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Thread: Tracing

  1. #14
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    I've never heard that version of the quote. Either way, it really, really helps if you can draw like Wally Wood. (Which you probably can't.)

    Tristan Elwell
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    Tracing is pretty standard practice in car design.
    The important thing is being really fast in generating ideas. Productivity always trumps misguided ideas that tracing is in some way always wrong.
    You get an image of a similar class car in a good perspective, put it in the back cover of a layout pad and draw your own design ideas over the top on the back page.. then you can quickly trace your own drawing introducing changes.
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; July 27th, 2012 at 12:44 PM.
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  6. #16
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    When I'm working on someone else's time and tracing is more efficient I'll trace for accuracy the draw over it. When it's my own time I'll draw with a blindfold on for all I care. A client doesn't give a flying shit about your process so much as the end result.
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  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Dean Cornwell quote

    I have known illustrators to lack imagination to the extent that they allow or depend on the model to give them an interpretation. Very rarely have I ever found a model that can get into a pose in spirit or drawing the way I would like it on canvas. You should know enough about drawing so that your action or posture is definitely established on your canvas before ever calling the model.
    I'm sure he meant, making a sketch of the gesture you want from your imagination, then bringing in the model. Not just duplicate the model in front of you. Surely he would have no problem with Rockwell's methods of tracing from his photographs.
    Last edited by Bowlin; July 27th, 2012 at 12:56 PM.
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  10. #18
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    Exactly Jason. And the last thing some client wants is a tracing of an existing design line for line, so that kind of ripping off is pointless from the start.
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  12. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kweckduck View Post
    For myself the idea of tracing seems to beat the entire point of drawing. If you are going to trace you could just as well take a photocopy or scan the image and photoshop it in whatever way you want/need.
    I'm curious, did you read the actual article?

    I mean it counters even what you just posted now

    2. Draw, don’t trace.
    When I draw, I remember that using the point of the pencil is boring if all the line weight is the same. Same for tracing. I use the side of the lead, roll it, angle it, vary it for shadow lines, hair, folds, trees, etc. I get different line weight by varying the pressure on the pencil. Ultimately, you’re doing a drawing. SO DRAW.

    3. Edit detail.
    Forget about tracing every little subtle light shift, or shadow, every tree branch or eyelash. Forget about drawing every strand of hair. Draw for shape, draw for tone. Generalize the reference for the most part. It’s a guide.

    4. It’s a guide.
    When you trace under something like an Artograph, drive yourself to get good enough to draw with it. It’s not about tracing the image exactly. It’s about using the image as a guide to correct proportions and delineate shadows, depth, line, and contrast. Give it your own technique, otherwise your work looks lifeless, pedestrian, lame. It’ll look like you traced it. Exaggerate. Use fluid lines. Any ol’ goof can follow lines. Draw with it.

    5. Use your own photography.
    Shoot what you need. Best that way. The internet is full of pictures you need for reference, but I use them only as reference to draw from. I still need to make the sketch my own. Whenever you can, buy the reference you need. Better for everyone that way.

    6. Distortion Happens.
    No photograph records life exactly. Photos adjust the image from three dimensions to two. It’s already distorted. But you have to know when it’s telling you a lie about reality. Do not believe that photographs are real or telling you about reality. They do not. You must learn to recognize when they do and don’t and be able to compensate. Besides, it’s a GUIDE.

    7. Perfect the composition.
    First, I design the composition with thumbnails. Then I use reference to draw separate elements of a complex composition on separate slips of tracing paper. I move the sheets around until the composition is refined, perfected. It’s a composition guide. Artists have been using this since the Dawn of Illustration. Today, you’ll likely do this by cutting and pasting the reference together on the computer. It’s the same thing.

    8. Use it sparingly.
    As I trained with tracing, I used it less and less. It instantly improved my drawing skills, especially drawing from my head. It improved my memorization skills, but I had to focus on it. The next time you draw from life, you’ll understand what you learned from tracing. The next time you trace, you’ll understand more from your life drawing. Back and forth, back and forth. --What? Did you think there was a straight line to skill? C’mon
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  14. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I've never heard that version of the quote. Either way, it really, really helps if you can draw like Wally Wood. (Which you probably can't.)
    Yeah, assuming I got that right I had interpreted it to mean "do any of these things as a considered solution to a given problem, but if you're just looking for an easy out, oboy!"

    What I liked about the Manchess article was how he disclosed how to be mentally engaged while tracing. Bring your accumulated knowledge and understanding to your ref, and go by them when the ref is presenting something contrary. This of course works really well for Manchess, given his experience. Also, seek to expand your knowledge and understanding somehow while tracing. Learn from it. I think if your mind is engaged this way, you should be able to avoid the trap of a dead-line tracing, the bad kind.
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    I am so sick of the this tracing debate. Some of you need to go back and read what Greg said carefully. If you suck, tracing will not make you not suck. If you're good, tracing won't make you better but might save you some time. It's an effective teaching tool so I use it. Part of the problem is the digital age. We associate tracing with the digital version where the machine does so much of the work.

    The issue is lines. We all have our moral lines. It's hard enough to make our own without making them for others.
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  17. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    Loomis in this quote is categorical about tracing. "If you're tracing, you obviously can't draw". Whereas Elwell and Manchess maintain drawing ability is what allows you to trace. Am I wrong about the number of illustrators who have traced? Is "scores" over-stating?
    I was challenging your little piece of hyperbole about Loomis. Do you really think deadlines were not an issue in Loomis' time? Not only was there a higher standard for the work, but there wasn't the glut of technological aids and information we have now.
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  19. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I'm sure he meant, making a sketch of the gesture you want from your imagination, then bringing in the model. Not just duplicate the model in front of you. Surely he would have no problem with Rockwell's methods of tracing from his photographs.
    Cornwell as well as Lyendecker never used photos according to their biographers. Rockwell himself says in My Life as an Illustrator he would hide his projector when Lyendecker would come to his studio because he was ashamed of using it. Remember Rockwell used live models without photography until the mid thirties and then went over to photography after that.
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  21. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I'm curious, did you read the actual article?
    I really think you're asking too much of people in this day and age.

    Tristan Elwell
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  23. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    I was challenging your little piece of hyperbole about Loomis. Do you really think deadlines were not an issue in Loomis' time? Not only was there a higher standard for the work, but there wasn't the glut of technological aids and information we have now.
    Lordy, I didn't mean that. I thought it was clearly hyperbole not meant to be taken seriously. Of course now I can't for the life of me tell you why I said it in the first place, except for being heated about this non-controversy the way Bcarman is.
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  25. #26
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    people complain about tracing yet fail to see what it takes to make a successful picture...

    like everything beyond nailing proportions would be a walk in the park any monkey could do....

    thats why objected the way i did on subjects like anatomy in the past. all this rambling is not going to get you anywhere i think. your pictures speak for themself.

    tracing actually became a non issue to me... it just doesnt matter... either your work is strong, or it lacks no matter what tools you employed...
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