How to Draw on Vellum

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Vellum is a lightweight, translucent paper that requires care to handle and use. Learn how to work with vellum with the help of a visual artist in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: DIY Christmas Cards
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Video Transcript

Hello, this is Jeanette Conner, a visual artist of eight plus years, and today I'm going to teach you how to draw a vellum. For this project you're going to need a ready made graphic to draw, your specialty vellum paper and I'm going to use markers but you're welcome to use colored pencils or pastels if you wish. I like markers because they give the vellum a nice translucent feel. So you're going to start by taping down the image and then you're going to tape down your vellum. I'm using acid free tape because it will peel off the vellum without leaving a residue but you can also just make sure that you have extra vellum around the edge so you can cut it off later. You want to make sure that you tape this down so that it doesn't move at all when you are going over the lines. You can always free hand on vellum but I'm just using this to give you an idea of how you these. So, the tricky part about vellum is that it smears really easily and things are going to fade or smear away as you draw them. So you've got to do it in layers. So the first thing you're going to do is you're going to go around all the outlines of whatever your image is. So I'm just going to go and do the outlines of the cat's body. Don't do any of the detail lines yet because you're going to have to do those again if you do them now as they won't look as clean. Make sure your lines are really bold. So I'm just going to draw the cat's body to illustrate this. Once you have your outlines in you can star to do your coloring. So I'm going to use this fine tipped marker to color in. So like I said vellum smears really easily so one of the nice things about using markers on vellum is that if you want you can take a tissue or your finger or a Q-tip and you can smear your marker in and that gives it a really nice look. You don't see any of your marker lines. Just be careful not to go over your pen lines because they'll smear and you'll get that really gross looking yellow. If there is areas of detail lines like here you can go over with the yellow to bring them out more and that gives it a nice depth. So once you've colored it in then you can go back over and do the detail lines and that way nothing smears and you get nice bold lines. If there's more than one color in your image, same thing, just make sure to do the outside lines first and then go in with your color second. And you might have to go over your detail lines to bring them back out away from the color again. And if you're unsure if your image is looking correct, just lift it up using, leave the bottom tape down and just lift that top tape and look at it through the light and make sure that everything looks good and bold. If anything looks a little faded, just take your black pen or your pencil and whatever and just go back over that area again. So when you are finished coloring it in, so when you're finished coloring it in, it should look something like this and as you can tell I just smeared the colors down here and in here and then went back over any of my detail lines again to bring them back out. And that's how you draw on vellum. This is Jeanette Conner, and today we learned how to draw on vellum.


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