Tracing paper

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Tracing paper - an artist’s transparent sidekick

Available in semi-transparent rolls or pads of various thicknesses (40/45gsm, 65gsm or 90/95gsm), tracing paper is a popular art supply for fine line drawing, accurate tracing of an image, overlays and calligraphy.

Tracing paper was originally used for architectural and engineering drawings, but its lightweight and translucent properties allow crafters and fine artists to experiment with the layering of images and all kinds of tracing techniques. Designed to resist scratching, pencils, inks, markers and pens can all be used on tracing paper, making it a versatile acid and lignin-free medium.

Traced images are most commonly used for the transfer of an image to a more permanent surface, such as art paper or a canvas, but the tracing paper images can also be scanned for digital purposes. Tracing paper is often used to create the negative in silkscreening.

Tips & ideas for using tracing paper:
- Trace an image from a book or a photo and then transfer it to paper or canvas to paint, by placing the traced image upside down on the canvas and going over the image with a pencil.
- Trace a shape from nature or create a rubbing from tree bark and transfer that to artist paper, cardstock, a stretched canvas or canvas board.

As a beginner artist, tracing paper is a wonderful way of learning to draw, notice details or proportion, refine your skills and boost your confidence.

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