To trace or not to trace? Gregory Manchess tells you how to make the most of it.
First off, I used tracing to learn anatomy. By tracing, I could actually feel how an arm foreshortened. I could see what length the line was that was needed to foreshorten it. I could understand how eyes, noses, hands looked at difficult angles. […]
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. […]
3. Edit detail.
Forget about tracing every little subtle light shift, or shadow, every tree branch or eyelash. […]
4. It’s a guide.
[…] 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. […]
6. Distortion Happens.
No photograph records life exactly. […] 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.
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. […]
9. Nothing is cheating.
If I hear another artist talk about being a purist and only drawing from the model, I’m gonna burst. That’s just part of the training. Honestly, get over it. Now, today. […]