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  1. #1

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    Is it cheating if....

    I take a negative or positive, project it on a sheet of drawing paper or canvas, trace it, and use the traced image as a template for a drawing or painting?

    The idea to project and trace a slide or neg on a sheet of drawing paper (or canvas if I'm feeling patient enough to paint ) and then fill in the details later crossed my mind in drawing class today. I know I'm going to give it a try regardless of the consensus here, but I'm just curious what the folks here at APUG thinks.
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  2. #2
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Not cheating at all. Many artists used a camera obscura for this very action, in order to get the angles/perspective right in drawings and paintings. You are just using a negative/positive instead of a room/camera; same action, different equipment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I guess it might be considered cheating in a class if one of the purposes of the class is to teach you to be able to draw realistically, without such an aid .

    Otherwise, go for it.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Not just the camera obscura, there was a camera lucida too. Used and is currently being used by many artists.

    http://www.cameralucida.org.uk/?gcli...FdD92AodIw_aKg


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with projection.

    I know that many artists over the years have at least used photo prints in place of models, Georgia O'Keeffe for one.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6

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    It is cheating if it is against the rules. So, if your work is governed by rules, maybe it is cheating. It would depend on the rules...if there are any.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    It was the technique that prompted Fox Talbot to get thinking about the possibility of photogrpahy, per last nights perusal of my recently acquired copy of 'the keepers of the light'.

    If it is supposed to be a freehand drawing class, then I think the technique is beyond the ethical limits of what the instructor expects.
    my real name, imagine that.

  8. #8

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    it is a good skill to have.

  9. #9

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    I'm aware of the camera lucida and camera obscura, but they didnt cross my mind, I guess since I was thinking of tracing an image on film projected by an enlarger instead of tracing a scene right in front of me.

    I know it's against the rules for my class, so I wont be turning them in for a grade. I'm hoping I can use this technique to make some sort of displayable image from slides and negs that are slightly out of focus, have a noticible amount of camera shake, or the horizon line is so out of line that I have to crop too much off the sides when straightening the image up (my eyes are still young, but they have trouble seeing all the little details in a 35mm camera viewfinder ). I'm going to think of this as an adventure in art
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    If I was doing this (and I have thought about it) I would attach the paper to a sheet of Perspex (Plexiglass) and project the image onto the rear. That way you will not be working in your own shadow.

    A slide projector would probably be better than an enlarger for this as it is designed to project horizontally unlike most enlargers.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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