Tuesday, 16 February 2021

DIY Graphite Carbon Paper Method

Have you ever wanted to create a piece of art on a rock that you've seen online or in a book? Have you ever thought that you could not do a piece of work justice because you can't 'get it right'? 

Well, worry no more! This 'old school' DIY graphite carbon paper method will work wonders in most situations.

You will need:
  • Tracing paper - for tracing from a book
  • Printer and paper - for printing a piece you found online
  • A good pencil
  • Scissors (optional)
Plus, of course, whatever your canvas is. Either a rock, plaster cast item or other canvas.

1. Measure the item you are going to recreate the drawing on.

2. Prepare the image (image used for this tutorial was printed):
Tracing from a book.
Trace the image you wish to recreate onto your paper.

Printing from online.
Download and print the item you need.

Trim around the edges

3. Double check that your image fits onto your piece

4. Turn your printout / drawing over and scribble over the lines you can see through the paper.

5. Adding the image to your rock.

Before you start transferring the image, ensure it is placed, right side up, where you need it to be. 

Hold the image steady or gently fix.

With your pencil, retrace your image pressing firmly.

Do not throw this away when finished! Keep it for the details when painting or colouring later. you can also keep it for another project because it can be used again. Just refresh the pencil on the reverse and away you go! 

6. Make your image permanent with paint pens, paint or other medium.

7. If  you want to add any extra lines, now is a good time.

8. Start colouring and adding your detail.

9. Add varnish (optional)

This project was fixed on a small jam jar using some white tack ready for the varnish. I promise that's not a piece of gum lol

Because this project will be used as a coaster for a nice cuppa, I placed the jar on paper an poured the varnish over the piece. Obviously, quick drying doesn't mean that quick when poured so I left it overnight.

Only when 100% dry, I added a disk of non-slip felt backing to the coaster.

For this project, I'll be leaving it on a radiator for some time before it's used!


  1. Hi
    Could you recommend a Varnish or sealer for the finished work please ?

    1. Taff Rocks uses a quick drying exterior spray varnish for their rocks. There are many brands out there and each one is a budget and personal preference.

    2. https://www.taffrocks.org.uk/p/what-do-i-use-to-seal-my-artwork-with.html


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