View Full Version : Tracing details

03-22-2010, 04:38 PM

I'm going to participate in this section of the Painting from the Masters.
I have stretched an primed 3 canvases for the following paintings:

1- Bouguereau La Crepuscule (8"x16")
2- Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (16"x18")
3- Sargent's Lady Agnew (20"x26")

I've drawn grids on those canvases and were ready to trace the basic shapes and details of the subjects when it struck me that tracing fabric folds is really hard. Also tracing any kind of detail work is very very hard. It can't be noticed on the tracing paper in the first place.

What is your method of copying the drawing? I don't want to try to draw it with out the help of a tracing paper and graphite paper because my drawing skills aren't that good yet.

I've seen George's drawing/trace of "La Crepuscule" and the fabric folds were rendered nicely.

Your help is appreciated. I'll post the progression of each stage of those paintings.


03-23-2010, 10:41 AM
Hi Kal,

I sometimes use an EZ-tracer projector for my larger paintings. I find that it helps to draw all the details in on my canvas. I bought it at an art store and it wasn't very expensive. It sure has saved me valuable time. It also doesn't take as long to draw out as the grid method.

Hope this helps.


03-23-2010, 04:22 PM
Thanks Yvette. I've been thinking about buying those projectors. Which one do you you use? What model of the EZ-Projector?

Your advice seems to be the best solution I think. The least messy with all of those graphite or charcoal dust transfer papers.

Kal :)

03-23-2010, 11:14 PM
I use a Data Projector,on saying this I can render fabric without the projector...basically I just have a knack at rendering material.

When I start to render the fabric I thought to myself..."Why did I put the fabric folds in when I drew round the image ?",because I end up just overpainting the fabric lines in the end and just paint it as I go.

I just cannot understand why so many people have this blindspot in painting fabric? its got to be the simplist area of painting.

Remember one thing...the face and body are the objective and garment folds don't need to be precise.

03-26-2010, 10:36 AM
Hi Kal,

I have the Ez-Tracer and its really easy to use. The only thing is that you have to make the photo that you are copying a 3.5 x 3.5 inches to fit under the opening of the projector. I also a line the projector on other canvases to raise it up.

Good luck.



03-26-2010, 04:50 PM
I have the tracer projector and it will allow an image up to 5 x 5 inches which the projector sits over. Drawing or tracing in the dark takes practice as does sitting off to the side so you don't block the image being projected onto the canvas. I have found it good for the general shapes and proportions but not very good for detail. I also tone my canvas which makes tracing or drawing the image a little harder in the dark.

12-08-2010, 01:53 PM
I tape a piece of copy paper onto my monitor. Then I trace the image and lightly draw on the paper while its attached to the screen. The screen's illumination is enough to shine through the paper. Then I take the tracing off the screen and re-trace it even darker. Next, I take the tracing and tape it on the backside of the canvas. I have a unique square lamp (not meant for this) that shines light upward and that I can rest the canvas on. This now allows me to do the same technique I originally did on the monitor, which is tracing the image directly onto the canvas.

Only problem with this method is that it becomes a tracing of a tracing of a tracing, and sometimes minor inconsistencies develop. But for those who don't have a projector or the time and willingness to do the gird technique, this is a fast way to trace an image to a canvas.

joe galioto
01-26-2011, 09:51 AM
i'm a very new painter
started classes in the fall of 2010
since i'm a professional photographer i have a digital project
i can work from a photo i've taken or copy an image from an art book
download it to computer and project it onto canvas in any size
this works very well if you have access to the projector
no limitations to the size of photo your coping or the size of your canvas