tracing and learning?
Tobias Degnebolig
i have been thinking for some time of difftrent ways of learning and i tried for a mounth ago to take a picture of a figure, then traced the structure of it and then after i redrawed the structure myself without tracing. and this gave me a realy good result of how the drawing looked and then today i saw this video today of someone talking about this same idea of learning and i became curious about it. but here comes my question about it, is this a good way to learn, if i do this for a long time will my brain learn from this less then if i just try to draw the structure out from just observing the refrence? or will it learn just as much? or more?
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Vincentius Sesarius
I think Polly has given a great answer. Tracing helps with breadth, and copying (draw from reference) helps with the depth. If you're just starting out, I mean, really just starting out, tracing are a great viable option. You can produce dozens of drawing by just tracing. But as you progress, even though tracing is great at first, you will notice that tracing won't give you much of help when you want to create something out of your imagination (without reference). This is kind of perilous position for artist, because our ultimate goal is to be able to create something out of our imagination. And the other thing is that, as you will grow as an artist, even when you're using a reference image, you will often find yourself not satisfied with the reference images you got. Whether it's the light, the pose, or the proportion, there's just something you don't like in it, that you want to change. If you have only been doing tracing, doing this is nearly impossible. But if you've done your homework studying things properly, changing aspects in reference image that you don't like is an easy job.
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Tobias Degnebolig
im not realy thinking of "only be tracing" my thoughts mainly comes from starting NMA steve hustons figure drawing course and in his lectures he takes pictures of masters and deconstruct them by tracing the construction over the picture and understanding it. so i was thinking if this was a good idea to do sometimes. i do mainly follow this course and prokos figure course and do the stuff with figure drawing poses from 1-2-5-10 min so i was never thinking that i would be JUST tracing stuff, becasue my plans is to be able someday to draw from imagination too, i was just thinking of doing it sometimes with some figures that i have hard time with, to help my self understand the construction of the pose better i hope what im saying makes sense xD
I've found from experience that you learn from tracing, but you learn less than you do from copying. I think what you do should be based on whether your goal is to take in a lot of poses/figures fast, or if you want to do a more difficult, longer, and more educational study. Sometimes after I trace things I find that I'm not able to draw something similar (but slightly different) myself as much as I thought I could. Both are good, tracing can help with breadth and copying can help with depth.
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