Tracing is not cheating

As I handed my grade 7 students their portrait photographs and a sheet of tracing paper they asked, “Isn’t this cheating Ms Davies?”, “No, it’s portraiture without pain” I replied. Tracing is differentiation; helping less able learners achieve success and feel proud of their artwork. Tracing is developing ideas; compositional plans on tracing paper help students move through ideas faster and with more flexibility. Tracing is learning about proportion and perspective; tracing over photos on apps aid students understanding of line direction in architectural drawings and proportion in portraiture. Tracing is risk-taking; tracing painting plans on to large-scale canvases encourage students to take a risk with scale, creating something they never thought possible. Tracing is not cheating.