Instructables

How to make an awesome pencil sketch of any photograph

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Step 7: Prepare to trace

Find a window in your house that gets a good amount of sunlight through it.

Tape your taped up poster to the window using your drafting masking tape. Put it at about eye level, at a comfortable height so your arm doesn't get tired. It doesn't have to be level. Just slap that puppy up there. What it does have to be, though, is FLAT. Make sure it is taped as flat as possible to the window, otherwise your cover sheet will float over parts of it, and when you press it down as you trace the master can shift.

Next, tear out a single sheet of your large sketch pad paper and tape it over your poster, lining it up just perfectly so the image is exactly where you want it on your paper. Take some time on this step, because as soon as it is taped over the master, you have just set the layout for all eternity of this drawing. Choose a layout that is pleasing to the eye and centered on the sheet. I like having lots of excess white space around my drawing, so if I decide to frame it I don't have to cut the matte up to the image, there is some breathing room of space. And when you tape your paper over the poster, make sure it is taped down flat, too.

If you don't have a picture window, or a window large enough to tape your paper to, fret not! Many art supply stores sell little "light boxes" that give you a surface to work on. If you go this route, you will want to tape your master paper directly to the back of the piece of sketch paper. If you don't tape it it will be impossible to line up accurately and your finished sketch may look like dog doo doo, unless you are artistically gifted to begin with. You can also use a television or computer monitor that is displaying all white to trace your image. In this case, you will want to tape your poster to the back of your sketch paper so you can move it around as one unit over the light source to make sure you get the entire image traced.

Now would also be a good time to go get your ipod or boombox or something and start cranking the tunes. You are about to make your masterpiece!
 
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