Image Transfers with Citra Solv

See step by step how to do an image transfer using Citra Solv and magazine pages that are in color. Image transfer techniques are exciting because of their unpredictable results and the faded, antique look that the magazine pages are transformed into.

This demo explains all of the materials you’ll need, safety hazards (don’t do this technique indoors!) as well as how you can continue to work on the transfer using soft pastels, charcoal, and wiping the pigment off the magazine pages with Citra Solv and a cotton rag. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

11 min. video

Video Walkthrough

  • Image transfers create antique, faded image with beautiful textures.
  • The Citra Solv transfer technique is very experimental, regardless of how much experience you have.
  • It’s a good idea to tear many, many magazine pages all at once and do a lot of transfers at the same time.
  • Not all magazine pages work well for this technique, try out many different magazines.
  • Magazine covers, which are a lot thicker don’t tend to transfer easily.
  • Magazine pages that are low in contrast don’t tend to transfer as well.
  • You’ll use many cotton rags, both to transfer and adjust the image afterwards.
  • Make sure you hold onto the magazine page, as you transfer, for dear life!
  • When transferring images with text, remember that the text will come out in reverse.
  • Always use Citra Solv in a well ventilated area, or outdoors.
  • Citra Solv has a very strong odor, you shouldn’t use it indoors with the windows closed.
  • By using a sheet of xerox paper as a backing sheet over the torn magazine pages you can rub more aggressively.
  • A bone folder is the ideal tool for the rubbing process.
  • Printmaking paper or watercolor paper are recommended since they are sturdy and can absorb the Citra Solv.
  • You’ll need a durable board, one that does not absorb liquid (like cardboard) to work on.
  • You can add soft pastel, charcoal, or any other powdery drawing media to your image transfers afterwards.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

While there are many printmakers who stick to one technique at a time, it’s actually really common for printmakers to combine multiple techniques.

When I was in graduate schoo,l I almost always went back into my intaglio plates to fix things up with drypoint. Techniques like spit bite, aquatint, soft ground are rarely used entirely on their own, as they are tonal techniques that are great to flesh out the values with say line etching.

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