To transfer my sketch to the six foot tall canvas, I enlarged the drawing in Photoshop to the right dimensions and then divided it up and printed it in 11″ x 17″ panels. I taped them all together and then to the canvas.
Next, using old fashioned carbon paper placed underneath the sketch, I traced it with pencil to transfer it to the gessoed canvas surface.
Once the drawing was on the canvas, I got to finally start the painting. The underpainting that is. I do a burnt umber painting first, just to solidify my drawing and establish values. It usually results in some cool textures too.
The underpainting under way. I printed out reference photos I found on the internet and taped them to the canvas for easy access.
The underpainting completed. Note that I did not fill in the sky. That is because a burnt umber underpainting doesn’t make for an especially luminous sky.
And here is a detail of the finished underpainting. In the end, most of this layer will be covered over by other layers of paint and you will see little evidence of it in the final painting. But, like I said, it strengthens my drawing and give me a solid base to build on. So in the end, I think it is worth doing.