fbpx

How to Print with Carbon Paper

By The Arty Teacher - December 5, 2020

This blog post outlines how to print with carbon paper and shows a couple of different ways to work into the prints. I was recently reminded by a colleague about the potential of printing with carbon paper and it made me want to revisit this technique. It is a dry alternative to monoprinting and can achieve some wonderful effects. Watch the video below and see the helpful tips below.

What is carbon paper? Carbon paper is a thin paper coated with carbon used to make copies of documents.  Originally, typists would put a layer between two sheets of paper and then place the sheets in a manual typewriter, so that when they typed they would create two copies. It is different from graphite paper as carbon paper is permanent and the line is dark blue.  You can purchase carbon paper here #ad

The carbon paper can be used to create a drawing following these steps:

  • Tape your image to some drawing paper using masking tape so that it doesn’t move.
  • Slip the carbon paper between the layers, shiny side down.
  • Draw, using a sharp pencil, over the image.  The pressure of the pencil will push lines of carbon onto the paper below. You can press hard for dark lines or more lightly for lighter lines. The rich blue of the carbon paper creates a line that looks like a print.
  • You can create a detailed carbon print and leave it as it is, or choose to work into it with other media afterwards.  Below is a detailed carbon print of some pliers.
How to Print with Carbon Paper

You could go on to add watercolour like the image below.

carbon print with watercolour

Here is another example of a carbon print.  This time it’s a natural form.

How to Print with Carbon Paper

It has then had coloured pencil added to describe the tones.

Try adding coloure pencil

I’m sure any art teacher would be happy to see these carbon prints in a students sketchbook.

You can get Carbon Paper from Dryad Education who ship worldwide #ad

If you have tried printing with carbon paper and have any tips or ideas to share, please comment below.

*The Arty Teacher Ltd has a partnership with Dryad Education.  Should you purchase a product when you follow a link, The Arty Teacher Ltd would earn commission.

register on the arty teacher sarah crowther

Enjoy this article, Drop it a like

Like

Or Share it

The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

More Posts

2 responses to “How to Print with Carbon Paper”

  1. Max Jones says:

    I didn’t know that carbon paper was originally used with a typewriter and also when working with documents and making copies. My sister is thinking of getting an art book printed, and she is evaluating different materials for the book. I’ll tell her about carbon paper and how it might be a good option for her art book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Resources you might like...

Subscribe & save in any currency!
I WANT TO PAY IN

Free Subscription

FOR ONE TEACHER

3 of the Free Resource every month.

Premium Subscription

FOR ONE TEACHER

10 Premium Resources every month.
3 of the Free Resources every month*.
Access to the online Venn Diagram Maker.
Monthly
Yearly
$9.99 Per month
$99 Per year

Premium Plus Subscription

FOR ONE OR MORE TEACHERS

Access to All Online Professional Development.
10 Premium Resources every month.
3 of the Free Resources every month*.
Access to the online Venn Diagram Maker.
1
Users
$250 Per year
$475 Per year
$713 Per year
$950 Per year
$1,163 Per year
$1,395 Per year
$1,628 Per year
$1,800 Per year
$2,025 Per year
$2,250 Per year
$2,420 Per year
$2,640 Per year
$54,265 Per year
$3,080 Per year
$3,300 Per year
$3,520 Per year
$3,740 Per year
$3,960 Per year
$4,180 Per year
$4,250 Per year
*If you also have the free subscription.