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Tracing is a very broad term.
The article is actually interesting, the person who wrote it seems to be using tracing, in fact to better himself, not just to end up with a perfect photo-realistic picture, traced from a photo.
I use "tracing" sometimes to get a stance of a reference photo right. I just use thick lines over the body to pinpoint where the feet are, the point of balance and such. I wonder if you can really call it tracing since I don't actually follow any lines of the original photo.
But in the end, I don't like tracing, I'm much happier with myself if I am drawing from a photo for example and manage to get it right all by myself.
If you think tracing can help you, do use it, just don't rely on it, and don't get used to it. Drawing with your own hands is much more powerful.
Also, if you trace, do make sure that the photos are taken by you or bought. It's really sad when people trace from copyrighted images and act as if they own it, just because they traced it. (usually extreme tracers here, that go with every little detail) Same with reference photos, it's usually better to have your own stock.
Does the walker choose the path or the path choose the walker?
Sorry, not quoting Loomis verbatim, just summing up the sense of the previously quoted statement from Loomis which says, again prarphrasing, hopefully more accurately, "Don't trace. Ever." I would prefer a "Don't come to rely too much on tracing".I can't find that quote from Loomis. Do you remember where exactly he says this? Perhaps he means something different out of context. He didn't condemn tracing when used to create ideas and pulling information from clippings. Apparently he was ok with moving things around in the picture using the tracing paper and changing things a bit so that it wasn't a direct swipe.
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
Learning is one thing and using it in methods after you have your skill level up is another. Like Velocity Kendall mentions he uses it in car design. It almost sounds like Loomis is talking along the same lines? I never gave tracing much thought, but it makes perfect sense when you have a job like designing cars. Thanks for sharing that, Velocity!
I just got back from vacation so I just managed to catch all of your replies. So many good points you guys make. It's definately given me a new view on tracing.
I've thanked everyone whose post I thought was really on topic and made a good point.
Yes, I read the article with my own opinion on tracing in mind. After having read it I found that the basis for my opinion had been shaken. I therefore asked the opinion of those in the field to further shake that foundation or solidify it. Only a fool trusts the opinion of one man.