Watercolor Basics: Working In Batch: Construction for Icons

Logo and icon reproduction may not be a skill you utilize often, unless you are interested in illuminated letters or decorative handlettering.  In this tutorial, I'll show you the very basics of copying iconography onto the paper of your choice.

Better options for reproduction:

Graphite transfer (tutorial)
Printed bluelines (tutorial)
Lightbox, computer screen, or bright window (for a cheap lightpad, try this)
Use of a projector (like this)
Transfer paper like this
Use of projecting equipment like this lettering guide

Unfortunately, none of these options were accessible to me at the time, so I had to reproduce my icons by hand.  These were created as a Christmas present for my mother, and the icons were selected by her.


  • Paper torn to size
  • H-HB Pencils
  • Erasers

These images are really logos or icons, and as I'm reproducing them without computer assistance (or the aid of a copy machine), I needed to be as accurate as possible.  These were reproduced from provided reference for the typefaces, so rather than freehand my images, I needed to setup guidelines.

Step 1: Divide your white paper in half vertically with pencil

Step 2: Divide your paper in half horizontally with pencil

Dividing your picture plane in this manner will help you align your icon.

I begin at the center line, choosing in the original that meet or are close to the center line.  If necessary, I add more guidelines to help with placement.  My goal is to keep everything in proportion, and ensure it fits the 5"x7" watercolor paper I've prepared.

Once I've drawn all the icons, and am satisfied with the result, I erase the guidelines.

The Watercolor Basics series is made possible thanks to the generosity of my friends on Patreon.  Their support enables me to dedicate the necessary time and resources for creating quality tutorials such as those in this series.  If you have enjoyed this post, or any other Watercolor Basics post, please consider joining our community of artnerds, and funding future content.

This particular post was sponsored by 7" Kara, a delightful watercolor comic for all ages.  Join tiny Kara as she ventures into the large world beyond her dollhouse doors, meets humans, and rides cats.  Volume 1, written and illustrated by me, and full of the art you see on this blog, is available for $15+shipping from my online store.


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