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Old 07-13-2004, 02:35 PM
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Anodyne Anodyne is offline
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Re: Tracing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_xiii
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.


LOL, well i think that sums it up!
Everyone has been great, there are so many different views on this subject, when it comes down to it, i think it simply depends on the person and their intended use of tracing. Copyright issues seem to scare people right away and there is no need for that as long as you are educated on that subject and know what is allowed and what you are never allowed to do. Also for new artists I personally feel they need to learn everything about drawing and art before using the shortcuts, sort of like learning math, as a kid you were never allowed to use a calculator, but when you get older you are allowed to use it , you even are required to use one. Yesterday I printed out a few nude models to use for my faeries, and I just have to say how relaxed and excited I am that I will be tracing their simple forms and not worrying about getting proportions correct and that I will be able to work more on their faces/expressions and the rest of the painting. Once again thank you all for your views on this subject.

-Sonia =^.^=
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:20 PM
arashi arashi is offline
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Tracing Question: My 2 cents

I make use of photos and tracing all the time. It doesn't mean you can't draw. I try to draw from life as much as I can. I carry a sketch book and try to sketch whenever I get a chance. I used to worry about tracing too but finally I realized that that's not what makes the finished product.
You might trace a photo for the drawing but it doesn't paint it for you.
Also, when I take my photos I don't usually have models who are dressed in costume. That means I have to alter a lot in the drawing stage. Basically the photos help me get a good basis in proportion and lighting and realism and makes it much faster.
Apart from that, taking the photos is a very fun part of the process.

Anyone who says you can't learn from tracing a photo is mistaken. You can pick up a lot of little tidbits that you might not notice just from looking, or that might take you longer to find.

I wouldn't worry about it. Do what's right for you

C!
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:32 PM
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Re: Tracing Question

Nicely put arashi, thank you for your info on this subject. Also welcome to WC I noticed you were a new member. =)
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:37 PM
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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


My sentiments exactly! I haven't done any tracing in years. I rely more on a grid approach to enlarging my working drawings to canvas size (when I don't do a same size drawing). When I did graphic design and did a lot with Quark and photoshop, there was a lot of "tracing" doing initial sketches, tracing over the desired elements, scanning it in and "tracing" on the software to make layers, but I found that process to be more tedium than creative.

Andrew
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:05 PM
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Re: Tracing Question

I can't say I really trace... I look for lights and shadows in my reference photos and put those down in my sketches. I'm not good at sketching, so I have to do this in order to begin the painting process. I agree, whatever works and you enjoy, go for it I know some very respected local artists that charge a LOT for their originals and make a mint off prints, that paint exclusively by using slides and tracing out the images onto their paper or board
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:16 AM
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Re: Tracing Question

As far as using a photo and copyright infringement. A 20% change, like eye color, hairstyle, clothes, etc., would take care of that. Just don't display the ref photo beside your work.

I worked w/n an audio visual dept. at a university. We created art cards for a PBS education tv program. Stories would be read showing an illustration (art card). We, the artists, copied illustrated scenes from books, but changed them 20% or more. No copyright infringement.

Sometimes I trace...draw from a model...or from memory. All methods, you learn, struggle and grow. I've learned from tracing basic shapes and how to draw difficult shapes...like a person's hand near their face only showing a portion of the arm (perspectively). From memory, no telling how my subject looked, but it'd be great practice and stimuli. From a model, I'd be more successful, experiencing what's there, but found it hard to see around those 3-dimensional edges. From tracing, it allowed me to "see" better.

