Tracing to art paper without indentation

I wrote a blog  called: tracing to Art paper from 25 March 2013. I thought it might be useful to refer to in conjunction with my new video on YouTube :

Both on the blog and in the video I have used an instrument called a Decoupage tool. This was bought from FredAldous  online. It is very useful as it is smooth and small, but just large enough to spread the load placed on it when transferring an image onto art paper, without indenting the paper.

Why is it important not to indent the paper? Often, when transferring an image, no matter how careful you are, you will nearly always get some indentations. If painting in watercolour, the pigment is more likely to collect in the narrow grooves leaving a darker line. If using coloured pencil or graphite, pigment won’t go into the embossed lines so easily and white line are left. You don’t want either of these effects from outlining your image. 

The technique is simple and removes the risk of the embossed image during transfer.

Do give me feedback about the video, positive and negative, so that I can carry on improving ones in the future.

I will be having a graphite workshop on Friday and Saturday, following pressure to put on such a workshop. Watch this space for some pictures at the end.

Now The reason for following this blog – botanical pictures completed in the last few days. I haven’t done many of the artists trading cards as with my style of painting, each one takes about two days. The last one is the image used for the tracing and as Gorse is not easy, I am on my fourth attempt! I don’t give up that easily!

3 thoughts on “Tracing to art paper without indentation

  1. The transfer process is always finky and to be honest, a hassle. I’ve been seeking simpler and more efficent ways to transfer and appreciate you sharing your method. I have used the burnishing method you suggest with a bone and it is definitely easier and somewhat faster but I find it’s best for small or tiny drawings. When I’m working on an A3 size image I find the rubbing back and forth makes for a larger somewhat blurrier line which isn’t accurate. I’m thinking it could be the shape of paper bone. It is flat and wide rather than precise. What tool is it that you’re using? I tried searching for decopauge tool and wasn’t successful. Best to you!

    1. Hei Steph, thank you for your query about the decoupage tool. I also wrote another blog on the equipment I use and you will find the name of the company from which it was bought. This is the link to the blog :
      It is Fred Aldous. But when tracing this way, make sure that the line you draw as the tracing is fine. I use a very sharp HB or sometimes H. But it has to be sharp, because as you have found out, too soft and too think a line, creates an unclear tracing.

      If it is a very big piece I am tracing, I might use a small smooth agate stone. It needs to be something that brings the pressure of burnishing to a small area. I have tried with a small spoon, but that doesn’t work as the area which accumulates pressure is too spread.

      Anyway, good luck with it. My students generally now prefer this method even though there is a light box available on my classes.

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