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Submitted on
February 28


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Line art, tracing and referencing

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 28, 2014, 5:04 PM

I have been getting a few people asking to make Line-art out of my work or you know a trace of some artist piece so everyone can have a recolor of it. 

Some ask, some just go ahead and do it, I'm NOT OK with you tracing someones work line for line and posting as your own for others to recolor, its a little insulting to the artist even more so if it was a commission. 

Using someones else art to make bases or adoptables, is wrong and ruins the artist's original vision. There are 100's of free bases out there and cheap ones, you shouldn't be tracing work without permission for adoptable and bases. 

Its ok to trace someones art for learning purposes, but it should never be posted! its even ok to highly reference peoples work for learning purposes, but don't post it! or at lest ask the artist for permission first before doing so. 

Mad by VengefulSpirits

I made a chart below to show the differences, hope that clears up some confusion. 
 Tracing and referencing by VengefulSpirits

I don't mind if you highly reference my personal work, to learn! but please ask first Before posting, and stay away from the commissions, you may not post any highly referencing of those. 

Also Don't use traced or highly referencing For commissions or trades! use it to learn not be lazy.  

Add a Comment:
resplendentCaballer Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
*heavy breathing*  I'm iffy about the highly referencing thing.   Sometimes you just need a pose reference.  Ergh, how do I explain?  Like you gather a bunch of images and you think "yeah, like that, and also like that but altogether thematically this one" or "this character's face, this character's pose, and this background."  Idk I may be detailing an entirely different situation. 
reanmeih Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally. I can see why tracing and referencing that are practically copied off is a complete no. Well, unless you get permission.

I was never one to care, either for me or for others, if any sort of work is vaguely referenced though. I mean, some people say, no reference at all, but I see that hand and I see how it should look. Thus I take note of how that hand is drawn correctly, and reference it on my own work. That any problem? Yes? Well, I don't care. You'd always be influenced in one way or another. But beyond a certain point, it's certainly courtesy to let the person know, and credit them if necessary.

Great guide! It needs to become common knowledge where to divide the lines.
Spigos Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's good that you bring this topic up =)
Akinatris Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014
Am I doing this when using a landscape photograph? I use it like a base because I work with a mouse and don't have a drawing tablet. I give credit to the photographer (or at least where I found it).
speedytheneedlemouse Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I literally had this yesterday. Several months back someone posted an amazing painting of a turtle and yesterday I came across on the newest page a very similar looking MSPaint drawing. So I dig up the old one and lo and behold, a direct copy. They hadn't even said anything, just typical 'my art comment plz'. Ugh. So I linked it in the comments and they have since linked to it, but it's still not good. The worst part is that I had someone actually attack me for saying what I said!

'I've no issue with you doing this sort of thing generally but did you obtain permission to draw this? It's what appears to be a trace/copy of *link to original image* If not please go get permission'

'A "trace" is placing an image on top of an image and everything lining up. Using an image for inspiration is not a crime. As long as he isn't selling the image for profit there's nothing wrong here. I suggest looking up the terms of "artwork theft" before accusing someone.'

Inspiration my left foot, it was a flat out copy. Some people.

I used to copy stuff from TV shows and deviantArt. The only things I traced were my own drawings, to copy them for a friend or whatever. I learned from it but never posted them, thank goodness. Now I know better. It's a good way to learn but only goes so far.
JamtRaven Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why reference someones art style at all, whom already has put his\her stylistic choice of their anatomical understanding into a pose, When studying anatomy yourself could yield far better poses, a good understanding of how that pose works in the first place, and finally greater originality if that's your concern.

Rae-elic Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sometimes tracing and referencing art can be used to find a way to translate the anatomy into lines. For instance somebody could be having trouble with positioning legs or drawing the outlines of muscles under fur. Tracing or heavily referencing can help the artist get it right I ways that staring at pictures could not. Tracing is quite helpful and perfectly ok if not posted. 
TheTrolley Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student Artist

Tracing/referencing can be used for either good or for evil. When used in good hands, tracing/referencing helps the artists get the feel of things, get a basic idea on how the anatomy works, and input really minor things into their developing "style". (Keep in mind that all artists aren't "perfect" in terms of anatomy, and should be used cautiously so that you won't copy his/her mistakes) Also, such drawings should neverbe posted online/shown to the artist.
the-gaywolf Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I made an ArtTrade with someone some time ago and she just remade the picture of mine I gave her as ref of my charcter :( ... that was.. disappointing and strange. I don't want something like this to happen ever again...
red-wynter Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student General Artist
that is indeed what even o.o
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