Tracing vs freehand (Drawing)


Yeh. I can’t bury this.

History: A woman had to be ‘that person’, and called my art as something I should not call ‘ a drawing’ because I used a tracing technique, that is VERY common among artists. And therefore I could not say : ‘I drew this’, because in her opinion it was not a drawing.
Tracing : Bruk a lysbord (lightboard (?) )
I posted a ”drawing” I made of my World of Warcraft character, in a WoW group. Just to share it among other fans of the game and all kind of gamerelated posts are allowed.
The drawing got many likes and comments, and that is always nice that someone appreciate what you do. Its why we share them in the first place.

In her words : ”Use of tracing is just lazy.”

This comment may be ”true”, comparing to drawing it completely by freehand, but damn – it still annoys me to the bones.
I spent hours and days on this! I really dislike hearing it’s lazy. Lazy is not doing anything.

I don’t use tracing because I can’t draw by freehand. I do it because I like it better. And I don’t really have tons of extra time to draw by freehand, which might end up with half-done artwork, because I get bored/tired of it before it’s done.
I actually drew most of my drawings by freehand previously, and I like it – especially for Character designs,and I go back and forth with this and tracing whenever I feel for a change. Also depend on mood. ( A lot)

Tracing examples.


It takes enough time alone. Going freehand will take me everything from 3-8hours+ pr. person!
1-3 hours per person with tracing. Depend on size and details.

Drawing made by me : Of some of the Masters of Witcher School larp


Example of a freehand drawing.

Fanart fra The Witcher 3

I start from scratch and sketch up with help-lines and everything.
Do I feel better when I do this, comparing to tracing?
I won’t say so. I feel happy either way if I am happy with the end result.

My best freehand-artwork is this, of Charles Vane (Black Sails)

Why is the one thing ‘better’ than the other?
Is it not wonderful that people have their own technique and profession on how they do art?
I am drawing most of the time for my self, as a non-profit hobby. Why would anyone want to tell me my art is lazy? It hurts.

I stopped drawing in 2005 after school, because I literally hated it after 3 years of art-school.
Why: Because someone else (teacher) commanded me to draw something I did not want to draw. They made it a job – and the second that happend I realized : I don’t wan’t to work with this. I don’t wanna make my hobby a job. I loose interest and all version of motivation to continue doing it.

It is the same today: When I HAVE to draw something, it is way less fun than wanting to draw something. When things get too serious or becomes a job, I back out. I don’t want that.

So, point being: If I have to draw in a certain way it kills the fun, and worst case scenario: I stop drawing.
Then I will end up as in 2005. I slowly picked up the pen in 2011, and forced myself to draw everyday. It looked like shit back then. Stick figures totally out of proportions, more or less. It was frustrating because I knew I could do better. I did better 6 years ago.
In 2012 I got my first drawing tablet. It did not go much better in the beginning, but I refused to give up, and had friends who were really amazing on motivating me to continue. Thanks to them, I never gave up. And I refuse to give up to this day. . . But boy – don’t mock my technique. Because you choose otherwise, don’t give you the right to tell other artists what to do.

I got the comment from the same person : ”You should try freehand sometimes.” (Like I never have done that before. Come on. That was the only thing I did before.)  I tried, and I was both comfortable and had fun with it for a long time. Then I felt it was time to try something else, and I will constantly try new things. This or that way. I have my rights to choose when and how on my own terms.
If Tracing is my thing these days – Let it be so, until I find something else to try. The world of art is HUGE. I still need to practice coloring and nature drawing, old people and young people, more than faces, backgrounds and more.

I am drawing for fun, not as a job, not as a goal to achieve something more than personal progress. And progress is not gained in one specific way. Luckily.

Peace out.

2 kommentarer
    1. Life’s too short to care of unwitting words of strangers. Take heed of your friends golden words, and carry them like treasures. They know of your true worth, not random strangers. Shower the world with your art, it becomes more beautiful for every bit of it. Never the grey words of those who only wants show off themselves.

    Legg igjen en kommentar

    Takk for at du engasjerer deg i denne bloggen.
    Unngå personangrep og sjikane og prøv å holde en hyggelig tone selv om du skulle være uenig med noen.
    Husk at du er juridisk ansvarlig for alt du skriver på nett.

Siste innlegg