Pencil to watercolor paper

  • So need some advice, I am working on a current project and sketching in pencil then doing a value study in PS but want to get pencil to watercolor paper and not have bumps or smudges Has anyone ever used a printer to scan pencil lines and print onto watercolor paper?


  • Yes, I've printed my sketches onto watercolour paper - it's a really great idea for saving time and yes no smudging...but I stopped doing it, because although my printer can technically take 300gsm paper, I think in practice the watercolour paper was thicker (less dense than say, 300gsm card and so took up more space in the printer)..and the printer didn't really like it. (That's my assumption, I'm not 100% sure but I didn't want to ruin the printer) I'm waiting until i can afford a super-duper specialist art printer that can print on anything.

    So in short - yes try it but check your printer specification first (I'm sure you would do that though 🙂

    PS. Lee White printed his sketch onto watercolour board in the Let It Glow class on SVS, if I remember correctly.

  • Thank You So much!!! I will give it a try!

  • Successful print of pencil sketch onto watercolor paper. I used cheap (in price) canson watercolor paper (because it was thin and would fit in the printer) with a typical HP officejet printer scanner copier. I use very little water when I paint this would probably not work for those who use thick cold press and a lot of water.

  • Well my printer ink smears worse than pencil- back to the light board trace/transfer technique 😞

  • Oh I was happy to see that the printing worked for you, but sorry to hear that the ink smudged...maybe your printer is an inkjet one instead? I'm not an expert in printers but having a little google, it looks like laser printers are better for water-resistant printing...

  • @Dulcie Thank you!!!!!! -yes that makes sense mine is an inkjet 😞

  • @lmrush I think if the ink is totally dry it should not smear.... i think - I have a print i printed a few days a go on Canson etching rag paper and just tried to get it to smear and i couldn't get it to. maybe give is a day or two or hit it with a hair drier and see if it improves - i wonder if xerox transfer method would work - it is where you print your image backward and place the printed side against your new paper and rub the back of the xerox with acetone - stinky but it works to transfer the toner to new paper - spray fixative might be another thing worth trying 🙂

  • I do print my sketch directly onto the paper, but I'm printing it VERY light. Like around 10% or something. I am always assuming I'll redraw it on the final art and typically don't have a very tight sketch to begin with.

    If you want to use your lines at 100%, spray your paper (with the lines already printed on it) with a light fixative spray. They make it for watercolor and it doesn't really change the working surface too much. It just seals it in there.

    I've used krylon before and it worked well. (note: this stuff is toxic, so spray outside!)

    Good luck!

  • @Lee-White Thank you so much Lee !!!!

  • @Kevin-Longueil Thank you!!!!