WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Subjects > Fantasy and Sci-Fi Art > Fantasy and Sci-Fi Library
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-07-2004, 02:51 PM
Anodyne's Avatar
Anodyne Anodyne is offline
Senior Member
NY
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 427
 
Hails from United States
Tracing Question

Since im a fantasy artist I decided this was the best place to ask my question. How do you feel about tracing? I have recently traced a model from a reference picture, mostly just an outline, no shading, it was just to get the right shape and form. I wasnt going for realism, I just wanted a better and faster way to get the basic faery shape. If i came across a question like this my first response would be do anything you have to do for the project youre working on. I know ive basically answered my own question, but id still like to know how others feel about this.

-Sonia =^.^=
__________________
BluDragon Art (psssst...I love Craig)


BluDragon Art- My webpage!
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-07-2004, 03:20 PM
alfredart's Avatar
alfredart alfredart is offline
A Local Legend
Tupelo, Mississippi
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 7,506
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

Sonia, there's really nothing wrong with tracing to get your work laid out and started. It is much faster and saves alot of erasing. A lot of people use light tables or tracing to do a layout. It's not that you've traced a fugure it's what ya do with it after that. Besides after you trace for awhile you'll be able to draw a fugure without tracing. It will come more natural for you.

Peae,
AL
__________________
TO VIEW MY "BROKEN PROMISES" PROJECT: CLICK HERE!

  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-07-2004, 03:39 PM
Elankat's Avatar
Elankat Elankat is offline
A Local Legend
Back in The Land of Poopy Diapers
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 9,821
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

Hey Sonia.

This is a question that gets asked in art discussions a lot. You'll find just as many answers as there are people. There is no right or wrong answer, only opinion. So, frequently, these types of threads end up turning into debates.

I'd suggest doing a search for "tracing" on WC and you'll find just how many opinions there are on the subject.

I'll just cut and paste my standard response

Quote:
Now, really...WHO CARES???
As long as you enjoy what you are doing and enjoy the results, who cares? Art is about the process of creation. Art is about enjoyment of the result. Art is about satisfying yourself. So, if you want to trace, then trace. There is more to an end result than tracing. Certainly, it's good to sketch, to draw from life, to continuously improve your skills. However, when push comes to shove, who cares what time saving measures you used to get to the final product?
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-07-2004, 04:22 PM
SabZero's Avatar
SabZero SabZero is offline
Senior Member
Portugal
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 299
 
Hails from Germany
Re: Tracing Question

I personally don't like tracing photographs, especially if they were taken by someone else. It is a fast way to get the proportions right, but on the other hand, you don't really learn anything from the experience. It also doesn't give me the rewarding feeling of having it done from scratch, you know?

That said, I have used poser figures in my last two digital drawings because of time restraints. But I preferred the poser figures (I, with hard work lol, posed myself) to tracing a reference image.

And tracing also brings authors rights into play. Is the drawing a derivate work or not? I can't answer the question, but I feel queasy about it. Better not risk and have a work 100% yours
__________________
"Madam, without you, life was like a broken pencil...it was pointless." - Edmund Blackadder to Queenie, BA2

Visit my CafePress shop and support Project Baldios or Zazzle
Spreadshirt shops: EU -- USA
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-07-2004, 09:07 PM
Elankat's Avatar
Elankat Elankat is offline
A Local Legend
Back in The Land of Poopy Diapers
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 9,821
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabZero
And tracing also brings authors rights into play. Is the drawing a derivate work or not? I can't answer the question, but I feel queasy about it. Better not risk and have a work 100% yours

That question comes into play regardless of whether or not you trace. As long as you use reference photos that are not your own, you risk copyright infringement.

The biggest problems that come with tracing are that some people rely on it and never work on mastering their drawing skills, and those who trace often fail to realize the inherent flaws, distortions, and value/hue problems that come from copying photos.

Of course, the interesting thing is that if you have solid drawing skills, it's usually far quicker to draw out your piece than to trace or piece together references. With some mediums, there will almost always be tracing though. For example, colored pencil requires a very clean paper with minimal eraser marks, impressed lines, etc. So most cp artists trace their final, regardless of whether it is traced from their own sketch or a reference photo.
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-08-2004, 02:38 AM
Noadi's Avatar
Noadi Noadi is offline
Senior Member
Maine
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 462
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

I definitely don't like the idea of tracing a photo or drawing of someone elses. Like others have said it really doesn't teach you anything and it's a bit murky on the whole copyright issue.

Your own photos are a different matter, that's up to you you took it you have every right to decide how to use it. Though I would say you would still learn more from drawing it from scratch rather than tracing.

And when it comes to your own sketches tracing can be a life saver and since it's only copying your own hard work I can't see how it could be argued that it's cheating or whatever. I work a lot in ink so I always do a base pencil sketch on plain old cheap drawing paper then use my lightbox to trace onto bristol board or watercolor paper. Ink isn't very forgiving and I would hate to spend hours on a drawing just to wreck my only copy with an ink spill. I know a lot of professional artists work this way for just that reason, if you have a deadline you don't want to have to start over from scratch.
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-08-2004, 11:25 PM
Keith Russell's Avatar
Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
A WC! Legend
Kansas City, Missori
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 34,384
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

I never trace anything but my own work; often I'll trace a drawing, erase the original, then move it to a better position (composition) on the canvas, illustration board, or whatever.

