There are many ways to transfer your preliminary sketch onto the final working surface.
Some people use the grid method, others light boxes, etc. I find the grid method
too time-consuming. I do use a light box for my drawings, but in this case the working
surface was too thick for it, so what I did was scan my sketch into Photoshop, flip
it horizontally, scale it to the exact size I needed (8x10”), and print it out. I
then traced the sketch onto a sheet of tracing paper with a 2B pencil, lay it face
down onto my final working surface (a cold-press Arches art board), and gently rubbed
over it so the pencil lines transferred onto the board. Some people do this with
their fingernail, but I prefer a 2H pencil, as the transfer lines turn out more precise.
You must be careful during this stage. If the tracing moves even a fraction while
you’re transferring, you’ll have to start over. I tape the tracing to the board with
some acid-free artist’s tape to keep it in place.
Note: normally, I give my paintings a 1/2” border, which is achieved by putting artist’s
tape on the edges, but this one was so small that I decided to forego it.
I wanted this piece to have the look and feel of traditional Chinese watercolor paintings,
so I erased the preliminary design on the girl’s dress and dug into my reference
folder for some traditional Chinese fabric patterns. The background was also inspired