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Enamel Painting Part 2

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Transfer Your Drawing

If you’ve read my previous article on testing your enamel colours, it’s now it’s time to transfer your drawing onto the pre-enamelled white tile.  This part is quite straightforward.

Benja Blue the bengal cat (below) lived at my parents’ house, but I grew up with him.  When I started this piece just before Christmas 2015 I had no idea that just a few weeks later we would have to put him to sleep aged 15 and a half on the 8th January 2016 due to a heart condition.  I finished this piece just a few days after he died.



Benja Blue memorial



I reduced the size of the photo above right on my computer and printed it out so it fits nicely onto the tile (below left).  It’s difficult to just draw straight onto a nice glossy white tile with a pencil, so firstly you have to press plasticine onto the front of the tile which coats it in a very fine layer.  This gives a nice ‘key’ which will hold onto the lead when you draw.



I used good old-fashioned greaseproof paper to trace the drawing (above right).  Proper artists’ tracing paper costs way more than a roll of greaseproof paper and you can also use it for baking of course, or for tracing fabric patterns.  Gotta love that greaseproof!



After tracing only the major outlines and markings, it’s time to turn your drawing over and go over all your outlines with a soft 3B or 4B pencil (below left).



Although not at all essential, I like to do this part of the tracing on a drawing pad.  When you go over the lines with the 3B pencil, you get a reversed image in light pencil which you can then use to paint or colour with pencil to create another little artwork (above right)!



It’s now time to trace the image for a third and final time.  Turn the image over again so it is in its original orientation and place it on the tile.  Very carefully go over all the lines again with pencil.  The soft lead on the back of the greaseproof paper will transfer onto the plasticine and leave you with an image (below left).



To make the marks permanent I fired the piece in the kiln.  The back of the kiln is the hottest, so I fired it for a couple of minutes, let it cool slightly, then turned it around and fired it again to attain an even firing.

When the enamel glosses the pencil marks become permanent (above right).



Now it’s time to start painting!  See you next time!



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