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Car drawing or video duplicity, sketches or tracing ?

Updated on July 6, 2012

The camera doesn’t lie so what is fact?

There are two types of car drawing videos on YouTube or any other video hosting site, that show short films of people drawing cars. One is of people using a graphics tablet and pen, with the other means being, a more traditional type of drawing, with a pen on paper. A graphics tablet and pen is where your mouse is replaced by a tool shaped like a pen, then used on a surface that is called the tablet, which is your drawing area. These tools are far more accurate and sensitive, than a traditional mouse.

The other type of video is one where a video camera is set up, to record somebody drawing, on a more traditional surface, like a piece of paper with a pencil. Except take note, that very few examples actually show people using a pencil.

Easy to be mislead.

The reason that few people use a pencil is quite simply, that a video camera has a number of problems, when it comes to recording graphite pencil drawings. Basically it struggles to see the marks made with graphite pencil. The tonal difference between a graphite pencil line and the white of the paper is not enough to capture, the finer qualities easily on video, graphite pencil is also reflective and shiny. When light reflects off any surface the result is usually, a white light, so with a paper that is usually white being used for the best contrast between the graphite pencil and the paper, this reflected light, often hides the pencil line. There are other problems as well with a video image, the quality is not very good in it’s self and it is even worse when being streamed online. The end result is, pencil drawings do not look their best with online video hosting, such as You Tube or any of the others. This is also always improving, so is the quality.

It’s a sad fact that people will mislead others given the chance.

This now creates a very interesting situation because you can draw a faint picture; constructional drawing or tracing onto a piece of paper, that can be seen easily by the naked eye but not the video camera. This can make it very easy to mislead viewers into reaching, false conclusions about the work being conveyed in the videos. You can simply record yourself on video, drawing over the top of a pencil drawing, with a pen, without revealing the fact that the picture is being traced. This is because the pencil drawing can not easily be seen by video and my observations tell me, that this is most often the case. Let me also say that not all of the drawing car videos are doing this and you can usually tell because of the way people draw,


Every artist drawing free hand makes mistakes when drawing pictures, they all use what is called construction marks on the paper, this is to be able to measure and judge where the mark goes, before they make it. This enables them to be more sure that they get it accurate and in the right place. All accomplished artists, start off drawings by making very light marks, some even practice by not touching the paper or making any marks at all but the marks gradually get darker because the darker marks, easily hide, the lighter construction marks or mistakes.

Measuring where every thing is.

Their hand movement jumps around the picture, from one place to another, measuring where every thing goes in relation to each other, so as to create the most accurate drawing possible, without making mistakes, that can’t be hidden or erased.

Please take note that these images below have been taken with a 10 megapixel camera and so the quality is far more superior to that of a video camera, which uses different image capturing sensors. Let me show you what I mean with the below examples of drawing a circle.

A circle being traced around an ink pot example 1.

A circle is being drawn with a compass next to the tracing example 2.

Four examples.

There are basically 4 ways to draw a circle, with a template, a compass, using construction lines and boxes or free hand, some examples can be seen below but this applies to drawing everything not just circles.

Example 3. using a box construction and 4. Using freehand construction.

The first two images out of the 4 above, do not have construction lines because they where traced around, made with a template and made with a tool called a compass. These types of drawings never leave construction lines because they are not needed, when people trace pictures, they are drawing over something or around it, like these first two circle drawings, so don’t need to do construction.

Artists, when drawing pictures, don’t just draw all the marks in; all in the right places, all in one go, without making construction lines, like many videos, shown on the video sharing sites are showing when you look. It seems that there are people, that are people just drawing shapes, with no construction work being done at all. I have never known anybody to be able to draw accurately like that, first, without doing any construction .

Graphics tablet.

The other type of video, that uses a graphics tablet and pen, makes it easier still for someone to look like they are drawing something freehand because the drawing surface or graphics tablet is never shown to the viewer. Graphics tablets have a clear plastic sheet on the drawing surface, that can be lifted up and a picture can be placed underneath it, so the person using the tablet can trace the image right onto the screen. This is how most of the drawing videos on the video sharing sites are actually being done and do you know how you can tell? There are no construction marks being made and there is no measuring going on because the shapes are just being drawn, without the person who is doing the drawing, making any construction marks because they are being traced so do not need construction.

Here are two videos, that help to show you what I mean, the first video is a free hand drawing being drawn upside down and notice how the hand is moving around, top to bottom, side to side, measuring and making construction marks. Also notice how difficult it is to see the pen marks, I am drawing using a black biro and many of the marks cannot be seen, after the video has been loaded up to YouTube, you can see the hand move about all over the place.

Drawing a face upside down and free hand.

The second video is using a graphics tablet, it shows a picture being traced from an original drawing and notice how the marks are just drawn in one go, without any measuring or construction marks being made because I am just drawing over the top of lines already there.

