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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:
 
:iconresplendentcaballer:
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. 
Reply
:iconreanmeih:
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.
Reply
:iconspigos:
Spigos Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's good that you bring this topic up =)
Reply
:iconakinatris:
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).
Reply
:iconspeedytheneedlemouse:
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!

Me:
'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'

Commentor:
'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.
Reply
:iconjamtraven:
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.

Reply
:iconrae-elic:
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. 
Reply
:iconthetrolley:
TheTrolley Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student Artist
Exactly.

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.
Reply
:iconthe-gaywolf:
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...
Reply
:iconred-wynter:
red-wynter Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student General Artist
that is indeed strange...like what even o.o
Reply
:iconfunkygame:
Funkygame Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014
Yeah, with tracing you can learn how to draw some pose,or even get idea for new pose,but i don't get people who trace artwork and then,they deny that they stole pose that is totally identical with originali :/ and they argue with other people about that ,really immature
Reply
:iconthestripedkit:
TheStripedKit Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student Filmographer
Thank you :clap:
Reply
:icontiffanois:
Tiffanois Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
One of my followers trace one of my own drawings and give it to me as a gift. o_e;
Reply
:iconcooi:
CooI Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
someone has done that to me too o-o that's just wrong lol and then he asked me if i wanted to get more gift art from him and i'm all like 'err..its fine..' XD
Reply
:icontiffanois:
Tiffanois Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
:iconffffplz: Fff.. It's so awkward too cause, you're not sure wither to be thankful to receive fan/gift art, or be angry because said gift/fan art was traced off something you drew. xD;;; 


Reply
:iconcooi:
CooI Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
exactly xD
Reply
:icontiffanois:
Tiffanois Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
traced*
Reply
:icontiffanois:
Tiffanois Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Gave*

Whoa, I'm full of typos and grammar errors tonight! ^^; 
Reply
:iconbeautysnake:
BeautySnake Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
I had a person that, around two year ago, asked if they could make lineart off of a thing I made and I told then that I'd prefer if they didn't and it was all fine, but then the next day I clicked on their icon and I saw that they went ahead and did it anyway without crediting or anything and they made it as a gift for their friend and??? idk it just irritates me. referencing doesn't irritate me as much as heavy referencing and tracing. 
Reply
:iconjirounamakii:
JirouNamakii Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist
Ahh... so that what tracer do too?
Reply
:iconraveneevee:
raveneevee Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
sha, i look at pictures and redraw them for shading practice and sizing, i kinda like seeing how close i can get to the original. i still post them though cause i like how it turns out, i never claim the stuff i drew as original though. is that still wrong?  
Reply
:iconvengefulspirits:
VengefulSpirits Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, If you are highly referencing its still wrong to post it without asking the artist for permission first, even if you like how it looks you still copied another artist work. 

This is a art site, not photo bucket or facebook, people want to see your work, not work you just redrew off another. 

please just use Highly referencing as a learning tool. 
Reply
:iconraveneevee:
raveneevee Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
sha... i feel bad now. i dont know how drew them though. always thought if i didnt claim it as my own it wouldnt matter. 
Reply
:iconjo-san:
Jo-san Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They way you describe "highly referencing" is something I commonly find labelled as "eyeballing". Good for learning basics - not okay to use for creating artwork. :/
Reply
:icongreatduck:
GREATDUCK Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I so like your journals because you don't be afraid to say what you think. These copy thingies is so much in the movement right now, and the people who do that have to understand it's not right.

Love your artwork, you're amazing! .u.
Reply
:iconkage-niji:
kage-niji Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree here. Sometimes I reference or highly reference art to practice anatomy, but never post it. :P
Reply
:iconjaydetheshadowdragon:
I literally started out tracing. yup. I wasn't on DA, but ive traced stuff from DA. I was also really really young so yeah whatever. highly referencing is really unoriginal, but if you have a picture in your mind and you find something similar to reference from because you really need help with it, then it's okay in my mind. and honestly, there are only so many poses, and many people use the same poses without flipping out at each other, so it should be completely okay unless they literally traced and have a history of tracing. recolors are terrible. 

long story short this is awesome. I agree
Reply
:icond-rock92:
D-Rock92 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with this. You've made some good points.
Reply
:iconsladin5ever:
Sladin5Ever Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Always ALWAYS ask people! Even if someone got permission first, you should still ask. And NEVER touch commission work either unless the artist doesn't mind
Reply
:icontheramutt:
TheraMutt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Accidental spam. XD <3
Reply
:icontheramutt:
TheraMutt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
O.O WHOA.
THERE WERE LIKE 3 of my last comment when I said dis. 

