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How to Transfer a Printable Line Drawing to Watercolor Paper

Step-by-step image tutorial. The easy way to transfer line art so that you can relax with watercolor without the hassle of drawing.

For most of my watercolor and drawing tutorials, you have the option of downloading a free PDF with line art that you can print out, trace and then transfer to watercolor paper. Or you can print out directly onto watercolor paper.  In this blog post, I show you a step-by-step tutorial on how to transfer a line drawing.

The bird I have drawn for this tutorial is facing left. However, the printable that you can download is facing right. Let's see how this works.

In the picture underneath I have printed out the PDF with the line drawing of a bird. (It's my playful interpretation of an elegant heron). The bird underneath is facing in the opposite direction, but that's the correct direction. 

My tracing tools are also included: A soft 2B pencil, a sharp HB push-point pencil, and an eraser. Add to this an A4 tracing paper sheet. 

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

 

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

I have fastened the tracing paper with paper clips, one for each corner, four in all. Keeping the tracing paper from sliding is important, otherwise, the paper will move and you can't trace the lines in an exact way. You can also fasten with cello tape. 

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada
Trace the outline with a soft pencil, 2B or softer. 

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

When you have completed tracing the outline, remove the tracing paper and flip with your drawing facing down. 

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

Fasten the tracing paper onto a sheet of watercolor paper with your drawing facing down. Draw the outline again, this time with an HB push-point pencil, or a regular hard pencil as long as it stays sharp. You are now transferring the graphite from your soft pencil drawing onto the watercolor paper.

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

The drawing has been transferred to watercolor paper.

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

The transferred drawing is facing the same direction as the original artwork.

How to transfer line art to watercolor paper. Step-by-step tutorial by Cecilie Okada

You can also print the PDF line drawing directly onto watercolor paper with a laser printer or inkjet printer with waterproof ink. If your printer has a setting for heavy paper, you can print on standard 300g watercolor paper. Otherwise, use light 190g watercolor paper. 

You can download this line drawing for free in One Tree Art Club. You will find many free drawings there. My best wishes for your creative fun!

Free download- bird line drawing. Cecilie Okada

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Step-by-step image tutorial. The easy way to transfer line art to watercolor paper so that you can relax with watercolor without the hassle of drawing. Download free line art PDF. #watercolor #watercolorarts #watercolourpainting #watercolorpainting #watercolorpaper #linedrawing #coloring

Learn the easy way to transfer a line drawing to watercolor paper. Download free line art PDF. Step-by-step image tutorial. #watercolor #watercolorarts #watercolourpainting #watercolorpainting #watercolorpaper #linedrawing #coloring