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.

  1. First, secure your watercolor journal flat with two metal clips.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Next, Outline your secure drawing with a color pen. This will help you visual see what you have already traced.

  5. 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?

1 Comment

  • Jill
    April 12, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    Hi where can I view the video? Thanks!


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