How to Transfer a Drawing Onto Watercolor Paper

Transferring a Drawing to a Bound Watercolor Journal …

As most of you probably know from my previous post – I recently stumbled upon this awesome watercolor journal which paints like a dream. I love using it for experiments and watercolor journaling. But I have had a slight problem with it…. You see my favorite method for transferring my line drawings to watercolor paper was using a light table. But since I was using a bound watercolor journal – and I really didn’t want to destroy the binding by ripping out the pages – using my light table was a no go.

Transferring with Graphite Paper…

So I switched gears and pulled out my handy graphite paper – which I honestly haven’t used in years. I have to say – it worked like a dream! And the results were actually better than I thought! I will caution you – since i was working on Hot Press Watercolor Paper – transferring the drawing with my graphite paper was pretty easy. But – if you are using a bumpy cold Press Paper – your results might not be a smooth.


Well, I’ve put together a printable sheet of my steps plus all the equipment/supplies I used. And as an added bonus – I’ve put together a short video to show you the process :) So ENJOY!

How to Transfer a Drawing to Watercolor Paper

I love to transfer my line drawings to watercolor paper! I usually use a light table – but this time I needed to work in a bound watercolor journal. So – instead of roughing up the paper with mistakes and pencil scuff marks – I instead opted to transfer the line drawing using wax free graphite paper and following these five simple steps.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Keyword: tracing onto watercolor paper, transfering drawing onto watercolor paper
Author: Carrie Luc – Watercolor Misfit


  • Wax Free Graphite Paper
  • watercolor paper
  • pencil
  • masking tape
  • eraser
  • colored pen
  • 2 metal clips (if working in bound journal)
  • Pair of Scissors
  • your drawing


  • First, secure your watercolor journal flat with two metal clips.
  • Then, with your scissors, cut your wax paper to fit the size of your drawing. Next, tape your drawing and Wax paper together – making sure to place the shiny side down (or graphite side down) toward your watercolor paper.
  • Afterward, secure your drawing and wax paper to your watercolor paper with some tape. If you are using extremely sticky tape – simply rub off some of the glue by placing tape sticky side down on some fabric.
  • Next, Outline your secure drawing with a color pen. This will help you visual see what you have already traced.
  • Lastly, peel back the wax/drawing combo and touch up any pencil lines that might have gotten lost in the tracing. Once done- paint to your heart's delight!




The rest the the supplies you can use from whatever is just lying around your house :)

About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?

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