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Tracing

September 27, 2008

One of the principle techniques is tracing. We always start with a pattern, and trace that pattern onto the parchment paper. Some times we use colored inks, but often we use white and gold inks.

The colored inks are quite thin. Thus, when using your mapping pen, which has a very fine point, you can make very thin and delicate lines. While this sounds very easy, it is not. Holding your mapping pen correctly helps, a lot of practice helps even more.

When you do trace, there is very little pressure. It is not like using an ink pen or pencil, where pressing onto the paper makes a darker line.

I’ve create a little video to show the basics of tracing. I still have a lot of practicing to get my tracing thinner than it is. Oh, and please forgive the noble macaw in the background. Fuji is old and I didn’t have the heart to move his cage today.

A number of designers and parhment crafters do not always use inks for tracing anymore. Instead they use a mechanical pencil with white lead (0.05mm). You may hear it called a propelling pencil, but I believe that is the UK/European equivilent for mechanical pencil.

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