Friday, June 1, 2012

The Perfect Image

Old photos are beautiful and have such charm! 
I love to incorporate them into my work, especially as the focal point. Sometimes a certain project calls for the real thing, but I find there are advantages to using a photo-copied image.
  •  A favorite photo can be used multiple times, thus saving the original.
  •  The surface of the photocopy is not glossy, as the original is, and is therefore accepting of  other media, such a paint.
  •  Sometimes an enlarged or reduced image is needed.
  •  No pressure in making a mistake...a new copy can be made from the original.

Using photo copied images in my work is by far one of my favorites. I am able to manipulate the image in many ways. Below are some pieces of mine where I used photocopied images.

*Adding colored pencil marks*

*Drip with beeswax*

*Applying chalk and distressing with sandpaper*

*Highlighting just a few elements and punching out details for emphasis*

Take your favorite photo to a copy center. (scanners and home ink jet printers won't give you the same result as a good old-fashioned toner copier.  I have a toner printer at home, but printing scanned imaged just doesn't give the same beautiful grungy results that a real copier can give.) Make an enlarged copy.  Here I did 150%. You can see just by enlarging the photo I have achieved some wonderful less-than-polished results, which is what I am going for. 

Now, making a copy of a copy (2nd generation) will perpetuate that nice distressed look.

Try sanding off some the toner from your copied image, and then making a second and third generation and copy of the sanded image.

I just love the way I can grunge up a photo by recopying it over and over.  Try crumpling your copy before copying a second or third time.  Another fun idea is to really enlarge your photo, grunge it up with sandpaper, and then reduce back down to the size needed.  Play around with this technique and have fun!

My name is Marilyn Healey and I enjoyed sharing my art and one of my favorite techniques with you!

Warmest wishes!


  1. Love* Love* Love this Marilyn. Your work is wonderful!

  2. Beautiful work. I love vintage images as well!

  3. I love vintage photos and all their charm~ Thank you so much Marilyn for sharing! How fab...!!

  4. I love your style Marilyn. Thanks for the great tips!

  5. ok. My fave has to be that "honey I'm still free"!! what a great post Marilyn! I always wondered how you had such great images!

  6. Such amazing talent Marilyn!!! I have loved your work for years (even before our art group). Yup that's right, I was one of your blog stalkers from way, way back!

    Love you!

  7. really are so talented. I love this post. I want to do this when we have our next "girls day"!! xoxo

  8. What a beautiful style you have marilyn! Very helpful and beautiful examples. You are inspiring!
    xo Deb