How to Transfer an Image or a Drawing with Graphite

Ever wanted to transfer an image or a drawing from one surface to another?  On this page, we'll explore your options for image transfer and I'll show you how you can transfer an image without buying an extra product. 

Many people think that once you have an image on a surface, it can't transferred to another surface.  Depending on the surface, a transfer is usually possible.  Artists often need to transfer drawings between surfaces.  For example, there is often the need to transfer a drawing from a sketchbook to a canvas or other surface.  Transferring the image prevents the artist from having to draw the image over. 

Transferring images is relatively easy to accomplish.  There are products out there that make transferring images or drawings a breeze.  Carbon paper or transfer paper allows for easy transfers from surface to another.  Transferring an image with carbon paper only requires placing the carbon paper between the image and the finished surface, and then tracing on the image with a blunt point.  The pressure applied to the carbon paper transfers the carbon material on to the finished surface, transferring the image.  This material is not always practical, however, as the carbon that is transferred is often hard to erase or applied to the surface too dark or heavy.  Also, when the need arises to transfer the drawing, you may not have any carbon paper lying around.  Well, at least most of us don't. 

Fortunately, there is an easy way to transfer drawings or images from one surface to another and it probably won't require that you buy any new supplies.  All you need is a soft graphite pencil or stick.  Take the graphite and cover the back of the surface of the drawing that you want to transfer. This is called "carboning" the surface.  Lay the drawing down on the surface that you to transfer the drawing to and then just trace the image.  The soft graphite will transfer a "ghost" image to the surface.  You can trace it further if you so desire, or just use the ghost image.  This is a technique used by countless illustrators including the great Norman Rockwell.

The following video demonstration illustrates how easy it is to transfer a drawing using graphite... 

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