Is it okay to study an image by tracing over it?

7:38 AM, Saturday April 16th 2022

Hello, I have a question on constructional drawings, Is it okay to trace over the photo reference digitally to better understand the creature/ object? I am currently on lesson 4, and I found that in lesson 3, while I was doing the plant drawings, I traced over the image (by breaking it down into simple forms) digitally.

I am asking this because I see a lot of artists studying reference images in this way. And I was wondering if it was appropriate for this course. Thank you! :D

1 users agree
6:10 PM, Sunday April 17th 2022

Yeah I think that it's a great idea. Just remember to draw another one without tracing after. This way you will deepen the understanding about the subject.

7:27 AM, Monday April 18th 2022

Alright, I'll keep that in mind! thanks for the reply! :D

0 users agree
2:03 PM, Saturday April 16th 2022

I don't know what Uncomfortable would say, but I have done something similar (sort of). I was finding it difficult at time to see the shapes with all the confusing details, so I would physically print out a black and white photo and use a fat marker to draw the 3 main forms on the picture. All I wanted was to see those big shapes so I didn't use the fineliner on purpose. I would then put that away and using the my unmarked photo reference, a fineliner and a new piece of paper, attempt the picture again. I would caution against using that digital trace for the final drawing. That would actually be counterproductive to what Uncomfortable is trying to teach. You might have seen other artist do this online, but I would say they are trying to render something and need exact proportions and angles. As Uncomfortable says, we are not making pretty pictures here. We are training the eye and hand to see and draw the illusion of 3D in 2D.

11:24 PM, Saturday April 16th 2022

I see your point, Thank you for the reply! I really just want to get the best out of this course and not wanting to just finish it. I'll definitely keep this in mind!

Thank you :D

0 users agree
9:49 PM, Saturday April 16th 2022

Pretty much as other poster.

IMV For this course it is better to try and conceptualise and visualise in your head rather than trace. This is the artistic skill you are trying to develop on this course. If you rely on tracing it doesn't help when doing a drawing from life.

If I was tracing, I would only do it for non-submitted work to get a feel and then quickly drop it. I would approach submitted work without it. Don't worry if you find it difficult, it's supposed to be until you do it enough that it becomes easier and more untuitive.

I know that some courses, such as Prokos anatomy one, use this method but it is for a very specific educational purpose and not used in the long run.

11:28 PM, Saturday April 16th 2022

This makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the reply :D

0 users agree
4:41 AM, Monday April 18th 2022

One thing I've done in the past to wean myself off of tracing was putting the reference on a layer, tracing the construction on top of it, then repeating that construction several times while reducing the base image's opacity by 20-25%, all the way down to zero. Sorta a good way to build up confidence to start a construction from scratch. I definitely wouldn't do that or anything else i feel is leaning to hard on tracing for art I was considering posting or sharing publicly but for a pure study in the early phases, or taking a stab at something just to see if I could cover a topic, I thought it was helpful

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