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Working from photos and tracing -philosophy question.


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If you shoot your own reference photos to trace and collage into your designs, is that cheating? Obviously tracing other peoples work exactly is cheating. What about if you take a google image photo of a real skull and trace that?

I'm not talking about tracing always and never learning to draw, but rather using this as a time saving technique occasionally, like Rockwell did.

post-53683-146168878774_thumb.jpg

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The problem with tracing photographs is that tracing never looks right. Your eyes do not see a drawing the same way you see a photograph, and in the end it will look off. That cuppie doll tracing looks off. If I didn't see the original photograph I wouldn't have known the pose it was supposed to be in. When you draw, you have to tweak things so that your eye sees things the way they should be seen. For example, you can trace out every single hair on someones head from a photograph, but in the end it will just look like a blob of lines. Hair has to be drawn out in order to look right on paper. Same goes for a skull. Allot of amateurs draw the teeth of skull with outlines around each tooth, (I'm talking for a realism drawing here) and although each tooth might in reality appear to have an outline, it still will not look right on paper. Contrary to popular belief, a photograph is not a perfect representation of the thing it is trying to capture. Spend the extra time and do it right.

My $.02.

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The problem with tracing photographs is that tracing never looks right. Your eyes do not see a drawing the same way you see a photograph, and in the end it will look off. That cuppie doll tracing looks off. If I didn't see the original photograph I wouldn't have known the pose it was supposed to be in. When you draw, you have to tweak things so that your eye sees things the way they should be seen. For example, you can trace out every single hair on someones head from a photograph, but in the end it will just look like a blob of lines. Hair has to be drawn out in order to look right on paper. Same goes for a skull. Allot of amateurs draw the teeth of skull with outlines around each tooth, (I'm talking for a realism drawing here) and although each tooth might in reality appear to have an outline, it still will not look right on paper. Contrary to popular belief, a photograph is not a perfect representation of the thing it is trying to capture. Spend the extra time and do it right.

My $.02.

Great points. Thanks!

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