Tutorial: How to Transfer a Photo to Watercolor Paper

January 2, 2017

Hi! It’s Lyric. I’m doing it again.
I had exactly what I wanted to do in my head the first day of the month.
Waited until the last minute anyway.
Stressing out because I’m trying to make it “good.”
 This is the man I love. I call him Mr. Almost Perfect.
Isn’t he handsome!?
The photo is by Julia Wade (who is having a photo shoot giveaway!)
I printed out a photo (yes I’m cheating again – I think it’s FINE!)
Maybe in December I’ll draw a face freehand.
I scribbled with a soft lead pencil on the back of the paper.
It’s just enough that when I turn it over I can trace it…
…and transfer the lines to the surface of this thick watercolor paper.
I’ve added various color washes to almost all the pages of this book.
Just for fun. I think this was a watered down acrylic that was then sponged off a bit.
I decided to be bold and use a super cool japanese brush pen filled with india ink.
OK…. lesson learned. Don’t color in the lips on guys.
Doodled with some water soluble crayons and more ink.
Doodling even more with acrylic paint markers.
I have no idea if I’m done or not. Sometimes it’s best to just move on.
What do you do when something isn’t working like you envisioned?
Give up? Learn from it?
Try something else? Try to fix it?
Start over?
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  • Reply
    Geralyn Bevely
    June 26, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I try to fix it. If I already don’t like it, I can’t ruin it and may do something else with it that I like

  • Reply
    February 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I also do all of the above with varying degrees of success. It depends on the degree of perception of 'failure' and my mood.
    Perhaps failure is not a good word; I do usually stay away from it. I usually like to keep going until it's done or ruined because I hate to start over.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Love the idea of filling a water pen with India Ink – must try that when I find my bottle of ink!

    Jacqui (in Auckland, New Zealand)

  • Reply
    February 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Awesome! If I haven't already totally overworked the piece then I like to leave it alone for a few days and then when I go back I can see (sometimes) what I need to do. Otherwise I find it's time to start over – which I really hate doing!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial! As for your last question – I do all of the above, depending on my creative mood.

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