Sean Slater tracing from an original drawing using a Graphics Tablet.

What these tracing videos do, is give the would be artist or onlooker, the wrong idea because they do not show a true representation of how pictures are draw and lead people into thinking pictures can be draw by just looking.

Even many years ago when I used to draw pictures by just looking, I didn’t really do it by just looking, I actually just took longer, made much smaller marks and struggled to get it right because I hadn’t fully realized, that all drawing is measured. I used to measure lines in small increments, concentrating on too small an area and finding it very difficult to create a nice balanced, even drawing. My drawings would very often be over worked and flat as a result of this, although I resisted any form of measuring tools, techniques or methods I was still measuring but didn’t realise.

Drawing is of course more than just being a good draughts person and accurate, measuring alone will not make the best drawings. I personally find construction marks as interesting as the bolder, more defined elements of a drawing, with each to their own nuances.

The world is full of fine artists and drafts people, who use tracing methods because it can enable them to speed up the process of construction and learn about it, at the same time, along with a host of other profitable, learning outcomes.

There is no shame in tracing pictures but there is when it is being hidden

Drafting or constructing drawings free hand, is a skill that most people can attain but will be made far more difficult when they are being mislead.

There are many ways to develop your drawing skills and tracing for many beginners is a valuable method for developing that skill but not when it is being passed off as a free hand drawing.

Traced pictures might be precisely accurate but they do not have any character unless you work hard to add it to the drawing.

Take a good look at the image of the circle examples above, numbers 1 & 2 are only interesting because of the imperfections, the mistakes or breaks in the uniformity of the line and your eyes are drawn to these. Otherwise 1&2 although more accurate are also less interesting, except for the imperfections, that grab your eye. Circles 3 & 4 are much more interesting but not very accurate, so ask yourself, which ones do you think are the more interesting and why.

Fianally take a look at this fine example of a traced drawing and think about this, you cannot trace black pen so it has to be put in free hand, you will also find it impossible to trace the shaded areas because they are usually very subtle, too subtle for tracing..

So although the main construction of this car was traced, the rest had to be done free hand, so this enables me to practice these other skills free hand, in a more relaxed way because I have not had to do the construction work.

That in it’s self is reward enough for me because the end result is a nice drawing.

Since writing this hub a few years ago, video technology has improved so much and now you can buy reasonably good, high definition, video cameras which will pick up far greater detail, when doing drawings, making graphite pencil drawing, more accessible to video. As well as YouTube and other video sharing sites, having now also improved their technologies and video quality on these sites, on line video it has improved a great deal. This is making it far more difficult for people to hide their lack of skills, like it was only a couple of years ago.

Please see the video below which is a drawing made with graphite pencil.

VW Underwater Concept Car Video, for when the roads are very congested.


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    • Gareth Pritchard profile imageAUTHOR

      Gareth Pritchard 

      5 years ago from North Wales

      Hi DoveFreexrolo, I'm flattered with your comment and would at least consider writing for another but unfortunately I am not able to get access to your email address, as far as I can tell HubPages don't provide that information to me.

      Thanks, Gareth.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile imageAUTHOR

      Gareth Pritchard 

      8 years ago from North Wales

      I used to be a child and life was so easy for me I just lived it being looked after by my parents. I got older and had to look after myself, it became more difficult. I made the realization that just having a life is not as easy as I thought it was. Especially when I learned how deceptive people will be to protect their self interests or boost their maladjusted egos because they find it difficult to accept that really they are not that important.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My spouse and i used to get high on living yet lately I've truly developed a level of resistance.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile imageAUTHOR

      Gareth Pritchard 

      9 years ago from North Wales


      "reece 14 hours ago

      wich page"

      Take a look at this:

      (Comments are not for promoting your Hubs or other sites)

      This makes me reluctant to post links to videos, pages, especially the kinds of ones that are not giving the whole story, which is what I presume your asking.

      The whole purpose of this page is to inform others to not take things at face value, but if you like drawing watch them all, I do when I have got the time.

      Thanks, Gareth.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      wich page

    • profile image


      10 years ago




    • Gareth Pritchard profile imageAUTHOR

      Gareth Pritchard 

      12 years ago from North Wales

      Hi collegemoneyguy,

      Thank for the complimentary remarks and I am happy you got something from it.

      Thanks again, Gareth.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      This is amazing, Gareth. I would have never in a million years thought about any of this.

      Very cool Hub!

    • Gareth Pritchard profile imageAUTHOR

      Gareth Pritchard 

      12 years ago from North Wales

      Hi Eric, 

      I was quite a bit apprehensive about publishing this Hub although I felt strongly about the subject of people misleading others, after all drawing is all illusion anyway, which is quite ironic in of it’s self.

      Your comment has helped ease my apprehension so a big think you for that, Gareth.


    • cadman000 profile image


      12 years ago

      Very nice Gareth, quite informitive. Eric


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