Picture Tracing

A little while ago this post from The Wonder Years crossed my feed reader.
It inspired me to try window tracing with Miss Oh Waily a couple of weeks ago.
I visited the stained glass website mentioned in the post, and printed off some nice, simple images for the purpose.  And what nice simple images for colouring in they would make too.

Naturally we could not see the elephant and not choose him, so along with a slightly more complicated unicorn and a very simple butterfly, these were the images we chose for tracing.

Pick a picture

A few pieces of sticky tape later and they were up on the windows, ready to go.   It was quite the learning curve.  I was worried that the regular paper we were going to use would not work unless the image was on the brightest window, so Miss Oh Waily needed her sunglasses to work on the elephant.  Poor chook.

Here she is in action.  As you can see she is still happily interchangeable with her hands.  The vast majority of the time she uses her left, but when things get to be too awkward she switches out to her right.  I hope she is able to keep this up, it will make for great versatility.


Here is the artist with her final result.  As you can see it got quite wobbly at points and the felt pens we used were quite thin and didn’t give a nice rounded feel to the tracing.  I also think that the elephant was too high up for her to do the entire drawing without fatigue.
Finished elephant
And here, with foot added, are the three traced images.  As you can see from butterfly, little hands wanted to take it down from the window and unfortunately managed a little tear.
Traced Pictures

The lessons learned from this first attempt were:
1.  You don’t need to blind your child with bright sunlight in order to do this.
2. Use a nice thick felt pen, or similar, to help with following the lines.
3. Make sure the height works, it is tough on the arms to have to be kept up for too long.  So a simple image, less lines to follow, and low down for a beginner or smaller child.

It would be nice to have a light-box and do this again, but in the comfort of a horizontal position.

What sort of new art are you trying in your home?


2 thoughts on “Picture Tracing

    • I love the idea of thumbprint art. The Oh Waily kids would probably spread the ink from one end of the house to the other. We may have to do it one child at a time, and I may have to find the lighter coloured ink pads too. 🙂
      So I shall add it to the to be tried arty-crafty activity list.

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