However, since I was a kid, I heard tracing was "cheating." This came from my sisters, fellow artists, classmates. But in the professional world, it's needed. And many times I'm haunted by the "cheating" term in my mind. Yet I push on, enjoying the field of art.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:24 PM
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Re: Tracing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anodyne
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 =^.^=
I think its fine. I am working in an advanced art production program and my supervisor is fine with that. She direct me to a book called How to Paint and Fairies that uses the tracing technique. I have shown my traces to an artist who said even those were interesting! I just bought some tracing paper from the art store, a little heavier than the one my supervisor had. Fairies are very hard to draw in terms of technique.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:00 AM
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Re: Tracing Question

I think tracing can be a good tool, but I don't really trace anything except my own drawings. Mostly because I like to work with real people as my models. I use my husband, my friends, my kids, the models from the University I work for, etc. I'll start a drawing on a tracing pad, lay another sheet over and keep tracing my under-drawings as I go to add more detail in the next layer. If I don't like it... I've still got a starting point I was satisfied with in one of my previous layers. The one thing you might want to remember if you start tracing photographs is that the figures can sometimes look flat. If you trace your figure, you will probably need to round out the... well, the round bits of people... like the hips, legs, cheeks, arms, et c. to get a pleasing result. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy the process and keep the art fun for you. If you are drawing for personal pleasure and get frustrated because you can't get your figure proportions right and decide to trace, so be it. In the long run you might decide you want to figure all that out for yourself, but like Elankat said, "Who cares?". It's your artwork. Do what you want.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:30 PM
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Talking Re: Tracing Question

When I practice anatomy drawing and get 'stuck' and after I have tried figuring out my mistake other ways-(turn the drawing upside down and compairng to the original, mirror, ect. ) and still can't figure out where the problem is-then I place a sheet of tracing paper over the reference and trace the trouble spot-then I can put the tracing on a sheet of white paper and see the basic shape of whatever it is I'm trying to draw. It also helps me 'see' negative space. Also, I do trace rough doodles to clean them up. Tracing can be a useful tool, in my opinion.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:21 PM
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Re: Tracing Question

I don't see a problem with tracing if it's your own image or, as with Kathryn's idea, if you get stuck on anatomy it never hurts to get a traing second opinion.
Some of the best fantasy artists trace their own sketches. I'm pretty sure I saw (in one of his books) that Boris Vallejo traces photographs of his models and places them onto his canvas.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:19 PM
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Talking Re: Tracing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyrt
I don't see a problem with tracing if it's your own image or, as with Kathryn's idea, if you get stuck on anatomy it never hurts to get a traing second opinion.
Some of the best fantasy artists trace their own sketches. I'm pretty sure I saw (in one of his books) that Boris Vallejo traces photographs of his models and places them onto his canvas.
I have been doing some drawings in succession, I draw the first by hand, then transfer that rough drawing so that I can start the second(and third) from the first set of 'bones', I am using tracing paper to do the transfer. It sure doesn't seen like a cheat or shortcut to me either-I still end up doing a lot of new drawing-the proportions however, do stay about the size I need them. I guess today most people can use thier computers for the transfers, I still use tracing paper. I didn't know that my Favorite Boris traced from photo-do I think any less of Boris? Nope! Tracing paper is another useful tool for the artist
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:26 PM
Osyran Osyran is offline
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Re: Tracing Question

Bear with me hear, as I did not read the entire thread. As an artist who takes a little pride in some ability to draw from memory, I must admit that most art is only as good as your reference (or references, as it were). While I may trace a part of photo, I tend to draw it directly to the canvas instead (by using the same eye balling techniques artist have used for centuries - with a pen, the end of your brush, or grid form of some kind).

After a while, photos of any model I wanted, never quite have everything I'm looking for. For my part, I'll use a mannequin. However, I understand that these important tools can be quite expensive. Consider this: if you paint or draw near a computer or use one for any of your references try using a modeling program like Poser 3d, then you can print out your own reference that you manipulated into the position you wanted. I even purchased additional addons to the program, like better models (Mike and Victoria), additional skin textures and the skin suit or other clothing. I use the skin suit for proportion and shading or to define features of the body as needed. When I paint or draw my piece of art, I will always put clothing (or armor) on the model directly on the canvas.

It takes time and practice to master your art. Since the thread was started lots of years ago, I hope you got everything you needed to perfect your art work and ability.

For a cheaper method of directly copying a photo or scene, have a half-inch grid printed to a piece of acetate (sized appropriately to your canvas). Looking through the grid and laying the drawing to your gridded canvas will produce specularly realistic paintings. And that without tracing.

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