Enlarge a Drawing Using a Computer Monitor

September 1, 2015

I wanted to enlarge this sketch to a larger size, and I can use my computer monitor as a sort of light table to help do that. The drawing is on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper, and the size I’m enlarging to is about 18 x 24 inches. Here’s how I did that.


I scanned the drawing at 200 dpi. The viewing software I’m using is IrfanView, a freeware program for Windows. You can use any other viewing software as long as it allows you to zoom out to full screen without any distortion.


Next I zoomed in to a size that displayed on the screen the exact size I wanted the artwork to be. In this case that was 4 times (with IrfanView press the + key 4 times.) I then scrolled the screen to the left and up all the way so that the top left corner of the screen was the top corner of the scan.

I held a thin sheet of copy paper, 8.5 x 11″, on the left corner, and copied a reference mark from the scan to the paper. If you don’t have a mark on your drawing that fits into the area of the sheet of paper, add one on the drawing (such as an “X”) and scan it again.

Now I scroll directly to the right top corner, hold up another sheet of copy paper, and make a mark using the same reference point of the drawing.

I then scroll down as far as the image will go, hold another sheet of paper to the screen, and make another mark at the same reference point. The last step is to piece all three pieces of paper together.

I laid the three sheets of paper on the floor, and overlapped them so that the reference points lined up. I then squared them up with two t-squares, and determined that the outer edge measurements came to 17 x 22.”

I will now use a 17 x 22″ sheet of paper (newsprint paper works well, or I could tape 4 pieces of copy paper together) to trace the image from my computer monitor, and then transfer that to whatever surface my artwork will use.



  1. I’m always learning tricky things from you! Thanks

    • Sometimes you’ve got to be crafty, so to speak.

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