Fun with Photos | Digital Image Transfers

Digital Image Transfers  II


The Purell Transfer

Eventually,  I stumbled across a Flickr group dedicated to inkjet transfers.  I found a guy that was developing a process that was developing a process to lift inkjet emulsion that was similar to the Polaroid transfers, but he didn’t share the entire process.  I did try,  with a little success, to use a varnish and acrylic gel medium on a print I made on inkjet transfer film.  It had brush strokes and wasn’t perfect, but it kind of worked.  It still wasn’t exactly what I was wanting to do.  So I kept looking.  And then I found something.  I came a cross a website that listed the various types of inkjet transfer films and the transfer types that they work best for.  One of these processes was the Purell Transfer.


 Alcohol Gel is defined by me as Purell type hand sanitizer gel. I’ve used many store brands and the Purell brand waterless and colorless gels. They dry without leaving a perceptible residue and work well for transfering the inkjet prints to paper and wood and some cloth.

DP Media / Private Label Series# 1500 avalable in sheets & rolls & the InteliCoat DMCF4EN avalable in rolls both from D & P Media for Print, Inc. Lawrence, MA. (fast turnaround)
(877) 437-6334 , tell them Mary Taylor sent you.
Or to find a supplier nearer you go to the InteliCoat website

DASS film sold by Digital Art Studio Seminars. Available in sheets and rolls, works very well.

inkAID inkjet transfer film. Available in sheets and rolls, works very well.

Inkpress CLEAR FILM Available in sheets various sizes. letter size sheets Sku# CF851120 Transfers with hand sanitizer gel & with the DASS SuperSauce™   ——-  Mary Taylor of Mary Taylor Art


The Purell Transfer requires alcohol gel (Purell hand sanitizer),  a digital pigment print on clear inkjet film,  and watercolor paper.   I started testing the process with Pictorico OHP and discovered that transparency film would not work.  I had a pack of transfer film I found at Hobby Lobby.  This sort of worked, but not quite.  Next I purchased a package of Inkpress Clear Film from B&H.  When the transfer film came in I started playing.  I was able to almost transfer the image I had printed on the transfer film.   It wasn’t perfect.  I could see brush strokes and knew it could be cleaner so I kept trying.

Alcohol Gel Transfer Technique

Nandina in the Wind – Image Transfer © 2014 Valerie Steinkoenig

After a little more research I found a tutorial that recommended saturating both sides of the watercolor paper with the alcohol gel. I gave it a try and it finally worked. I was able to do transfer after transfer and if I got enough Purell on the paper the images transferred perfectly imperfectly. Most of my transfer images were printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 that uses pigment ink. I had read that these processes required pigment ink to work. My printer, however, does not use pigment inks. The Canon Pixma Pro 100 is a dye based printer, but I wanted to give it a try any way. I was very pleasantly surprised when it worked just as well as the prints from the 3880.

K's Halloween Portrait

K’s Halloween Portrait © 2014 Valerie Steinkoenig

I was so excited when I successfully transferred my portrait of Kayleigh. My initial tests were all using 8.5×11 transfer film. I needed a 16×20 for the print show so I ordered 13×19 film and transferred the 13×19 onto a sheet of 16×20 watercolor paper. Once I successfully transferred the image, and it took me several tries with the larger film, I allowed the image to dry overnight, and used Hahnemuhle Varnish to varnish and seal the transfer. I then dry mounted the print for submission. I was recently asked “Why go through all this trouble when you can just make a digital print and be done?” Well, for one the resulting image is one of a kind, but most importantly I’ve discovered that I really enjoy being more hands on with my images. I love making prints, but taking those prints and making them something more than just a digital print is wonderful. I’ve had a huge response from my photographer friends and I’ve been teaching many of them the process. Earlier this week I demonstrated the process to a friend and then scanned in most of my small, 8×10 transfers. One of the things I love the most about these transfers is how the image really takes on a new texture. Both the receiving paper and the transfer itself give them image.  I realized, too late, that I forgot to flip the image before printing, isn’t the transformation pretty cool?

Sunset on 620 - Purell Transfer

Sunset on 620 w Detail © 2015 Valerie Steinkoenig

Sunset at 620

Sunset on 620 © 2014 Valerie Steinkoenig


Looking for an Austin, TX newborn photographer?

Valerie Kay Photography specializes in maternity photography, newborn photography, and baby's first year.

To inquire about maternity and newborn photography by Valerie Kay Photography please fill out this form.