Monday, July 12, 2010

Transferring Your Photo Reference

Last time on The Drawing Board, we talked about Choosing the Right Photo Reference.  Once I have chosen the perfect reference, I start the transferring process.

To transfer a photo reference to the drawing paper, I take a piece of Dura-Lar Clear Acetate Alternative.  I put the clear acetate over the photo reference.  Using a fine-tip Sharpie, I trace around the subject with great detail.

Detail is important when transferring the human figure.  Pay close attention to the eyes, nose, and mouth.  If these are not accurate, the whole drawing is off.  If you are a person with excellent perception skills, please do not trace!  Use the skills you have.  I don’t have good perception, so I trace.  I can hear you purists gasping right now!  What?!?!  You trace?  Yes, I trace.

TurnerThis little guy will be drawn to be 9” x 9”.  I am drawing him on Rising Drawing Bristol 3-ply plate board.  I have never used this before, so you’ll be the first to hear my reaction to it.

I have a lightbox I use to transfer my drawings.   If you don’t have a lightbox, a well-lit window will do fine.  First, I lay down my traced (gasp!) acetate outline drawing on the lightbox.  Be sure to secure the outline drawing so it doesn’t move.  Then, I tape my drawing paper on top.  Turn on the lightbox and the acetate outline should be easily seen through the drawing paper.  Using a 2H graphite pencil, draw the outline onto the drawing paper.  I use a 2H pencil because it has a harder lead that can easily be blended into the mid-tone values.  Be sure to press lightly.  A sharp 2H pencil will crease the paper if pressed too hard.  A creased paper will give you an impressed line that can’t be removed.

Next time on the drawing board is step-by-step eyes!

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