The other day in conversation, the topic of tracing and tracing paper came up with the phrase, " well at least your a real artist and don't trace stuff, you can draw ". I really found this kind of funny since I use tracing paper ALOT in my works, I like the term "Layout Paper" but it is all the same to me.
Yes,I do draw out all my own stuff, but tracing paper is a vital tool in the artists tool box, and does tend to get a bad rap. As most of us already know there is no one right way to do anything, and as time goes on.....there will be even more right ways. There are some artists who use a projector to transfer their drawing onto their painting surfaces, some whom I have heard will take their image, scan it enlarge it, print it and the paint right over the scanned image...........all cool to do, it is their image and their works. I myself will take my drawings scan them, enlarge or reduce them to the size needed for the space I'm working in. No one way is right and the fact that they were traced, or scanned or whatever does not change the fact that the image was originally drawn by the artist using it, and as I have grown as both artist and person, I find myself using more and more "aides" to create my works. Some of it is convenience, others practicality, time constraints and even just plain lazy.
Just a few of the ways that I use it :
A.....to work out or fix a part of an image so that the erasing doesn't ruin the original paper or whatever I am working on.
B.....these are images straight out of my sketchbook that I liked so much that is didn't really see any point in "re-drawing " them and loosing what it was that I liked about the image. Each of these two examples were actually taken and then scanned into my computer, and enlarged to fit onto the board they were going to be transfered to.
C....these two images were drawn directly onto the tracing paper while sitting on the board they were intended for so I could get the sizes right for the painting.
So just because you see tracing paper laying about somewhere, don't automatically assume that it is being used to copy something that shouldn't be, and don't get all high and mighty about not using it either. The stuff is good, practical, and a lot cheaper than having to start over if you ruin the surface of the original paper.