Transfering A Composition To Canvas

Craig Meklir

My previous blog post provides a way to save time and money by creating a prototype.  This post describes how using an overhead projector can save time transferring shapes to a large canvas. 
Manually transferring shapes from a smaller prototype to a large canvas can take hours.  This is because each shape must be drawn with precision in terms of size, line angles, and placement on the canvas.  The larger drawing on canvas will vary significantly from the prototype if any of those three things are not drawn to scale.  I learned this lesson when creating my last large abstract painting because it took me approximately four hours to transfer a drawing on a 16″x20″ sheet of paper to a 48″x60″ canvas.  I decided to take a short cut on what would become my next painting by employing an overhead projector for this task.  I used a few cheap clips to pinch the backs of three 24″x36″ primed canvases I purchased from, an online art store. 

As illustrated in the pictures below, I projected an image of my prototype onto the canvas like a movie screen.  Then, with the machine running, I lightly sketched each line of the projected image on the canvas with charcoal.  In 30 minutes the job was done and, as a result, I saved myself several hours of tedious drawing and was ready to paint the canvas!

Set Up


Transfer Complete