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Make your own lightbox on ARTiful, painting demos by Sandrine Pelissier

How to make your own lightbox for tracing on watercolor paper

When painting with watercolors, it is easier to draw on newsprint and then transfer your final drawing on the paper. That way you can make as many corrections and erase as much as you want on your newsprint paper without risk of damaging your watercolor paper.

I sometimes transfer my drawing with carbon paper or by rubbing charcoal and graphite on the reverse side of my newsprint, those methods are working but you get a very dark line and you will most likely get a few smudges on your paper. I prefer the lighbox method.

I have been looking for a way to make a light box fast and easy at an affordable price and after browsing the internet and putting different ideas together I came up with that design, the cost of the lighbox is about 100 dollars, it is quite big and took me 5 minutes to put together:

Here is what you need:

clear storage box for homemade lightbox
  • A storage box, I chose clear Rubbermaid latch storage box
fluorescent linkable under cabinet light
  • 4 fluorescent linkable under cabinet lights. You want fluorescent to have enough power and not too much heating.
  • A cutter
  • A multi plug adapter
  • a piece of Plexiglas, I already had one that had been sanded, so it looks frosted, It is helping diffusing the light.

All you have to do is cut a few holes on the side of the storage box so you can connect the linkable fluorescent lights together, as shown in picture. Because the lights are fluorescent they won’t heat very much and can be left on the plastic.

connecting linkable fluorescent lights
home made light table

The frosted Plexiglas helps diffusing the light. You can make frosted pexiglass simply by sending a sheet of transparent Plexiglas.

you can fit everything in the box to carry

you can fit everything in the box to carry, except the Plexiglas that is a bit bigger in size.

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