July 13


Replies: 11

Is the method I'm describing akin/close to tracing?

rey-zeno Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2020  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So this is the method, in bullet points:
- I find a reference of a pose I have in mind, pasted it onto a new layer and set the opacity low (plus add a gaussian blur if I'm a bit diligent)
- On a new layer over it, I draw the line of action, contours, and basic shapes & forms over the picture -- while keeping in mind to AVOID drawing the outline of the picture, like what a "tracing" is supposed to be.
- After finishing breaking down the reference, I move away the reference layer from the "breakdown" layer.
- On another layer, I try to draw the same thing as the "breakdown" layer again from nil -- except this time I'm drawing without anything beneath the current layer.
- I add modifications to the finished third layer to my liking, keeping in mind to try and keep the drawing from looking too much like copying the pose.

I got this idea after watching a lot of videos by Ethan Becker, Mohammed Agbadi, and ergoJosh. I've been putting off on doing it because of laziness of redoing the drawing twice, and--at least my ego says--it feels cheating-ish. But after doing it a couple of times today, I feel it seems to be another quick way to draw what I have in mind (while the other one being the 'blob sketching' described by mldoxy .)

Also: I know, I know -- there's not a lot in art that is cheating. The method above I tried certainly errs away from what "cheating" is. But I just feel like I need confirmation from other artists about it (I don't have any art friends to ask about this...)

Devious Comments (Add yours)

Crescenti-C Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2020  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No it isn't, because 1. You're studying it's composotion, shape, line of action etc and learning from it and 2. You're not claiming you did this work all on your own.

It's actually encouraged to study other people's styles and understand the components that piece the art together. Some people could watch tutorials and just eyeball it but others need to decontruct the piece to understand it. As long as you're not blatantly just tracing over it you're fine.

I do recommend you reference any art you've used and give credit when needed (and that you got permission of course).
EyeballEarth Featured By Owner Edited Jul 19, 2020  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Seems more like photobashing where you arrange references into something like a rough sketch of what you want to do then painting over and modifying it into something new. If you don't use it as a crutch to try doing things you haven't learned yet but more of a time saving measure it's legit, it's something many of concept artists do to speed up the process IIRC
orchidkitty Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2020   Digital Artist
It is not tracing in the bad and stereotypical way, it is more of a learning method you use.
I would just suggest to not trace directly over it, but to have the reference next to your own drawing. I don't know, it makes you think harder on the forms and makes your lines more confident.
We all look at references for poses or anatomy, but I personally would not directly draw over it.
PaulaEdith Featured By Owner Edited Jul 13, 2020  Professional Digital Artist
Do you wantt examples of tracing? Look the awful "drawings" of Wikihow: x`D
What you describe sounds like some kind of photobashing.
To be more clear: Tracing is to follow the lines of a photograph mindlessy. Some people use scripts to do that even easier.
There're people out there who hates photobash too? 100% assured.
In any case, there's not 'cheat'. There're hinders for progress, and legal dangers, but no cheating. Just look how horrible are the wikihow monsters.
Llama Emoji-18 (Eating Ramen) [V1] 
rey-zeno Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2020  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ok I never take a second look of Wikihow's pictures, never thought whether they're traced or not, but now you pointed that out, they do look awfully traced hahaha

I like how you say it's like photobashing, that's new. But personally, at least to my knowledge, I don't think it's close to that -- since photobashing (AFAIK) directly takes part of many photographs and then piecing them as one artwork.

But you're right -- if there are a lot of people doing photobashing and people like them, I guess this one's too :D
Schwarzer--Ritter Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2020  Student Traditional Artist
What is photobashing?
PaulaEdith Featured By Owner Edited Jul 14, 2020  Professional Digital Artist
Its a mix of photomanipulation and digital painting. Concept artists use it to cut time when doing digital painting. There's a whole market of photography assets for that. They trace some things, paint over some other, and leave others like they come. Everything mixed with their own art. Of course you need to be really good painting or it would be obvious wich things you bought and which you drew.
Schwarzer--Ritter Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2020  Student Traditional Artist
TianaSama Featured By Owner Edited Jul 13, 2020  Student General Artist
Hello ~
Nice references of Youtubers you have here ! Honestly, you think way too far. As long as you don't trace line for line your reference it's all fine ! And the most important is not worrying about if you tracing or not, but if you have actually truly understood your reference. ^^
There is no cheating in art. But if you're really that afraid, go on and link the reference used in the description~
Remember to have fun in your art journey ! :D
rey-zeno Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2020  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alright, I will :)
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2020  Professional Artist
It sounds like you're massively overthinking this! Don't get so bogged down in the details. "Tracing" is a non-issue that people get farrrrr too worked up about.

That said, what you're describing sounds like a really great way to learn and to practice! Especially redrawing a second time. Probably with time you'll find you need less and less of that first layer.
Add a Comment: