Transfer a Drawing

Time to transfer the drawing to the canvas and then paint! Here's a quick run through how I transfer to canvas. I hope you find it useful.

I stretched oil primed, portrait grade linen over stretcher bars. To transfer the drawing I'm using:

Step 1

Support the Canvas

I place a book or a stack of magazines under the stretched canvas. Choose something that will fit within the cavity created by the stretcher bars. This gives me something to press against while transferring the drawing. I suggest using something you're not worried about because when you press with the pen to transfer, it's possible you can put grooves into the underlying support (the book or magazines) so I don't press too hard. Plus the transfer paper I use is nice and dark and doesn't require much pressure.

Step 2

Tape an Edge

I trim the tiled, print of the drawing to match the canvas size. Tape one edge of the tiled drawing to an edge of the canvas (a long edge seems to work best).

Step 3

Sandwich of Canvas, Transfer Paper, and Drawing

Make a sandwich. Place the graphite paper between the drawing and the canvas with the dark side facing the canvas. I use the store bought graphite paper because it doesn't smear when I paint.

Step 4

Tracing with a Pen

Using the ball point pen, I trace the printed lines. Here's where taping the drawing to the canvas on one edge comes in handy. It makes it a bit easier to check where you are with the tracing and transferring.

Step 5

Transferred Drawing

I'm now ready to paint. When I use the store bought transfer paper I find that I don't need to seal the lines. They don't seem to smear when I paint in oils over the top.