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How to Trace a Drawing Onto Your Body

Updated July 20, 2017

Tattoos are forever. Unless you pay for expensive and painful laser removal surgery, you're stuck with them for life. For something a little less permanent, try tracing a drawing onto your body with marker. You will need to use a very translucent piece of tracing paper to transfer the drawing properly. For the sake of this exercise, chose a simple drawing, like a smiley face. It's also important to use a marker that is safe for the skin, such as temporary body markers. They are non-toxic and wash off easily.

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  1. Draw your original image onto a piece of tracing paper. Keep the design simple; even the most translucent tracing paper will not transfer in great detail. Chose a part of your body to draw the image on. Place the tracing paper onto your skin.

  2. Press down hard enough with the marker to leave a faint trace of the outline. Do not press hard enough to tear the paper or to break the skin. Lift off the tracing paper and examine the outline of your image. Place the paper back over the design to redraw any parts that are too faint or undetectable.

  3. Draw over the outline directly onto the skin to darken the image and make it more visible. Draw slowly and stay on the lines. Draw in any additional detail to the outline that did not transfer with the first tracing.

  4. Colour in your drawing with markers. Add any additional details to make it stand out. Use bright colours that can be seen from far away.

  5. Tip

    Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water when you are finished showing your friends and want to remove the drawing.


    Use only nontoxic body drawing markers. Never use a pen, pencil or permanent markers to to draw on any part of your body.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tracing paper
  • Washable body markers

About the Author

Chris Auman is a graduate of the writing program at Columbia College, Chicago and studied basic manuscript editing at the University of Chicago's Graham School. He has contributed articles to City Search, Centerstage, "Illinois Entertainer" and the "Chicago Tribune." Auman has written product reviews, music and book reviews, and has also provided web content for various real estate companies.

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