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  1. #11
    Senior Vae's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    the sky
    Ludwig Von Koopa
    I think tracing has its use in trying to get a "feel" for what you're drawing.
    A pose. A certain style. Etc.
    You should never pass over a trace as your own work, but it is helpful in getting your hands to figure out "Yes, this is how the thing works. Please cooperate with me. Thank you." Because, sometimes (especially for me, who relies HEAVILY on how something "feels"), eyeballing just does not cut it.

    Also, yes, I do believe in innate talent. It is something that can be overcome with practice, but I think execution and creativity come easier to certain individuals than others.
    The brain has a wide variety of chemistry behind it, and I do think that things can just "click" better with some people.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleu View Post
    I think people are getting the wrong ideas of "talent". Talent doesn't mean "pick up a pencil and instant artist" any more than starting anything else. It just means that they understand faster than someone else. It's simply how fast they are able to pick it up and/or how much learning they put in to it to get the same result.
    I agree with this. Someone who is considered talented is just able to learn and understand something faster than others.
    It's like if you give someone a guitar, no one is going to automatically know everything about chords and rhythm and technique their first time playing. But with some people it just might "click" easier and they can advance much faster than others.

    As for tracing stuff. I think the only time it's okay to do is for learning how somethings looks, rather than say, tracing a picture and claiming it was all your idea. If you're going to trace, you should at least use your own photo for reference. It's not okay to use photos by others as well as artwork by others. however, I believe that if you're not going to sell, claim ownership, etc something, you might as well use it for learning how to draw. Copying a picture is a good way of learning either how something may look, or if you want to try to see and learn how an artist did something. I dunno, it's complicated and I think every artist will have a different opinion based on whether their artwork has been stolen/traced/copied in the past .

  3. #13
    Junior Medical Meccanica's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Upstate NY
    That's not what I'm saying at all - whether or not my poor visual-spatial skills have to do with being autistic, they're still poor visual-spatial skills, and they're still crippling to my ability to do things like work from reference and imagine people and objects from different angles. I was just saying there's the possibility that they're related and my experiences are not the norm for neurotypical people.

    And regarding the "drawing from a young age" thing: I've been drawing ever since I discovered Pokemon, when I was 5 years old or so. I have a close friend who drew as a kid then stopped, then picked it back up again when she was 12, at my recommendation, and was immediately better than me, and has consistently been a better artist than me even before things like her going to art school and taking live drawing classes came into the picture.

    I try to explain the spatial reasoning thing to her, but she doesn't understand my difficulty with it, because it comes firsthand to her.

    She is why I believe in talent - not that hard work isn't a part of it. My hard work has gotten me further than I ever though I could go as a kid - but hers has gotten her much further than I ever could -ever-.

  4. #14
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar

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    Dec 2013
    I am curious as to how many have read the links posted in this thread?

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    I am curious as to how many have read the links posted in this thread?
    I did...
    I've read similar things but its always interesting to see the input that others have imo.

    In fact I used to tell people that tracing was just another way of learning, its when it becomes copying that its bad.
    I also sit somewhere in between with the talent thing but I already said that in my first post

  6. #16
    I did read it, I just happen to disagree with the assertion that "talent doesn't exist" because if you take two people who have never picked up a pencil, and asked them to draw yeah they'd both be bad, but they wouldn't be the same level of bad. Both are going to grow with time, but not at the same rate.

    The better rate of growth is where "talent" comes in. It's probably better to say that those people have a better intuition for certain things that give them a leg up in growth.
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  7. #17
    Senior Matt Conner's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Corvallis, OR
    Although it's true that hard work trumps "talent", it's a stretch to say that everybody starts on equal ground. Some people have a certain aptitude for things, and they might progress faster and with less work in certain fields than others. For instance, Magnus carlsen (sp?) is the current reigning world chess champ if I'm not mistaken. He was amazing at the game the day he started, and even drew a game with Garry Kasparov when he was just a little kid. He can also play ten chess games and win them all...without looking at any of them once (he just memorizes the positions for each board). You can't learn that shit. Another good example might be ginger baker, the drummer for cream. Although he did practice, he seems pretty insistent that he was born with perfect natural time, something you can't teach or learn. That being said, you can't count on being born speshul, and hard work can take normal folks to amazing places!
    Yeah? well, y'know...that's just like, your opinion, man.

