The Cartoon Transfer Process Revealed

How did the great masters of the Renaissance paint their masterpieces with such confidence? With the advent of modern-day conservation tools such as infrared technology, the mysteries that lie beneath the surface of precious artworks are illuminated.

A number of Renaissance artists relied on preparatory drawings, known as cartoons, to guide their paintings, tapestries and frescoes. More substantial than the usual underdrawing, the cartoon transfer process allowed for free-form experimentation until a satisfactory, full-scale trace guide emerged. These drawing guides could be saved and reused—similar to an old-fashioned carbon copy.

This insightful vignette by The J. Paul Getty Museum explores the ingenious cartoon transfer process in more detail. You can view the video here.


About the Author:

Sheena Archer is the Director of Marketing at Gallery Systems and has over 10 years of experience in Marketing and Communications for technology companies. Sheena holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a diploma in graphic design. When she’s not building marketing plans, designing websites or interviewing clients, you can find her growing vegetables, walking the world’s cutest dog or attempting to turn herself into a human yoga pretzel.