8.07.2013

Dear Art Accomplice: Transferring to Dark Paper?

I'm trying to transfer my drawing to dark paper but the graphite doesn't show up very well...
-Allison in NY
In the Art Accomplice post Transferring: How a Sketch Becomes Finished Art we covered different methods of transferring sketches to the final paper or board. The graphite paper method described is the most direct and least expensive method but, as you pointed out, the graphite lines don't show up on dark papers. Instead of using graphite pencil to create transfer paper, use white Conté Crayon. Conté is a drawing medium similar to hard pastel. Use the Conté the same way you would use the graphite.

1) Cover the back of the sketch with Conté. If you want to preserve the original sketch, make a photocopy.


Here I'm transferring a photo instead of a drawing. Photo
paper is too slick to take Conté so you definitely need to make a
photocopy if you're using this method with a photograph.

2) Tape the sketch to your paper/board with the Conté side down on the paper/board.


This photo* is being transferred to a piece of
dark gray Canson Mi-Tientes paper for a
finished piece to be done in colored pencil.

3) Trace your sketch or photocopy and the lines will be transferred in white.


Thanks for your question!
All the best,
Art Accomplice

Additional Information:
Any decent art supply store should stock 2-pack White Conté Crayon for somwhere between $2.00 - $4.00. Online, ASW Express and Dick Blick both sell 2-packs. There are probably others too so scout around for prices.

*the original full-color photo is by photographer and Art Accomplice friend John Fast. Check out his wild life photography.

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