Using tracing paper

by May 11, 2021Art Supplies, Crafts & Crafting

Jane said “I have used tracing paper for a few projects and I thought it would be a good medium to take a closer look at.”

What is tracing paper?

Tracing paper is made to have low opacity, allowing light to pass through. It was originally developed for architects and design engineers to create drawings which could be copied precisely using the *diazo copy process; from there tracing paper found many more uses.

Tracing paper comes in various sizes such as A1, A2, A3, and A4 in single sheets or pads and on rolls, it is also available in different weights: 63gsm, 90gsm and 112gsm.

The uses of tracing paper

Tracing paper is a semi transparent paper you can use to trace an image or drawing. As all children are taught, I use tracing paper for taking a tracing of a drawing that I’ve done to transfer on to a surface for painting.

As a drawing medium

But tracing paper has many uses, in this first picture for the butterfly I have used tracing paper with colour pencils, if you look closely at the bottom pair of wings you can see the background writing through the wings.

butterfly drawn on tracing paper

Bringing a butterfly to life

With the same butterfly dawn on tracing paper…

In the first image I’m holding the left wing as the butterfly is only attached in the centre of the body.

In the second all I’ve done is to touch both sides of the wings and the heat from my hands has made the wings curl. Now the butterfly looks delicate and fragile.

Water soluble coloured pencils

Here is another example of a butterfly on tracing paper. I have used water soluble coloured pencils as I find these beautifully soft and work well on the surface of the tracing paper.

Here in this picture I have also used patterned paper and stamps to create this image, it works really well if you’re a crafter and love card making.

Another butterfly

Overlays in design

Tracing paper is also used for overlays in design and with fine liner pens for text and it can be printed on to, it has many more uses than just tracing an image.

Defusing a background

Another great way to use your tracing paper is to layer it up and use it to defuse a background.

So, here I have painted the background of trees in watercolour and layered a sheet of tracing paper over the top, then I’ve painstakingly drawn and cut out the foreground out of different types of paper.

Using the tracing paper it has given the picture depth.

Museum pencil drawn badger

Re-using drawing elements

Here I have traced a part of a piece I was working on and I only wanted to reuse the skull, that’s why tracing paper is so useful to take the parts of the drawing you need.

In this case I want to transfer it on to another piece of paper and redesign the picture as it wasn’t going the way I wanted. That is what makes tracing paper so useful and a must-have for anyone.

Tracing

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the arts & crafts products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.

 

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