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Is tracing CHEATING in art?
I JUST finished teaching how to draw realistic hands in the Fun Fab Drawing Club, and learned something HUGE…
Tracing is NOT cheating.
That may sound contradictory, but CLICK HERE, and I’ll explain. I am not an advocate of cheating, let’s be clear… However, I AM an advocate of saving time and putting in the time where it’s needed most.
If you’ve been watching me for a while, you know when I teach how to draw a face that’s forward facing, I talk a lot about building up muscle memory in your drawing hand and arm. I tell my students to sketch tons of ovals until a face shape begins to emerge that they like. The more often they practice face drawing, the quicker they will get at drawing a more accurate outline of a face. This is called muscle memory drawing.
In our 25 hand drawing challenge, each hand we drew was in a different pose- so we weren't building muscle memory when we sketched in the outline of each hand. The MOST IMPORTANT PART of this drawing practice was actually SHADING and using the value scale to make each pose look realistic.
In the case of these hand drawing exercises, I think using tracing tools for drawing is a PERFECT way to speed up a drawing project that could potentially take forever ;)
CLICK HERE or Press play above and I’ll demo how to use transfer paper to trace a picture on paper. It’s a pretty amazing mixed media drawing technique for any artist, really. Especially if you’d rather spend more time bringing your subject to life via shading in your favorite art supplies … from graphite to watercolor or acrylics.
Would we be better artists if we did every single drawing without tracing? ABSOLUTELY!!!!
Every time you practice- your skills grow. The more you do from scratch, the better you will be at drawing freehand. That is a HUGE SKILL worth investing time into!
If you’ve only got a little chunk of time to art (like I do most days!) give yourself permission to trace here and there.
And do yourself a favor by picking up some of this amazing transfer paper by Arteza. 60 sheets will literally last you FOREVER.
Now go work on your shading ;)
See ya next week!!
5/2/2020 01:52:00 pm
Lovely work, you have my complete attention. It's so amazing, really.
5/2/2020 03:07:15 pm
Thank you so much!!! Oh yes, the retreat is booked and full! I'm going every year until I'm too old and crochety to get over there 😂
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Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
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Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.