Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Revisiting my little sheepish lambkin!

Check this out!  Here is the latest progress on my newest little painting.  I still haven’t decided exactly what title to give this little painting…  any suggestions? 

Now it’s easy see how important clear guidelines are to the progress of the painting.

I have not forgotten my promise to tell you about some of the other ways I have used to transfer my original drawing to my final art surface.  Today, we are going to look at three other ways to transfer that original sketch.

A Pantograph is a useful tool to transfer your original image to your final art surface.  There is a pointer that traces the image, and a pencil lead that draws it on the paper.  The numbers that you see on the Pantograph bars indicate how much larger your transferred image will be.  I have enlarged the photograph of Bailey to twice its original size. 

To use the Pantograph, keep pressure on the drawing intersection (above the paper) and lightly move the tracer intersection (above the photograph) around your image.  When you are finished, you will have something like this:

Using the grid method of transferring your original sketch to your final art surface has many advantages.

·         Your original sketch can be enlarged or reduced easily.

·         Neither your original sketch nor your final art surface needs to be transparent.  This method will work to transfer from or to canvas and wood as well as paper surfaces.

·         You don’t need any special equipment to use this transfer method.

Make sure that your original sketch has good clear details.  If you want to keep your original sketch, then trace the image on to another piece of paper.   To create your grid, draw evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines over the surface of your drawing.  The number of squares and space between the lines will be determined by both the complexity of your drawing and the size. 

Now, take your paper, canvas, masonite board or whatever, and create a corresponding grid with the same number of squares both horizontally and vertically.  Make sure that your lines are clear, but not too dark.  If you are working with a transparent medium, you will want to be able to completely erase these lines later.

When you are finished, your original drawing and your final art surface should look something like this:

Pick a square on your original sketch and copy the lines to the corresponding square on your final art surface.  You can see the squares I have copied in the photograph.  Keep on copying until all the squares are filled.  Voila!  Commence to begin to paint!

Hey, look – the grid sketch is of a pounce bag and a pounce wheel.  What a lead in to our last transfer method, huh!

To transfer an original sketch with a pounce bag, you will first need a pounce bag.  You can make one, but it is messy.  Of course, a premade pounce bag is also messy – so have at it!  It’s a little bag with chalk or charcoal inside a coarse material.  The material allows a small amount of the powder to escape when you bounce it.  A pounce wheel can be used to punch small holes in the original sketch or you can use a small sharp object.  As with the grid method, if you want to keep your original sketch, then trace your original sketch onto another piece of paper which you can proceed to destroy.   Once your holes are in your original sketch, place that sketch on top of your final art surface, and gently bounce the pounce bag over the holes.  You will want to use caution with this method, as the powder will be everywhere.  Protect your lungs with a mask and your art with paper over everywhere you don’t want dust.  When you lift the original sketch, you will see a series of small dots marking all of your lines.  A pounce bag was, and still is, used by many fresco artists to transfer their drawings to wet plaster.

No matter what method you use to transfer your sketch to your final art surface, check your transferred drawing before you begin to paint (or whatever!) to make everything has transferred well.

Well, there you go!  Now you have lots of ways to transfer your original sketch – time to get started on your next creation!  Which transfer method are you going to use?



  1. Love your painting. Thank you for sharing all these methods. The pounce one sounds like a real messy one, might not be so good for me as I tend to be messy even when I am trying to be neat.

  2. Thanks for all the great details :D
    Your painting is looking good...can't wait to see the finished product!

  3. I can't wait to see it finished. That sure is a lot of work!

  4. This is going to be a great painting! I love your goats. And HEY! I actually have a pantograph - purchased back in the good ole days of creativity. I must go find it - I had totally forgotten about it.

  5. Thanks, memories!

    Marlene - it is really messy! It works really good for fresco, where the artist is working on wet plaster, though some artists do use it for canvas and paper.

    You are welcome, Lee. Thanks, glad you like it!

    Kim - thanks! Yes, sometimes there is a lot of work involved - lol - maybe that's why they call it artWORK - hehe

    Karin - The pantograph in the picture is a new one, but I also have my Dad's that he got in 1946 or 47, I think, when he went to school in California.

  6. Baaaaa Love your painting.
    Great info on transfers.

  7. Thaaaaanks, Pam! Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Now that's very interesting! I didn't know about the pounce bag, and the pantograph only vaguely. I must not mind too much messiness, since I enjoy tie dyeing. In fact it's rather fun to "immerse" oneself in one's art!

  9. Thanks, Splendid! I agree, it is fun to "immerse" oneself in art - and very creatively rewarding!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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