Weird. :0
Reply
:icontheramutt:
TheraMutt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha yes, it's kinda like that thingy I drew on your last journal. :p

Hope no one else is found tracing your art ms.fox. *cracks knuckles*
>w>
Reply
:iconniehhuskey:
NiehHuskey Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I often print people's art out and copy from there, then i'll play around use the poses for references and such. This is exactly how I learn, I would be disgusted at myself if I ever uploaded it. 
Reply
:iconniehhuskey:
NiehHuskey Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Speaking of which do you mind if I snag the image and share to facbeook with all credit to you and linked to your DA of course x
Reply
:iconvengefulspirits:
VengefulSpirits Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sure. 
Reply
:iconniehhuskey:
NiehHuskey Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconthemagicalchair:
TheMagicalChair Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
I've actually heard that many artist appreciate referencing drawings and tracing. its a way of showing them that their art appeals to them and that they want to learn how to draw like them. but of course there is always the ones who ruin it for everyone by "stealing" calling it theirs. also many young artist don't even realize its wrong. then they have a group of angry fans yell, threaten and insult them. we all learn by imitating others it just sucks that the internet makes it so easy to "steal" and claim art as there own. I don't approve people using linearts to make adoptables (i don't adoptables in general) because its making money of someone else work, kind of like copyright.
Reply
:icongrixxynix:
Grixxynix Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I remember growing up on DeviantArt dealing with people attacking tracers without hesistation and it bothered me because hey, i traced, i never posted but i //learned// from it

so i'm glad i'm seeing more people be more open about it //now// too!!

and in all honesty tracing is a pretty innocent action as a kid, because you want to learn how to make something THAT COOL RIGHT NOW

but doing it to get the same attention as the artist would only bring your downfall, because what if you do become famous? and have to make all those works //on your own// WOAH
Reply
:iconfluffermcnutters:
FlufferMcNutters Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014
Well,  there's a difference between tracing to learn, and then tracing without even giving credit or mentioning that you traced/referenced. 


Reply
:iconinsanity-pup:
Insanity-Pup Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't get why people even highly reference, that's basically stealing the artists work and it may as well be the same as traced. slight referencing I see as ok as long as there is permission.
Reply
:iconharutotetsu:
HaruTotetsu Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You know thinking about this...one part saddens me. Where people reference something in a rather innocent manner. Its something everyone does. Why draw in THAT pose when you could have done any pose? There's a chance you've seen it somewhere before...but you've forgot, and just subconsciously reference it. Then someone shows up claiming you've traced it...and you're just left in a state of unease because when you look at the image and the one they say you traced it looks similar enough to make you doubt your own artistic ability...so even if that wasn't the piece you've unknowingly reference you're made to feel guilty about it and are attacked into being wrong. So in situations like this where an artist could have referenced your work, but can't be certain and could have in fact referenced someone else's who just happened to use the same pose (you can't own a pose after all...that's like saying you own a colour) as your work, say the one above (as the pose looks familiar to me and you may have done this when making the work you used as an example above)...what would you do then? 
Reply
:iconicemistthewolf:
icemistthewolf Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
its anoying when someone traces art work that you took hours to make and then they ether dont give you credit or they dont ask i hate that most of all!
Reply
:iconvengefulspirits:
VengefulSpirits Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
some ask, but don't wait to see what you say, they just do it anyway. 
Reply
:iconicemistthewolf:
icemistthewolf Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ikr D: its anoying to me and there all i asked and then they act like your the bad person here or they pretend like you stole it from them D:
Reply
:iconhan-kami:
han-kami Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
Reply
:iconicemistthewolf:
icemistthewolf Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i know how you feel D:
Reply
:iconmizamy:
MizAmy Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
^^^
Reply
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