To transfer a photo to canvas, you need a mounted pre-primed canvas board, gloss gel medium, a flat spreader, a spray bottle, a damp rag, a dish scrubbing sponge, a drop cloth, scissors and acrylic sealer. In addition, you need the photo you want to transfer, printed on a sheet of paper.
Prepare the canvas and photo
Paint the canvas with a wash of color if you choose. Trim the photo to fit the canvas if necessary. Cover the photo with the gel medium, keeping the gel even.
Transfer the photo to the canvas
Place the photo on the canvas face-down, with the gel medium touching the canvas. Make sure the photo is exactly even, because you cannot move it again. Smooth out any air bubbles with your hand, then with the flat spreader. Wipe the excess gel medium away with the damp rag. Let the photo and canvas dry overnight.
Expose the photo
Once the photo is fully dry, spray it with water using the spray bottle. Let it sit for a few minutes until the paper becomes soft. The image becomes visible through the paper. Rub the back of the paper until it starts to roll up. Keep doing this, one section at a time, removing as much of the paper as possible. Do not rub too hard, as doing so may cause some of the picture to come off. Finish removing any pieces of paper by scrubbing it gently with the dish scrubber.
Seal the photo
Seal the photo with a clear acrylic sealer. The sealer makes the photo clearer and also hides any remaining shreds of paper.