How To Use Transfer Paper

How To Use Transfer Paper – The Easy Way!. Have you ever wondered how to transfer a pencil drawing onto a canvas using transfer paper? In this “how to use transfer paper” tutorial I use the transfer paper found  here:

Manufacturer claims: “Works like carbon paper to transfer designs from one surface to another. Produces waxless, clean tracings that lay erasable on tracing surface. Colors for all-purpose and reverse work, metal, keylining, and light/dark surfaces.”

In this free drawing and painting tutorial I demonstrate the best way to transfer a pencil drawing over to canvas ready to be painted. Transfer paper can seem a little strange at first and many artists simply don’t bother with it. I never used to use transfer paper; I used to draw directly on canvas before I started my paintings. After getting used to using transfer paper I have come to find out that drawing directly on my canvas is not such a great way to begin a painting.

I have found the extra step of using transfer paper to actually shorten the length of time it takes to create a painting. Why? When I don’t use transfer paper I spend more time fixing drawings directly on canvas (super annoying) and I spend more time fixing the painting later on (extremely annoying) when I find out my original drawing on canvas is underdeveloped because the texture of the canvas prevented me from drawing accurately. Also, pencil is hard to erase on canvas making the initial drawing not so fixable. I can avoid all these problems of beginning an accurate painting from an accurate drawing first created on paper simply by using transfer paper!

Not only do I show you how to use transfer paper, but I also reveal some of my tricks for lining your original drawing up exactly with your canvas. If you’re like me you spend a fair amount of time composing an accurate drawing on paper in the hopes of creating a great painting. Watch the tutorial to find how to use transfer paper most effectively so that you get an extremely accurate replication of your original drawing on paper.






How To Use Transfer Paper: Transcript

Hey Folks it’s John from, today I’m going to show you how I transfer my pencil drawing onto my canvas so that they can then be painting.

[intro music]

So I have this drawing of the hammer here and I want to transfer it over to this toned canvas.  So I’m going to be using some transfer paper; Saral makes this one. It comes on a roll and you can cut it to different sizes and it’s very reusable. So, you don’t use it just once; you can use it many times over.

The first thing I want to do is line my drawing up on the canvas, get it exactly where I want it to be.  You’ll notice I put lines on the canvas and on the paper and I’ve cut these little triangles out.  This helps me line it up and so I know that this is going to be right in the middle, exactly where I want it to be.

I use these drafter’s dots but you can just use some tape.  That’s all this really is, it’s convenient little pieces of tape.  I love these things.

So now when I lift the drawing up it’s [paper] going to go back to the same place. I highly recommend taping your drawing down otherwise you’re going to get frustrated shifting around once the transfer paper is in between.

This transfer paper is one sided.  This is the graphite-gray variety.  If you’re working on something really dark like a black canvas you might want to go with the white or one of the colors they offer.

I’m going to put this in position and save all the scraps because it’s all reusable; there’s no need to custom cut.  I’ll just get this into place and put this [paper] down.  Just got to affix this down here.  You don’t want the paper buckling or moving around.  You just want to concentrate on replicating your drawing very accurately.

I like to use a red pen when I trace over this for two reasons. The red pen allows me to see where I’ve already traced.  And, the metal ball that’s in the pen ends up pushing through and makes the transfer pretty efficient.  Because if you don’t press hard enough you don’t get a good transfer.

There.  Now before I remove the paper completely I always like to take a sneak peak just to make sure everything turned out okay and I didn’t miss anything.  Now this is going to be hard to see on the video because it’s a gray canvas and it’s a graphite gray transfer, but it’s there.  I’ll bring it a little closer so you can see.  I don’t know how well this is going to show up, but you you can see that it indeed did do the transfer.  That gives me really good information from which to start a painting.

Transferring drawings to canvas has made my painting workflow so much better!  Don’t forget to head over to where I reveal, not only the tools I use in the tutorials here, but the art supplies I use in my everyday work as well.  Thanks for watching.


One Comment

  1. Kakwirakeron Ross Montour says:

    I have tried the commercially prepared transfer paper from one company and didn’t care for the result which I found to be waxy. In the past I also used graphite transfer DIY. Now I use Pan Pastels to make transfer sheets and found this to be my favorite method next to using raw umber oil paint.

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