For months now, I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I haven’t picked up pencils for drawing. My hands haven’t felt the wondrous texture of paper. Tonight, thanks to all of you, that has changed. I have started a portrait project of my son. I thought I’d give you a glimpse of how to easily transfer an image to your drawing space. It will produce a simple line-art guide for you to use to create any drawing. I use it mainly for portraits of either people or animals, but it could be used for anything. I’ve used it for flowers even.
Step 1: Scribble over the back of your image
This works best if your image is on regular copy machine paper. I use the softest pencil I have to scribble. This time around, it was a 6B graphite pencil. I scribble every area I want to transfer. In essence we are making our own graphite paper. For my portrait, I made sure the face, eyes, hair, chin, ear, and lips were covered as well as the jacket since that’s an important part of the picture. I left out the necklace since it was too small of a section of the picture.
Step 2: Tape your image down
Now you’ll want to tape your picture to your paper. This will hold it in place while you trace around the items you want in your drawing.
Step 3: Trace your outline
Using a mechanical pencil without the graphite, trace everywhere you want an outline. You’ll want to keep your pressure even and yet light. If you press too hard, you’ll have inscribed lines that will mess with your drawing. This can be any difference in shades, distinguishing features, outline, or anywhere you need extra help. As I’m looking at the photo, I’m wondering if I should have defined the jaw better on my outline. Instead, I made sure the main outline, the jacket, hair, ear, mouth, nose with nostrils, eyes, and eyebrows were defined on my drawing.
Step 4: Check your work
Now all that’s left is to lift up your drawing to make sure you have a mark where you need it. If you missed something, just drop the picture back down and trace. When you are finished, you should have a nice outline of your drawing and be ready to shade the rest in.