I have been reading some of the discussion going on about copying. I am
ready to put in my two cents. There is nothing wrong with copying or
tracing. It is a tool that artists use to aid them in their work. Before
some of you go off, allow me to explain.
We have already discussed the copying issue. Copying a work of art is
acceptable when you are trying to learn about the style or method in which
the work was created. It is not acceptable when you try to pass off the
work as your own original idea. Copying images from other sources, such
as a photograph of a elephant is acceptable as well. Some people have
never seen an elephant, if they have, they do not possess the skills
necessary to draw it from memory. They will need visual resources to be
able to draw it. This is no different from teaching children how to write
or speak. They learn by copying, then as they get older, they adapt it.
Tracing is another tool to help students learn. When they focus on the
skill of tracing, they practice hand/eye coordination. They are looking
at the line they are tracing. I am currently teaching children to draw
the eyes, nose and mouth. I am explaining to students that by tracing
the image, they are learning a skill. As they are tracing, I ask them to
go slowly, and look at the lines they are tracing.