What the tracing table is , how is it made, how it works and how to use it


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Tracing table

Light tableThe tracing table is another accessory that facilitates the artist's work. A tracing table allows us to trace another work too blurred or dirty on a new paper. It provides the advantage of rectifying errors, such as stains or mistaken lines of ink, or other mistakes non correctable in some other surfaces. Sometimes it simply helps us to improve the presentation of the drawings.

Tables of tracing are basically made with a wooden or metallic box opened up on the superior face covered with a translucent surface of plastic. This face is illuminated by a source of light located inside the box. Either a bulb or a fluorescent lamp.
They can be bought in specialized stores or we can manufacture them ourselves.
When using a tracing table , first, we must put the drawing to be duplicated and, later, the paper where it has to be reproduced ; so that the shade projected by the bulb or fluorescent lamp on the blank paper ( the paper placed on the leaf to duplicate) can provide us a guide to copy it.

How to use the tracing table

the Drawing above the tracing tableWe will place the drawing that we want to trace on the translucent surface of the table (it is usually a white sheet of hard plastic). We will fix the tips of the drawing with adhesive tape. This way we will avoid it can move when we are tracing.


White paper on the original drawingOnce the drawing to copy is well located, we will place a blank paper on it. We can also fix it , but it is not very advisable to put any sticking substance on the original paper since it can be damaged.


Tracing table lightWe switch on the light of the tracing table. In this instant we will be able to see easily the drawing that hides under the blank paper. It is something similar to copy a drawing on a glass or when we want to see the content of letter in a closed envelope illuminated from behind.


Tracing the drawingFinally we only have to follow the line with a pencil. One must do it slowly, taking into account the general outline of the inferior drawing. We have to achieve the same expression than the original. If we limit ourselves to catch the line, we won't be able to capture the essence of the spontaneous drawing. Therefore, once we finish the drawing we remove it from the tracing table and we complete it without taking the original as reference.


Original and traced drawing


We just have the two drawings: the dirty one and the " imitator ". you must not go over the auxiliary layout so as not to produce a too dirty drawing.


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