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  8. #18
    Regular Tica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Upstate New York
    cis woman
    I've definitely used tracing to help improve my art and give me a sense of proportion etc. sometimes I will trace part of an image I'm having trouble with, say the shape of a bird's beak, or the shape of roots in a background picture, and incorporate the traced lines into a larger piece of work original to me. I don't see a huge difference between using a reference photo and tracing pieces of it... as long as you apply your own style in the end and don't make an exact copy of the piece in question.

    tl;dr I heartily agree with link #1.


    didn't read link #2, but I did want to say I that have a (mild) nonverbal learning disorder which involves fine motor control, visual spatial skills, etc. Art is lots of hard work but there is some talent involved. I chose to pursue a very simplified, cartoony style because I believe certain styles are actually beyond me entirely, no matter how hard I might work at them. I don't know how this applies to the non-disabled though?
    Last edited by Tica; 02-12-2014 at 07:00 PM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiamat View Post
    I'm actually part of the group that believes some people have innate talents that need to be developed.
    I agree with this. Not sure how to explain my position, but I believe that there are some people who are just naturally better at some things than others. And a lot of things factor into it.

    I guess on the videogame argument, you could argue people who are better at videogames have better hand/eye coordination. That would have served useful in ALL time periods. It's just just videogame specific, it's a natural skill that was developed into being useful for videogames specifically.

    Likewise I think that you CAN have a natural affinity for observing, which lends itself to drawing. Apparently when i was about 5 or 6 my teacher(who happened to be an art major herself) noted that I had a natural ability to decipher color theory(aka I was p good at picking out colors and I was very particular), and I stood out from other kids in my class. I also knew how to create things that looked more or less like their irl counterparts, like instead of a big blob and claiming it was a tiger I could at least make the blob into a cat-like shape. This was a natural ability that I had, just observing and being able to apply it to a situation such as drawing.

    Now does that automatically mean I'm good at art? HEEEEEEELL NO MAN, anywhere I've gotten so far is all about the hard work I've been putting in. I think it's stupid to discount the amount of hard work that goes into art, but I also think some people take to it faster than others. I know a guy who only JUST started drawing a year and a half ago and he got accepted into Art Center for Illustration last semester, whereas there's my other friends who have been drawing for aaaaaages and they're stuck in community college like me haha. Now does that mean we can't draw? Not really, but that guy had some natural talent to be able to pick that stuff up as well as he did.

    I think in the end talent just comes down to some basic skills that you may or may not have an affinity for, and it's up to you to develop it.
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  10. #20
    I love you posted these links, I really do.

    I've always thought tracing wasn't bad if used for learning. Tracing, claiming as yours and selling that trace with no change from the original is what's bad. People often confuse that with tracing to learn. Copying from another's drawing to understand the pose and such isn't bad for practice purposes either. I've told others struggling they're more then welcome to use some of my anatomy sketches to learn from, even telling them to copy it if that have to. Tracing can be used to learn if you know the right ways to do it.

    I also completely agree with the second link. If I practice hard enough I can get good at something, but it doesn't mean I enjoy it or want to continue with it. A lot of us here have been drawing forever, including me. I've only just gotten better at Anthro figures, and have been drawing them for...2 years now? My early drawings of anthro faces and the like were, pardon my language, just shit. I didn't stop, and with the encouragement of a friend I've gotten so much better. If I had refused to try to get better my skill level would have barely budged and it'd still look bad. I still have a long ways to go, but the progress is being made.

    If you have the will, there is always a way. You don't need a fancy school or digital program or pen or pencil. I've seen someone model a Weeping Willow-like tree out of plain sticky tack. You just have to want to get better and not be afraid to fail.

    QT, you are honestly not just a person with resources, but a critical thinker and talented artist who is able to not only tell us how to do things, but show us as well.

    EDIT: I forgot to say, the article about talent reminds me of the entire premise of Ratatouille: "Anyone can cook".
    Last edited by insanejoker; 02-14-2014 at 09:19 PM.



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