Is Tracing Cheating?

I keep trying new techniques as I keep learning art and for this one I chose do one of the more controversial.  I traced the outline directly off of the picture to get the proportions just right.  The shading and painting is my own though. I used watercolor pencils  The lettering is also my own as well.

This drawing is of  a Plott Hound for my #draw50states  challenge I did last year.  I drew this in August 2015. This is the North Carolina entry. 

The dog is one of 4 breeds known to be of American origin. It began in NC.

For what it is worth, I don't mind people that trace because there is so much more involved to a good drawing or painting.  The tones, colors, shading and even positioning the composition aren't something you can do with just tracing.

But,  I enjoy the extra challenge of not tracing even more.  It is especially satisfying to get something right or even make it better by just drawing from sight.

What do you think? Is tracing cheating?


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