte because its water based) to build layer after layer on your inkjet print. when that dries you peel the whole layer off and put on whatever surface you want - canvas, paper, your car whatever.

    the 'problem' is you wont really get the canvas surface feel anyway because you re basically painting on top of the acrylic gloss mediumlayer.

    http://www.liquitex.com/techniques/transfer.cfm

    sometimes i just want to draw / paint over my prints and i used to just do it on the prints - with mixed results of course. now if i want i can of course just draw/paint over my print - but varnish it first. that way you dont have the problem of ruining the paper and pigments...

    also my epson 2200 can take really thick paper (like archival watercolor) and media so you might be able to load it with canvas sheets made for printers (have seen those but not tried them yet).

    just try it out and see how things react. mayebe its not what you were looking for but you might like it.

    have fun,

    tensai

  7. #6
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    alternative scanner

    also - finding affordable but larger than A4 sized scanners is difficult. also once you have your xx size scanner you suddenly find yourself doing xx+ sized art - there you go again. you could also go for a good digital camera on a tripod, with lamps on both sides of your painting at 45 degrees towards the painting.

    bracket the exposure and boom - your good to go. i use a digital slr for this (D70 ) with a cheap but very good sharp lens (50 mm) . you also get to take your 'scanner ' outside and shoot more reference.. and your momma.

    again - maybe not what you wanted to hear, just my workarounds to similar situations you have

    tensai

  8. #7
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    if you like the feel of the canvas's little bumps, i'd s uggest you take donato's method.

    go to a large copy machine and do your copy and spray the printout down with water so it's completely wet, the reason why you have bumps and airbubbles is because you didn't wet the print out enough and put matte medium all over the canvas and lay your printout on top of that and start smoothing it out. and then you have your print ontop of the canvas making a nice tight seal. put a few more layers of matte medium, so you can paint on top of that. painting on that canvas that has print on it from kinkos and places like that suck and won't last long because of the shit ink they use.

  9. #8
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    mainloop, figure2, tensai, jrr- thanks a million for the input. In the past I copied my drawing with a big copier, soaked it in water for awhile, coated both sides with medium, layed it down still wet and sticky, used a brayer to smooth it out, and medium the crap out of it-and it still had either air bubbles or bits of the top layer of the paper would come up, giving me a weird surface. Might have been the shit ink thing.

    The liquitex transfer thing sounds interesting. I'll have to try that sometime. Also, I'm glad to know that big epsons can take thick paper. Maybe my canon i9100 can. I'll have to find out.

    Funny you mention that camera. I've been planning on getting a nice digital camera, and in fact was thinking of doing the Nikon D70. Is it everything that artists like us need, do you think? As long as I can take portfolio-quality pictures of my paintings, I'd happily skip buying a huge scanner. Plus if I can get extremely awesome reference with that thing, I'd be all set.

    Thanks again guys!
    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com

  10. #9
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    yes that camera is all you need - no, more than you need - for good portfolio pics.
    its cheap (for a dslr) and well built and very nice to use.

    its a different thing than a point and shoot though so be prepared to work on getting to know it a bit. there s a lens that goes with it (kit lens 18-70 mm) its very sharp and cheap if you get it with the body. youll soon think you need more lenses - you dont though. if you want the absolute sharpest sharpest pics ever than buy the cheap 50 mm 1.8 nikor lens , its like a $100.

    ive taken photos with this camera and enlarged them to 50 x 75 cm. printed and no problem.

    if you want to know more, just ask or mail me.

    have fun.


    tensai

  11. #10
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    Overhead projector may be your best bet.
    Paul Rhye

  12. #11
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    easy solution

    get a colour transparency made of the picture u want and project it onto the canvas. great for resizing too. or take a picture and get the negative made into a slide photo, then project that onto the canvas. you'l always have the slides as backups.
    I love work, it facinates me, I sit and look at it all day!

  13. #12
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    orrrrrrrrrr

    even better, go buy that iron on paper....u know the ones that u use to make iron on graphics on clothes. print the images on those then transfer them to the canvas
    I love work, it facinates me, I sit and look at it all day!

  14. #13
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    I know this doesn't meet all your needs (this is for transfering B&W and is a little different than Donato's), but something that I have done that has worked really well is to get a reverse photocopy made of your drawing, the size of the work you are doing. I recently had one made at 35x56. It cost $10. Most Kinkos have one of the oversized engineer's copy machines. Tape the copy to your canvas, the side with the image against the canvas, and rub the backside of it with a rag and lacquer thinner or acetone. It melts the plastic toner and transfers it to the canvas. It works really well. The plastic toner is totally archival, if that is a concern and it doesn't lift off without some serious scrubbing, if then. It does take a little practice to get used to the transfer and how saturated to keep the rag with your solvent so try it on a couple small copies first.

    If you really want to do all this at home, you can, if you have a laser printer. You just have to cut the image up for printing, then reassemble it to do the rubbing transfer (also printing it in reverse.) It isn't as clean as one piece of paper for the copy, but it also work very well. I did just this thing last week.

    On a side note, you can make some neat t-shirts doing this, though it is a bit harder to control, it usually turns out pretty well, if not interesting.

    For color, you can use a photolab that will print onto canvas. They will make an actual photographic exposure on the canvas. It is suprizingly affordable. The site that I get all my portfolio prints made at ($2 per 8x10 and the quality is amazing, not to mention free 2nd day air back to you if your order is over $12) is www.whcc.com. This is a great site. You can also get a 16x20 print, mounted on masonite for $20. Best photolab I have worked with.

    As for ink jets printers, Epson makes a line of archival inks that are waterproof.


    Good luck
    LYON
    Fine Art and Illustration
    www.howardlyon.com

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  15. #14
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    You know, canvas is cloth. I wonder if the various shirt transfer products would work well?
    Paul Rhye

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