Do Fine Artists 'Embrace the Trace?'
We’ve already discussed illustrators. But what about professional fine artists?
Did you know that some who work from photographs (not all that do), will, um… trace, too?
Portrait artists are especially prone to this practice and for all of the same reasons that illustrators are.
Since getting an accurate likeness is the top priority in portraiture, it makes sense to use whatever tools are available to help do that.
Beginners will also trace sometimes. For all of the same reasons, but also because they don't yet feel confident in their drawing skills.
There is also a school of thought which believes tracing can actually be used to improve the drawing skills of a beginner.
The idea is that tracing a subject many times over and over again helps a beginner get away from preconceived ideas of what a subject looks like.
Tracing this way, first, supposedly forces a beginner to see details accurately. Details which can then be remembered when drawing the same subject freehand.
Painted from life - DON STEWART, Surrounded, oil, 10 x 10 inches
Sketched from life - DON STEWART, Girl with Headband, charcoal on toned paper, 22 x 16 inches