Transfer Images to Your Notebook

In a previous post I shared how to transfer a map into your notebook using graphic paper.

Another method, which is also fairly easy, is the one described below. The basic concept is to take an image, flip it, trace over desired lines with a soft pencil and rub it into your notebook.

About Pencils

Pencil leads come in various degrees of hardness based on the mixture of graphite and clay. has a great article on the differences between 9H and 9xxB, along with other pencils in between. I use 6H to draw guidelines for lettering, HB (#2) for general purposes and 8B for this transfer process. The softer lead makes the transfer easier.

Find An Image

The first step is to find an image. If you have have a map, diagram or illustration that you want to include in your notebook, you can paste these in or create a foldout, but sketching the image into your notebook gives you the flexibility to customize or simplify it. For this post I decided to use bird illustrations.

Flip the Image

This technique requires that the image be reverse (flipped horizontally) to appear in the same orientation as the original once sketched into the notebook. Drawings already on paper or elsewhere in the real world need to be scanned. Some images, like these birds, don’t require flipping. However, a map or diagram definitely needs to be displayed correctly.

I imported my images into Apple Pages. I adjusted the size to fit my notebook and then flipped the images, one by one.

Print the page when all sizes have been adjusted and images have been flipped.

Trace Over the Printed Image

Using a soft lead pencil, trace each line you want to appear in the notebook. You might want the outline only (like the border of a country) or more detail. Cut out the image.

Place the image facing your notebook. Using a pencil, firmly rub the back of the paper, ensuring that the full area where you traced lines has been covered. Remove the paper.

You should now see a faint pencil drawing of your desired image.

Ink the Drawing

Using a fine liner, or other desired pen, carefully trace over the pencil lines. I used a Pigma Micron 005 (0.2mm). Once the ink has dried, erase all of the pencil lines.

That is the end of the transfer process. You can finish the drawing with color or additional detail. I do not consider myself to be an artist, but this is a fun way to create coloring pages for yourself, children or students.

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