Tracing and Transfer Technique

This is one of my most frequently-used techniques for transferring images on a substrate.  I learned the original method in college and in recent years, improved the process.  The basic method applied an excessive amount of pencil lead, resulting in a transfer with additional smudges on the final surface.  A simple change to that method has made all the difference:

  Lay the image you want to transfer on your work surface.  Place a piece of tracing paper on top of it and trace your image:


Next, turn the tracing paper over, lay a scrap piece of paper underneath, and trace over the lines showing through from the other side.  (The original method would have you scribble with the side of your pencil, filling the entire back side of the tracing paper with lead, until all the lines were covered.  You can see why the result would be effective but extremely messy!


Now take your “loaded” piece of tracing paper and carefully place it on the surface you want to transfer it on.  If it’s a larger image, you may want to hold the tracing paper in place with a few pieces of painters tape.  Proceed to go over the lines of your image, for a final time:


Lift the tracing paper from the surface to reveal a perfectly transferred image, with no excess smudge marks!



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