Tracing is cheating. Imitating is not. Pass image through noisy system=ok? weird.

Tracing is cheating.
Imitating is not.
Pass image through noisy system=ok?
weird.
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I think you’re 100% right . The notion that “tracing is bad” is basically what I learned in school and I’d say it crippled my thinking about drawing.
 
I should’ve known better too. With programming, you almost never write from scratch. You copy code and modify it for your needs. Few if any working programmers start from nothing.
 
Yet all of the education materials have you start from nothing, although I don’t think they penalize you for copying code as they do for tracing art.
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 I just wish I’d realized this long ago. I reasoned my way towards tracing when searching for a way to represent objects minimally and I realized that lines would be suitable. Next thing I know, I’m tracing in straight lines and I realized that I was cheated educationally by tracing being treated as almost criminal.

If I was selling art, ok, tracing is bad. But for personal use, it doesn’t matter and never should have mattered.

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