It seems to be the fashion today for many artists to say, 'well I know I can draw the image, so I'm not going to waste my time, I'll trace/project it instead.' Well, . . . . OK. If that's what works for someone, go right ahead. But for me, that would feel wrong, and it would take away at least half the fun and satisfaction for me. I take pride in doing something that I worked hard to learn how to do.
When I draw something, putting pencil directly to white paper, I am able to connect with the subject in a way I couldn't do if I was confined by tracing paper or a projected image. Oh, I do my initial drawing on newsprint (finally learned it's better to beat up a sheet of newsprint getting the image right than to ruin a sheet of watercolour paper!) and then, when the image is finally correct and the way I want it, I transfer it to the watercolour paper, so yes, there is a tracing step for me, but I'm tracing the image I've just put hours, sometimes a day or two, into drawing.
I love the painting process too, I'm addicted to soft, juicy colour and love to sweep watercolours onto paper to bring my image to life, but I need to think out the entire painting before I begin. I didn't always do this, I'd be very careful with the main image and let the background take care of itself, but once I started to take the entire image seriously and draw everything but the tiny details before I started into paint, my overall painting took a leap forward.
So I willingly take the time to draw my images for a painting, I draw to work out ideas, both in art and in life, and I doodle or sketch when I'm waiting on the phone or as passenger in the car. I'm enchanted by lines. Pick up a pencil and have some fun :)