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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Using the Grid Method - Step by Step

I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to use the grid method. I posted a very brief summary of the method awhile back but thoguht I would repost using images to hopefully make the process clearer.
Print the reference image on one sheet of paper in black & white. Reinsert the paper into the printer and print the grid image on top of it.
Print the grid image on a plain sheet of paper in black & white.
Using an hb pencil, draw on the printed grid directly drawing one square at a time paying attention to where each line meets the edge of the square on the reference images grid. Once complete, turn drawing over and draw over the back of the paper roughly to create a transfer paper or use a wax free transfer paper.
Take a fresh sheet of paper and place completed drawing face up onto the paper and trace over the lines you have drawn. The drawing is now transferred to clean sheet of paper and can be colored in or shaded as desired.


Billie Crain said...

great tutorial, Tracey! when i first learned how to use a grid i thought i had found the Holy Grail. when an absolutely perfect likeness is called for, a grid is the way to go. i only wish i'd had a computer when i was using grids. if i ever need to use one now i'll know how to do it much easier. all the measuring and drawing them out was a pain.:(

Tracey said...

Thanks Billie, yes it can be a life saver and save alot of frustration can't it. You could even just draw the lines once and then photo copy (or print of my sheet if it is good enough) If not let me know & I can send you the original file.

I agree, I think that is another reason I did not use it in the beginning, I can't draw a straight line to save my life! And then all the erasing only to find a line that just won't life out, aagh :)

Of course grid drawing is no substitue for learning to draw especially from life but it is a nice tool to use when you need to be super accurate :)

jeff said...

Another way would be to scan the original...reducing or enlarging as needed, and producing a copy.
Then put the graphite layer onto the back of the copied image, lay it on the drawing paper (use tape to secure it), and then trace over the image.
You should have an outline ready for you to put in the final details.

Tracey said...

Yes thanks for the tip Jeff. That works well for transferring images especially when in a hurry but if you prefer to train your eye to draw, the grid method is a great way as you are training your eye in smaller steps while maintining the accuaracy of the final drawing.

When tracing an image directly from a projector or print out often some of the drawing feel is lost as you are not switching over to the right side of the brain so if using the tracing method, I highly recommend just using it as you said to get the outline and then putting in the final details freehand to get the "feel" back into the drawing to be more of a sketch than an outline

jeff said...

Hi Tracey
I agree,
I have been doing my commissioned works using a grid for several years. I'm working on two portraits now.
I also am developing a website that teaches drawing by using a grid as part of it's content.
So you can see that I understand the usefulness of the grid in developing an accurate outline.
I got the idea for tracing without a grid idea after reading your info. this blog. I thought that there would be instances in which I could use it when the client needed the piece in a hurry. I find that the creation of a grid is time consuming and tedious for me...but I do enjoy the act of drawing in the boxes...kind of therapeutic.
Thanks for responding,