I'm actually copying a great idea I got from in her journal. A good DA friend of mine could really do with some extra cash from commissions right now, so if you're looking for a present for yourself or for someone you know, why not visit her etsy store and help her out a little. [link]
Here's a little sampling of her art
A discussion that's got some heated comments over the last few weeks here at DA is the discussion about tracing and copyright. I stayed out of it for most of the time feeling that art is one of the areas where taste and belief is involved and arguing with people about their tastes and beliefs (and politics!) is about as productive as transporting water in a sieve.
I did have a very productive and meaningful discussion with about it a few days ago in his journal, but this morning I read another article on the topic [link] and also the rather vitriolic comments that came with it, and I finally decided I was miffed enough to devote a journal article to the topic.
As an art historian I find the whole "tracing is trash" attitude rather amusing, as many great artists including Vermeer van Delft, Canaletto and Joshua Reynolds all used a device called a camera obscura quite widely in their work. A camera obscura will project a precise image of a scene onto paper where it can be sketched (i.e. traced!) and then painted. Other artists employed complex arrangements of strings to "project" small drawings onto huge areas of wall or ceiling when drawing frescos in churches and palaces, such as the Italian church painter Pozzo. Portrait painters like the English artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti had in his studio photos of his models in the exact poses he ended up painting them in - again there are simple geometry constructions that allow you to project points from a photograph onto a grid on canvas before painting, which again is nothing more than tracing.
Even though tracing has become much easier these days with Photoshop layering it is a practice probably as old Aristotle who first worked out the principles of the camera obscura around 350 BC. If we scorn tracing we also have to blackball half of western traditional art.
Tracing is a technique, people, nothing more and nothing less! I can use tracing in a multitude of different ways, and not all have anything to do with copyright issues or with fan-art where we're now supposed to stick everything that uses tracing. For example I use tracing extensively in my jewelry designs where I start with a rough pencil sketch, superimpose a sheet of vellum and tidy up the pencil scribbles with ink (i.e. I TRACE!), then I scan the image, use the computer to scale it down to jewelry-size, print it out again and if needs be even trace over it again until I have a paper cartoon that I can cut out and use as a template for my silver clay pieces. So does that make all my silver jewelry fan-art now?
Recently I did the same for a tattoo commission, where the final design went through three stages of pencil drawings, trace-over, refinement, more trace-over, until I finally had a design that was so sharp and precise it could be inked. I didn't use anyone else's art for it, I just traced and retraced my own until I was 100% happy with it. Again, fan art?!
What happens if someone takes a still-life photo and then instead of putting the photo in their gallery, instead traces over it and then uses the outlines to produce a watercolor image? Is this somehow less worthy than putting up the photo? Is it fan art?
Tracing and copyright are totally different issues and I wish DA had adopted another term for what they are really trying to get their hands around it's drawing or painting over other people's art or photographs. I wish they'd call that Paint-over as Aeires suggested to me in our discussion, or they make a gallery separate from fan-art calling it Copied Art for tracing (and other forms of exact duplication) involving other people's work as a basis.
* If you ask me to make artwork available as a print, please check if it uses copyrighted material. DA will not take print submissions that are based on such materials. This means, no prints of drawings based on movies or TV shows like the Harry Potter Movies, Brokeback Mountain, CSI etc. If you want a drawing as a print please note me instead.
Commission status: open
Sirius and OC: received
A Murder of Crows: received
Catriona McGillivray for TheVirginian: finishing drawing this weekend
"Guitar Wizard" for Miki Petrovic: posted on 02/09
"Lucian" in green for Michelle: shipped on 02/14
"A Present for Narcissa" for Dellessanna: focal is ready, working on necklace components
Serpent focal and closure for redLillith: received
If you want to know more about my art: did a great interview with me. [link]
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