Many changes may be needed to be made to a drawing before it is ready to be used for a painting. Although one can draw directly onto watercolor paper, often it is better to make all the changes, erasures, etc. on sketch paper first and then transfer the final drawing onto watercolor paper using graphite transfer paper.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to transfer your line drawings onto watercolor paper.
- Watercolor paper and watercolor board
- Masking tape
- Kneaded Eraser/Pencils
- Sketch paper
- Graphite Transfer paper
- Your sketch
Tip: Hold the sheet of paper up to a light and look for the brand's watermark. If it reads backwards, you are looking at the back of the paper.
Place your watercolor paper right side up on your board and attach the paper to your board by securing all four sides with masking tape.
Tip #2: To prevent the masking tape from tearing your watercolor paper when it is removed from the board, do the following. Before taping the watercolor paper to the board, tear off the amount of tape needed for one side of the paper. Place the tape on your clothing (to pick up a little lint and remove some of the sticky) before taping the watercolor paper to the board. Continue taping all 4 sides.
Prepare your sketch.
Center your drawing over your watercolor paper and tape it at the upper left and the upper right corners. The tape will serve as hinges. Lift your drawing and lay your graphite transfer paper face-down on top of your watercolor paper.
Using a light to medium pressure, trace a few lines of your drawing. Lift the sketch and the transfer paper to test the pressure of your marks. If they are too dark, ease up a bit on the pressure exerted during the tracing. Dark lines can be difficult to remove. If they are too light, increase your pressure slightly. Do not press down hard enough to indent the paper.
Lift the sketch and check to see if all lines were transferred. Make certain that straight lines are straight. These can be corrected directly on the watercolor paper using a ruler.
When you have checked for accuracy, remove any smudges with the kneaded eraser.
You are ready to paint!