Image Transfer Class to Wood - Tips

Wood Transfer Class Prep

High Resolution (this is Very Important!!):

In order to have your image print without becoming pixelated and grainy, you need to start with a high resolution digital file. Jpgs are preferred, and for a 5x7" piece, a minimum of 500-700kb is necessary for a color photo. Something over 1MB is preferred, but it doesn't need to be bigger than 3-4MB. Do not save images off of social media, as they will be pixelated and blurry!


I will be printing the images for you

Picking an image:

Spend some time on this part - it's the difference between a piece you'll love, and one you may not enjoy as much.

Image transfer can be done on photos, illustrations, or text. But there are some general rules you want to think about when choosing something that will look good on the wood.

-First off, anything that is white or very light in color (like an overcast sky, snow, or an ocean wave) is going to end up transparent, so showing the wood. Any colors that are similar to wood color (beige, light yellows or oranges) are also not really going to show up as anything more that wood color. Sometimes that's what you want, and sometimes it's not.

-Your first instinct may be to do a picture of a loved one. Just understand that, while a lovely keepsake, this is a process that incurs unpredictable distressing. So you could rub off that person or furry friend's eye or nose or mouth, and suddently they're not so cute and recognizable. As long as you're ok with the risk that this could happen, go ahead and choose one of those pictures. You will have better luck if those facial features are large (less chance of removing a whole piece), so tightly-cropped images are going to be a safer bet.

-Choose an image with good contrast. If it's all one tone, nothing will stand out and it will all blend into the wood. Good color and good contrast will be much more successful.

-If you are working with drawings or text, make sure the lines are thick enough that if they are distressed, the image will still be recognizable. It's ok to have a white background (if you want the wood to show through), or you can have a solid color background. Depending on how dark the color is, the wood can still show through, but with that color.

-Choose something that isn't super busy or with too much going on. Each piece of wood has its own grain, knots, and story to tell, and you want to embrace that with your image. If the picture has too much going on, it's going to compete with the woodgrain, and be less successful. Some photos and images are beautiful on their own, but do not look good once transferred to the wood. Look for something that will be improved by the woodgrain. Solid colors may not look interesting on paper, but on the wood they can really shine.

-Even with the light-colored pine I use, wood is going to add a warm tone to your image. Keep this in mind when choosing, or if you're doing an color-correction to your image. It also is what adds to the vintage feel of your finished piece.

-Black and white can look great on wood, but a sepia tone can be very effective as well. You may want to lighten the blacks so that some of the wood still shows through.