Teaching high school students to trace?

Discussion in 'Art Teachers' started by ograwk, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. ograwk

    ograwk Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2012

    I have taken over an art position from a teacher who retired last year, and it's my first year teaching art. He had the students project images onto their paper so they could trace them. This just goes against my grain, but I'm wondering how many art teachers use this technique. Am I being unrealistic? I look forward to hearing what others have to say :)
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2012

    What sorts of images? How advanced were the students?
     
  4. Rbart

    Rbart Companion

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    Sep 9, 2012

    What are they tracing? What type of project? There are times in art lessons when tracing is appropriate (using students original artwork). Such as using a smaller sketch enlarging it using photocopier or projector and transferring their artwork to the final project. Tracing someones else's artwork or photo images, I am not sure I would let them do that or I would question what is the benefit of the tracing. What are the standards associated with this method? Students will be able to.......
     
  5. ograwk

    ograwk Rookie

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    They were tracing photos that they found on the internet. There are all different levels within the one class - some students have taken it before (the school does not offer art1, art2, etc.) I would have no problem with them tracing their own work, but that doesn't seem to be what they were doing. No standard addresses tracing. I really want to teach them how to draw - I am also planning on teaching them to use a grid for transferring. We have talked about copyright issues.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Well, I think back to how the camera obscura revolutionized (and facilitated) landscape: that involved something like tracing, no?

    If they're used to tracing, try getting them to start recognizing and identifying a given shape in an artwork as they trace it, then combinations of shapes: get them thinking of tracing as a seeing exercise.
     
  7. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Dec 22, 2012

    I have recently taught my students about camera obscura and used a tracing method to help them to understand drawing. I also recently did a project where the students took a self portrait photo that they then projected onto a canvas and traced for a painting--but those kids have already done life drawing extensively, so it was like a HUGE treat for them. I would never use that as a regular method for making work an art class, however--it doesn't really accomplish much in terms of learning unless the tracing is being used to teach something else that is more fundamental.
     
  8. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Dec 25, 2012

    For me, using tracing or not using tracing is a matter of the skills being taught. If the skills I'm teaching involve elements where students need to develop their hand/eye coordination, then no tracing is not allowed. Examples would be things like contour drawings and portrait drawings. However, if I'm teaching a graphic heavy project where I'm centering my focus on usage of principles like balance and emphasis then tracing is fine.

    It depends on what my lesson accentuates as to whether I allow it. I also explain in depth before I allow or disallow techniques and check to to see who understands.
     
  9. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2013

    I'm not a fan of tracing... I always tell my students, "if you were in English class and you copied someone elses work, that would be considered plaguirism... Tracing is the art equivalent on that..."

    Now, there are some instances where tracing is ok... I let them trace a practice sketch if they are having trouble with something challenging like a portrait, just so they can see the proportions of the face easier... However, they have to draw the final product on larger paper...

    Adam
     
  10. Artteacher789

    Artteacher789 New Member

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    Mar 25, 2014

    I like using sports imagery to explain things to my students. For instance, I like basketball but not that much. Let's say I want to get good really fast, there are a lot of different items I could buy to improve my shot, things that help my fingers, my elbows, things that I can attach to the hoop for better shooting accuracy. But if I went to a camp with a real basketball instructor I wouldn't find any of those devices, just rigorous practice and drills, and fine tuning and refinement.

    I feel like both have to match. If the students are not invested in art to begin with they'll want to quick and easy, usually, but if they are invested then they'll do the hard work and really learn how to draw. Betty Edwards proves that anyone can draw and most of the time students use tracing to learn how to draw which is why tracing should never be part of the classroom art experience.

    Now, where have I used tracing? I was an animation major in college and as you know traditional cel animation is all about using the light box and tracing previous drawings in order to create the animations, that's a given. But the original characters are drawn over and over and perfected by the animators without the use of a light box to trace, they own their characters and can draw them in their sleep.

    I've been teaching art for a number of years and was traditionally taught how to draw, don't give in.... drawing is a real skill just like speaking well, using correct grammar, writing, math, science skills, etc...

    Peter
     

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