The Process

What you need to get started ((O) ptional):

Tracing paper        Mechanical pencil           Eraser                     Bristol Board

Compass                   T-Square                          Straight edge       Waterbase paint

Brushes                    (O)Water Dropper         Graph paper        Paint containers

Bowl for water       (O)Black felt tip pen        (O)Gold                  (O)Gloves

(O)Binder                 (O)Folders                        (O)Light box

~Before using bristol board – practice drawing margins on graph paper

~Graph paper can be used to make the original drawing (Then you can save it in a binder)

~Keep your original drawings for future use in a binder.

~Gloves with the fingers clipped off (except the pinky) help prevent smearing on the paper

~Buy an eraser that will not smudge the paper

~Gouache is ideal to start with as it can be opaque and transparent depending on water added

~Water dropper if you want better control of how much water is added to paint

~Waterbase gold with no acid or petroleum in it (Sargent Art dot com, Watercolor Liquid metals)

~10-0 brush is a good start

Before starting your first Scroll, practice on some graph paper. If you are making a scroll for someone, it is best to make it so it fits most generic photo frames. With the group I make scrolls for, they suggest making the actual scroll 8X10, 5X7, etc with a blank border around it for the matte.

If you feel comfortable with your drawing and margin-making, it is time to practice some painting. I got Bristol artist trading cards at the local craft store as they were small, but had the correct surface to practice with. Draw a letter, a portion of a border, an animal, anything that can fit on the small card. Try out the water based paint you purchased. Get use to the amount of water needed to get a nice coat on the board. Also practice layering and white work.

Once you are comfortable with small-scale painting, it is time to move on to your first scroll!

Draw out your margins

Draw the piece you plan to paint

If you are doing gold work, do the gold work first

When painting, it is best to stick with one color at a time to keep the same consistency across the page

Do the white work and black line work

Let dry

Erase any pencil markings and smudges

If there are any paint smudges on the page, I usually take some of my white paint and blend it back into the paper. That sometimes takes a few coats.

If you are doing the calligraphy also, it is best to do the calligraphy first. If any mistakes are made in the calligraphy, you have not wasted your time painting the entire scroll.


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