Copying a sketch to another surface

So you made this beautiful sketch.
And you want that sketch on an other paper or on a canvas.

With thin paper such as printing paper you could trace it by using a lightbox, or using an outside window as a lightbox.
But thick paper and Canvases in general are  not suitable for lightbox use.

So here is a simple but effective method

Original sketch

Note:If you want to preserve the sketch in a pristine condition, make a copy of it on a normal paper.
You could use a copier or scan it on your computer and print it.

Turn the page of the sketch or the copy and use charcoal to make the paper black.
Of course you only have to put the charcoal where the lines are going to be.
Make the backside black

Turn the paper again with the sketch visible and lay it on the surface you want to transfer it to.
On the photo you can see the charcoal on the backside through the paper:)
Use a pencil to trace the lines. Don't let the paper slide out of position:)


If everything has gone right you now copied the original sketch on an other surface.

Traced copy

The lines are indeed very thin on this aquarel paper, just the way I like it.
The more charcoal you use the thickerthe lines will be, and the more stains will transfer onto the copy.

Used this sketch as base for a monochrome painting which is used in this tutorial

You can see some charcoal stains on the paper. You could remove these with a kneading eraser.

Why not use Carbon paper?
Carbon paper lines are often hard to erase.
Another reason carbon paper isn't an artist material.
You don't know how the pigments are going to react with your paper or even with the paint.