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lately im feeling very good about my progress and my observation skills. my proportions and scale and everything are much better than they've ever been. but i wonder if im stunting my growth with how i draw.
i picked up this technique from loomis's "fun with a pencil" where he i think suggested you sketch the form out with a light blue pencil first. this way i make sure everything is lined up and the right size related to everything else and stuff, and then i draw over this with pencil in more detail. for instance the blue pencil might be boxes or circles and rough shapes like that and when i use my pencil i then draw it as i see it with curves and such.
is this considered tracing and not really drawing? or is this an okay thing to do? i think (hope) that once i improve even more i wont need to sketch it out first and will be able to draw without the blueprints laid down but im not sure how likely this is.
There are no rules =)
That's not tracing either, if you're drawing what your own guidelines. The blue pencil followed by other media is common. I use red pencil when I do that---
check out this Rembrandt drawing- you can see the red underneath the ink. It's all good- it's the end result that matters, and that you have fun.
No, that's pretty much how everybody does it. I think most people just use lighter strokes with whatever medium they're working in, but that's a matter of preference.
It looks like you are more or less drawing things twice...
Sounds pretty good to me, keep at it!