Draw or paint from a re-usable grid

by Grant
(Ahlden, Germany)



When drawing portraits or scenery I personally find it difficult to get the proportions & positions of certain features correct and spend a lot of time rubbing out and starting again.

I saw a lesson on how to use a GRID system to help get things roughly in the right position. I then came up with the idea of a re-usable grid tool to save you time gridding the actual paper that you will be drawing / painting on and then removing it. Here's what to do...

You require:
1 x A4 sized plastic folder/envelope insert
3 x A4 sheets of normal printer paper
A ruler
A dark coloured permanent marker (thin tipped)
A dark coloured marker (slightly thicker nibbed)
A Clip board

Please refer to my diagrams during the explanation.

Step 1. Take an A4 sized plastic folder insert and on one side, using the width of the ruler (approx.30mm), 'grid' the side of the insert using the thin permanent/waterproof marker as seen in Diagram 2

Step 2. Turn the plastic folder/insert over and 'grid' again as in step 1 and this time half the squares again as in Diagram 3.

Step 3. Now insert a blank sheet of A4 printer paper into the plastic folder. You can now see you have a side with a large grid and on the other side, a small grid.

Step 4. Take a sheet of A4 paper and using the slightly thicker sized marker 'grid' the paper as in Diagram 4 (this should match your large grid on the plastic folder)

Step 5. Take another sheet of A4 paper and repeat Step 4, this time to match your smaller 'grid' on the plastic folder. See Diagram 6

Now to use your new griding tool you simply insert the picture or photo into the plastic folder. See Diagram 7.

Place the same size 'gridded' A4 sheet of paper on to your clip board. (for a 1:1size ratio)

Place the paper you are going to be drawing on, over the gridded sheet on the board and you should be able to see the lines of the grid showing through. See Diagram 5.

Another tip is that if you have a small photo and you are planning to draw it larger than it is, then place the photo in the side of the plastic folder with the small squares and place the A4 grid with the large squares on the clip board. This will increase the size ratio of the finished image but still keeping the dimensions in proportion.

If this tip helps at least one person then I'm happy! Thanks for reading. Regards, Grant.

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Wow!!! Great Idea!!!
by: Paula

This will save So much time now i can do more drawings. Doing grids was driving me batty, but this idea is just what i needed...
Thanks hey...

Great idea
by: GrannyHeidi

Thanks so much for the re-usable grid idea. It always seemed to take too long to create the grid to retain the enthusiasm for the particular subject painting. I get carried away, rushing to capture the ambiance of the photo, putting my logical side away, only to see something later that would have been better placed or proportioned, had I used the grid.

I will create a re-usable grid and take away my own excuse for skipping this step.

Thanks for posting this!

Thank Goodness
by: Carole

The portraits I have drawn to date I have done freehand and they have worked well. However, I had a problem when I was working with a small photograph that needed enlarging. It was quite difficult and I was fed up having to use maths all the time, measuring the difference between features and then timing it 2 or 3 times. I was told by a friend to use a grid, which I did on one occasion and it drove me barmy keep drawing all these squares and I vowed I wouldn't do it again. Anyway, I will give this a go for enlarging purposes and I am sure I will be saying thank you, thank you, thank you!!

It works!
by: Greytails, Australia

Thank you. Your idea gave me the courage to attempt my first pencil sketch, of which I'm extremely proud.

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