|Don't let anyone tell you, that using a grid to create an accurate reproduction
of a subject is somehow wrong or a form of cheating. It is a very
basic but extremely effective tool and eliminates many of the basic
problems encountered in drawing such as: perspective, proportion
and relationship. Leonardo da Vinci and other great masters used
this same method and it was even regarded, at one time, as a trade
secret. Using nothing more than a pencil and a plastic 12"
ruler, an accurate linear drawing can be produced with very little
practise. It is this accuracy that is essential when drawing lifelike
Albrecht Durer, Draughtsman making a perspective
Drawing of a Woman (1525)
a grid, simply apply accurate, vertical and horizontal lines
to the photo or picture that you're going to draw. The grid
can be drawn directly onto the original photograph or onto a
good photocopied reproduction. I actually drew my grid of half
inch squares, using 'Paint Shop Pro' for accuracy, onto an A4
sheet of paper and then photocopied this onto clear acetate.
This is then clipped over the original subject and fixed securely
to prevent movement.
This method prevents marking and damaging of the original picture...
very important if working from a customer's cherished photograph.
a beginner and taking the cartoon of 'Oliver Hardy' as a whole,
the prospect of drawing an accurate copy probably seems rather
daunting... but the grid, placed over it, has divided everything
into a collection of fairly simple shapes. If you progress square
by square and simply draw the contents of each one, you'll find
that you should be able to draw very accurately. Your first couple
of attempts may not be perfect, of course, but with just a little
practise, this method will be an invaluable tool to aid you in
producing lifelike portraits.
draw a corresponding grid onto your drawing or layout paper. At
this stage you can actually enlarge your copy by increasing the
size of the squares... if the original grid was half an inch,
you can double the copy size by drawing 1" squares... or
12" squares if you wish to draw a mural on the side of your
Taking one square at a time... find exactly what is contained
within it... decide where each line begins and ends within that
square... is it straight or does it curve slightly? You should
end up with something like the image on the right...
voila!... the finished inked, drawing.
Not bad considering the only tools we used were a cheap plastic
ruler and a pencil.
In this particular case, I inked in the drawing using the original
picture as reference before erasing the pencil grid. With my
pencil portraits, I usually erase around the subject and simply
blend any remaining pencil lines into the shading. Hopefully,
this page demonstrates that the gridding method does actually
produce a faithful reproduction of just about any subject you
wish to draw: automobiles, flowers, animals... and of course