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How to Transfer and Enlarge Your Sketches

You may want to learn how to enlarge a sketch if you ever want to paint a large picture.

The above link takes you to an article with tips on how to do large paintings.

This article is about enlarging an original sketch or drawing for such tasks.

There are several ways of enlarging a sketch or a drawing.

The simplest method is "squaring up" the sketch and transferring the composition to a canvas or a sheet of water-color paper.

If the sketch is 8 x 10 inches it is divided into 2-inch, pencil-ruled squares.

Assuming that it is to be enlarged to twice its size, that is, to 16 x 20 inches, 4-inch squares are drawn on the blank canvas.

The squares act as a guide for each area of the composition and it is a simple matter to fill in each of them.

This enlarging method can be used for a picture of any size.

If the subject is complex, however, you may want to use more and smaller squares.

On the other hand, a simple subject may require only a few squares. Any incidental passages of intricate drawing that occur can be subdivided as illustrated.

If you want to keep the sketch intact, place a sheet of transparent paper or glass over it.

The squaring-up process can then be done on the protective sheet without harm to the original.

Use a grease or china marking pencil on glass, to make sure the lines will show, and use a soft pencil on the transparent paper so that the ruled lines will not indent the sketch.

You can use charcoal on the canvas for the enlarged drawing.

There are several mechanical devices that can be used for enlarging, such as the pantograph, proportional dividers, and others, but you will find the squaring-up method convenient for most subjects.

You may some time have a photocopy or digital image of your sketch and enlarge to size you wish. Then, trace the copy on the canvas.

This is an inexpensive way of copying material and making it any size.

First rub the back of the photocopy with graphite or charcoal, then thumb-tack it to the canvas and trace through, using a hard pencil.

The traced image can be sprayed with a fixatif or redrawn directly with a brush and thinned oil color.

There is yet an easier way to transfer an enlarged copy of your sketches and drawings.

I learned this from a friend who works in mural art and advertising. He uses a projector! I used the same technique when learning to transfer drawings onto t-shirts for airbrushing! :-)

Yes. If you have a projector available (from a friend, or in your household), you can simply project your sketch or drawing onto your desired painting area, and simply trace the main lines and elements on it. Once that is done, you can use your original sketch (and color scheme) to guide you in your bigger reproduction.

Ahhh! Technology makes things so easy sometimes!

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Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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