Tips for Drafting Film

A list of tips for working on drafting film with colored pencil.

Drafting film is a polyester surface. It is archival. It will not tear. It is available in a one or two side matte finish and several thicknesses that are sold in sheets, rolls and packs.

✎ There is no need to transfer your drawing onto drafting film, you can see through it.

✎ You can work on the front and back of drafting film due to its translucency.

✎ Drafting film will not take many layers of colored pencil. Expect to get five at most.

✎ Due to not being able to get many layers on drafting film, you might want to go a little darker with your color choices.

✎ The best colored pencils to work with on drafting film are Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran d'Ache Pablo and Luminance, and Derwent Drawing, although any can be used.

✎ A light touch at first is recommended. As you build up color, you can increase pressure slightly.

✎ If you make a mistake, try to avoid erasing it. The tooth on drafting film is minimal and can be easily lost resulting in a smooth, slick surface that is difficult to apply color to.

✎ A kneadd eraser, rubbing alcohol or odorless mineral spirits work great to remove unintentional marks.

Drafting film isn't only for colored pencils. It is great with graphite, charcoal, pen and ink. Oil pastels and soft pastels have also been successfully used on it.

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