I learned the best process for transferring a drawing while apprenticing for Anne Harris in her mural painting studio. I don't always use a transferring method, but it really helps with large, or complicated compositions. This process works well if you're doing a small painting or a large mural-sized painting.
-Large sheet of paper
-Artist's masking tape
-Carbon transfer paper (optional)
-Heavy, Dull Pencil
Step 1: After you have decided on a final composition, draw an outline of the composition with heavy charcoal or heavy pencil onto a sheet of paper equal in size to your final canvas. In academic art, this large sheet of paper is called "the cartoon". It comes from the French word for a large sheet of paper.
As a tip, if you don't have a big enough piece of paper, you can arrange smaller pieces of paper together to fit the final size.
*Follow along with images in gallery below*
Step 2: Take your cartoon and tape only one side of it onto the edge of your final canvas. After the edge is secured, flip the paper over so you can see the backside. This is where you can either use carbon transfer paper, or vine charcoal. If you use transfer paper, simply slide it between the cartoon and your final canvas and move to the next step.
If you are not using transfer paper, it's simple enough to make. Take your vince charcoal and hold it horizontally. Rub charcoal over the entire surface of the back of the cartoon.
Step 3: Flip the paper back over the final canvas so you can see the design of your cartoon. Tape all the edges onto the canvas securely. You don't want your cartoon shifting while you trace over it.
Take your dull pencil and begin tracing over every major line on your cartoon. The reason you want your pencil to be dull is because a sharp pencil will puncture the cartoon.
After you have gone over all your lines, carefully peel off the tape and take the cartoon away. You should be left with a light line of the major shapes of your composition.
*Keep in mind this is merely to get the large shapes onto the canvas, further detail can be applied with more charcoal as seen in the final image below. After you have your final charcoal outline on your canvas, you can ink over it and begin your painting.
--To read my post about the next steps CLICK HERE