I have the same 'rule' about projecting or Xeroxing my work; I only enlarge or reduce my own drawings, again almost always in order to re-position the image to 'work' better in the composition.

Sometimes I'll trace a drawing, or a section of a drawing, in order to experiment with details, without messing up the original.

But, again, I never trace anything but my own work.

If I can't draw something I feel I need to render, it's worth the time it takes to learn.

K
__________________
Forcing the waveform to collapse for two decades...
http://www.syntheticskystudios.com
Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, "Small Works", December 2019
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-09-2004, 01:47 PM
Anodyne's Avatar
Anodyne Anodyne is offline
Senior Member
NY
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 427
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

Thank you all for your input on this. For my purposes , so far, ive learned a lot by tracing a figure, it left me more time to work on wings, mermaid tails, and the actual painting. Also I use references for my figures most of the time, so its either draw the figure with lots of correcting to get it right, or trace the outline real quick and go from there =)

-Sonia =^.^=
__________________
BluDragon Art (psssst...I love Craig)


BluDragon Art- My webpage!
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-09-2004, 03:18 PM
DrLondon's Avatar
DrLondon DrLondon is offline
Senior Member
North-Central Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth area))
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 432
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

I'll throw in my two cents. Generally, as a rule, I try to avoid tracing. However, I'm still not all that great at figure/anatomy drawing & sketching. So, occasionally, I'll resort to tracing if I'm crunched for time or just can't seem to get it right. That being said, if I do choose to trace, I only work from reference photos that I have taken myself specifically for that project. I suppose, in my mind, I'm keeping it pure and wholly my own.
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-09-2004, 03:56 PM
Noadi's Avatar
Noadi Noadi is offline
Senior Member
Maine
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 462
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

During the school year I taught an afterschool drawing class with middle school kids and one of the activities I did with them to learn how to set up a figure to draw involved a little tracing. And it might benefit you also as a way to learn. I gave them a picture and I had them trace out the figure as a base skeleton of lines, cirles, and ovals, then remove the original and fill in the figure. You learn a lot about proper anatomy that way and also how to set up complex poses. You're still tracing but you're doing far more of the actual drawing then plain tracing.
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-09-2004, 04:08 PM
lemonbird's Avatar
lemonbird lemonbird is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 251
 
Re: Tracing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Russell
I never trace anything but my own work; often I'll trace a drawing, erase the original, then move it to a better position (composition) on the canvas, illustration board, or whatever.

I have the same 'rule' about projecting or Xeroxing my work; I only enlarge or reduce my own drawings, again almost always in order to re-position the image to 'work' better in the composition.

Sometimes I'll trace a drawing, or a section of a drawing, in order to experiment with details, without messing up the original.

But, again, I never trace anything but my own work.

If I can't draw something I feel I need to render, it's worth the time it takes to learn.

K

Ditto.

I also agree with the copyright problems that come into play. If you haven't got permission to use the photo then you could run into some problems should you ever want to sell that piece of art. If you took the photo, then you can do whatever you like with it. I personally like to challenge myself and not trace photos.
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-09-2004, 07:20 PM
angela's Avatar
angela angela is offline
Veteran Member
Tucson
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 590
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

I dont normally like to trace. When I was in design school, we traced a lot of things to get it done quickly (for illustration class...figure drawing was all on our own of course), but since I've been out of school, I draw on my own. One thing I find helpful though, is after drawing the picture, if I have the reference photo the same size, I will put that photo under my drawing on the light box to see how close I am to the photo. Then I will work on the areas that need to be worked on. Ive learned a lot that way..I almost always have to rework the nose.
__________________
"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."
~Langston Hughes
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-13-2004, 07:37 AM
ligerwolve's Avatar
ligerwolve ligerwolve is offline
Senior Member
A.C.T
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 258
 
Hails from Australia
Re: Tracing Question

I find that tracing is a good way to refine a loose sketch or inlarge a smaller
picture I,ve done just try not to let it become a crutch you lean on!
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-13-2004, 12:17 PM
Artinthadark's Avatar
Artinthadark Artinthadark is offline
Senior Member
Indiana
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 128
 
Hails from United States
Re: Tracing Question

I don't really believe in tracing another persons work.......whether it be from a photo or something else, I do believe that the use of tracing paper or vellum for the layout of a work is perfectly acceptable. I know that when I am working on an image with multiple figures, I will do the drawing of each individual figure on the tracing paper, and then transfer the image to the working surface so that I don't damage the paper that the finsihed product will be on.
Other than that I say it is up to the individual artist, and if it honestly works for you do it, if not find another way.

Tracy
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:35 PM
Mark_xiii Mark_xiii is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 421
 
Hails from United Kingdom
Re: Tracing Question

I remember reading an interview with a fantasy artist (can't for the life of me think of who it was) who mentioned tracing. When asked "What advice do you have for aspiring artists?" he replied "Tracing won't make your genitals fall off.". A good point well made LOL.

I think tracing is useful, sometimes even necessary, but it all depends on what you're working on and WHY you're working on it.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:54 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.