The painting and transfer of Frida Kahlo


A friend of mine gave me this dress a couple of years ago, I held on to it not really sure what I was going to do with it. Sometimes I will do that, thinking things like this will come in handy and this one eventually did. I would use this dress for my Frida Kahlo piece.



I wanted to use traditional colors and once the red was finished, I used a beautiful green for the lacy top part, everything was coming together nicely and both cats offered up their approval.

 After a few touch ups, the dress painting portion of the project was complete. Now it was on to set up the shoot and get the model painted.

Once the dress was on it was time for the body painting to begin.

At this point, everything is painted. The background, the dress, the subject, the flowers and the jewelry. All we needed was to put everything together in a beautiful composition.

And Alas! This portion of Frida was now complete! Everything so far has turned out beautifully all the way up to the very end of the shoot. Almost there - now I need to have it printed into a 18x22 to fit my frame for her and begin the transfer to glass process.

For this transfer, I wanted to use a product called Mod Podge, It's one of my favorite "go to's" for transfers. I put a medium coat on the pre-sanded glass, sanding the glass I find holds the glue and ink a little better - Spreading it all the way to the edges evenly is really important.

Once the print was laid out evenly onto the glue, lots of even pressing down and away towards the edge of the glass to get air bubbles and excess glue out of the way was needed- A bit of advice -  if you don't do the pressing portion of this, it will suck badly and potentially ruin key parts of your project. Lots of pressing, you shouldn't see much glue after this process when the glass is flipped back over and after the 24 hr hour waiting period, they glue should dry clear.

Okay, it's been at least 24 hours, Now it's time to gently remove the paper. With the paper side slightly wet I am able to rub it off the already dried glue and ink. This part takes time and a lot of patience. I have had to do this piece you are looking at 3 times and I've done about 30 of them successfully - so don't get down on yourself if you mess up. Suck it up and do it again and again until its perfect.


So here she is with all the paper removed, at this moment Frida is enjoying some afternoon sun on the front porch. With the piece being backlit you can see how opaque the image can be and is quite pretty having the light come through all the color.  However, with my pieces, I like to back them with gold or with other reflective materials.

Additionally and after the cat's final inspection and approval, Frida was entered into a contest at Nest, a downtown gallery and won 1st place. And as I am writing this blog post I realize I am wearing the same sweatshirt. :)