Tracing paper is a semi-transparent paper that can be used to trace photos or drawings. After tracing an image on tracing paper, you can easily transfer it to other paper or even canvas. However, make sure you use a graphite pencil so that your drawing is clearly visible when moving it!
Part 1 of 2: Tracing the Image
Step 1. Place a piece of tracing paper over the image or photo you want to trace
The simpler the image to use, the easier it is to trace. Make sure the entire image is covered by the tracing paper.
Step 2. Use paper duct tape to hold the tracing paper in place
Fold the edge of the tracing paper over the edge of the original drawing or photo and secure it with masking tape. If the tracing paper is smaller than the sheet of paper you traced, tape the corners of the tracing paper just above the original.
Step 3. Trace the original image on the tracing paper with a graphite pencil
Do not use pens, markers, or colored pencils or you will not be able to transfer the traced image to another sheet of paper. Follow the lines in the original drawing carefully using a pencil. There's no need to think about how to trace the shading to the original image. Just focus on following all the lines in the original drawing on the tracing paper.
- If the tracing paper shifts as you draw, place it back in following the traced lines.
- Erase any erroneous lines with an eraser, but do so slowly so that the tracing paper doesn't tear.
Step 4. Get rid of the tracing paper
Remove the duct tape that holds the tracing paper to the image, and place the sheet of tracing paper next to the original image. Look at the two pictures side by side. The two images should look similar (except for the shading and color). If you missed a section, place the tracing paper back on top of the original image and trace the missing lines.
Part 2 of 2: Moving Images
Step 1. Find something to move the traced image to
Use a sheet of sketch paper, watercolor paper, canvas, or another medium that can bring out pencil lines. Make sure you move the traced image onto something light so that the pencil outlines can be seen.
Step 2. Paste the traced image onto the new medium by flipping it
Use paper duct tape or masking tape. Position the tracing paper so that the traced image is aligned with the new piece of paper where you want to move it. The drawn side of the tracing paper should be facing down.
Step 3. Rub the back of the traced image onto the medium underneath
Use a pencil, felt-tip pen, or other hard object. Apply pressure while rubbing all the lines in the traced image. This pressure will cause the graphite on the side of the tracing paper to move to the medium below it.
Step 4. Transfer the tracing paper
Remove the tape and remove the tracing paper. On the new medium, you will see a faint copy of the image you traced. If there are parts that don't move, outline them with a pencil.
Step 5. Finish the moved image
Line the image with a pencil to make it look more defined. When finished, the drawing can be left as it is or can be expanded with ink, colored pencils, or paint.