FREQUENTLY  ASKED  PAINTING  QUESTIONS

4.  How can I trace my DVD drawing guide on to my watercolor paper?

First off, you don't have to trace it at all.  The drawing guide is intended as a reference, to simplify the painting's basic composition.  Your composition can vary and does not need to be exactly like mine.  

But, if you would like it to be, that's fine, too.

One tracing method is the use of "waxless" graphite paper, like Saral.  Simply place the graphite paper over the watercolor paper, then place the drawing guide over the graphite paper.  Retrace the drawing on the guide so that the graphite is deposited on the watercolor paper surface---effectively transferring the drawing guide lines onto the watercolor paper.

Another method---if you have an accessible window---is to simply tape your drawing guide to the window.  Then, tape your watercolor sheet over it.  If it is a sunny day, you should be able to see the drawing guide lines right through the 140# watercolor paper.  Simply copy these lines on to your watercolor paper with an H-lead pencil.

If you have a lightbox, you can use, essentially, the same method.

Obviously, this means that you cannot use a watercolor paper block (or you must remove the sheet from the block).  But, this is not a big deal.  You can simply soak your paper (after the drawing) with water, then staple it (using a utility stapler) to a piece of plywood (or other like mounting surfaces).  When it dries, it will usually pull drum-tight within the stapled area.  This is referred to as "stretching the watercolor paper".  There are different techniques for doing this that you can find in various watercolor books, etc.

 

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