Monday, August 17, 2015

Drawing on Frosted Mylar

Drawing on Frosted Mylar

I first used Frosted Mylar years ago when I was creating technical illustrations. My first job was at IBM in the Law Office. I drew patent illustrations of all sorts of machines and inventions. Down the hall, in a secret room they were developing computers that someday would be able to draw pictures. Imagine that!

After all these years I still enjoy drawing on Frosted Mylar.

This is why:
·         Quality of line is soft and buttery
·         Tone can be added  slow and meticulous or quick with broad strokes
·         Ability to erase back without damaging the paper
·         Translucent- no need to transfer drawing
·         Pencil, Charcoal, Ink or color pencil can be used

·         Generals Carbon Sketch #595 Soft
·         Mechanical or Graphite Pencils (range of hard to soft: 4H-4B)
·         Tortilions – Various sizes
·         Kneaded Eraser
·         Peel-Off Magic Rub Eraser for Vinyl and Drafting Film (We used to call them spit eraser for ink)
·         Faber Castell Perfection 7056 (small pencil eraser that is perfect for tiny details)
·         Sable brush and a piece of sandpaper

How I work.
First I photocopy my rough sketch
to the size of the final piece.
Tape the Frosted Mylar over the photocopy.

 Redraw the character making corrections to the pose.

When the rough drawing is sketched out,
rub the Generals Soft Charcoal onto sandpaper.

Using the sable brush dipped in the charcoal dust, I start laying in the tones. Building the tones from light to dark.

Placing a sheet of tracing paper over the
mylar protects it from the oils in my hands.. 

If I'm in a hurry, I lay in the dark tones quickly...

...and erase back for the mid tones and
highlights. I'm careful not to blow the eraser crumbs.
Instead, I use a soft brush to wipe away the eraser bits.

When I'm happy with the tones, or run out of time...
which ever comes first, I then go back with a 4B Large
pencil to add lines with a bit of energy.

This is the final drawing. I chose to keep this drawing loose and fun, but frosted mylar also works well for more realistic and detailed images.

And, since there are now computers that can paint, I can easily scan the drawing to add texture and color. At this point, I noticed that her hand was backward. So thanks to technology and all those smart computer geeks, I was able to fix it quite easily.

Hope you enjoy trying this process.
Happy Summer!

Dorothia Rohner enjoys illustrating and writing 
stories for children about nature and the magic of imagination.
Twitter: @dorothiar
Instagram: @dorothiar

1 comment:

  1. Interesting technique, I will try it. Thanks for sharing!