A quick tip….

Somebody on Twitter recently asked me how I transfer my sketches from tracing paper to the proper-paper-for-drawing-on without them coming out back-to-front, and I had one of those little “Ohhhh, I thought everyone knew that!” moments – and I was also transported back to primary school, when I was having the same problem with a squirrel whose tail came out on the left side when I wanted it on the right, like the drawing in the book I was trying to copy. My teacher at the time showed me this little trick and I reckon it’s quite possibly one of the most useful things I ever learnt at school!

Step one: Trace your image. Or draw it on tracing paper – with my cats, I do a sketch in my sketchbook, then trace it onto tracing paper that’s marked up with the borders of the finished piece:

  
At this point I’ll work on tidying up the drawing, and making any final tweKs and changes until I’m happy with it. Note that her eyes are looking slightly to the right!

Step two: Turn the tracing paper over, and go over all the lines with your pencil on the back of the paper.

  
See how her eyes are now looking slightly to the left? That’s because we’re looking at the back of the trace. Make sure you don’t miss drawing any lines!

Step three: Turn the tracing paper over so that you’re looking at the front again. Now position your tracing paper on the paper you want to use for your finished drawing, and start going over all the lines again with your pencil. It’s very important at this stage that you don’t move the paper – you might want to tack the paper and the tracing paper down, just in case!

 
See the thicker black lines, where I’m going over lines I’ve already drawn?

Step four: When you’re sure you’ve gone over every line, lift off the tracing paper.

  
If you’ve done it right, you should be left with a copy of your drawing on your paper, in the correct orientation. Ta daaaah!

Of course, you could scan your image, flip it on the computer, trace it and transfer it that way, but I prefer to do it the old-fashioned way!

So now you know – if you didn’t know this trick, I hope it comes in useful. And thank you Alice (aka @sequinnedsheep) for reminding me of the squirrel and prompting this post!