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  • Veronica Ruiz

How to use tracing paper

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

I've been using a lot of tracing paper lately to create posts like the ones below for my #bobsburgersletters challenge. There's been some confusion on how to use tracing paper to transfer work from one paper to another so I'd like to give you a quick tutorial on how to use it. Why use tracing paper? In the instances below I was using a grid to help place my letters and create a composition I liked. After I had a solid foundation I transferred the sketch to it's final place (the paper I would be inking in). This lets my final piece be as clean as possible. Sometimes when you are in the planning and sketching phase you can leave some unwanted pencil marks and smudges are hard to get rid of. Tracing paper lets you transfer only the parts of your sketch that you want for your final draft.

You can purchase any brand of tracing paper, they all work the same. I picked up the Strathmore pad above because it was on clearance at Michaels. You'll need a pencil. It must be a pencil. Ink won't work with this technique so no pens or markers. And you'll need a blank sheet of paper.

Step 1

Let's get started. Write a word or draw anything on the blank sheet of paper.

Step 2

Take your tracing paper and place it on top of your word or illustration.

Step 3

Trace your word or illustration onto the tracing paper with your pencil. Or you can skip all of those steps and just draw directly onto the tracing paper as well.

Step 4

Turn your sheet of tracing paper around and trace over the words again on the back side of the sheet.

When you are tracing on the back of the paper the front part will transfer to whatever paper is underneath so make sure it's a paper that isn't important because it will get pencil on it. I usually have a scrap sheet to do this part.

Step 5

Now that your text or illustration is penciled in on the front and back side of the tracing paper, flip it over so the text or illustration is facing up and in the correct orientation.

Step 6

Trace over your lines one more time and the lead that is on the back side of the tracing paper will be transferred.

Step 7 You can now trace your pencil lines with whatever medium you have planned for your final draft. Once all of your ink is dry you can erase any pencil marks left behind!

I hope that helped! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! (^▽^)

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