Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Some people find this cheating, others think that its just another tool, but here is the dreaded grid. Personally I think its just another tool that artists can use, one that doesn't always make the drawing any easier, in fact it can sometimes make it harder.

I don't use a grid very often, I like eyeballing a drawing, but I wanted this drawing of Sky to be as close as possible, so thought I would try to grid it first. Still need to fill in a lot of the squares, and I might just end up getting pissed off, tearing the paper up and eyeball the whole thing anyway :p

and the mystery drawing isnt Sky ;)


sue said...

I used to feel the same way ... but sometimes when a drawing just doesn't seem to go right - 'gridding' just highlights the little bits which need tweaking ... and it all comes right again

Probably better to grid right at the start than have to do it part way thru!!

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Some of the Old Masters used to also use grids. In fact, in some cases you can see the grids still visible on the finished works. Ask a non-artist to draw using a grid and they're just as lost as they would be without one.

CurlyPops said...

I don't think it's cheating to use a grid. I used a grid to draw my granny square last week - it was impossible to get it even enough without it.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Yup, I use grids as well.

Shashi Nayagam said...

I think it is a very helpful tool.

kaslkaos said...

Definitely not cheating, especially since your telling us. A picture of Sky? Yay!
But am I the only one who's never (yet) used a grid??? I would, and may, depending on the project. Maybe something I should try, especially if it's architecture.

Chrissy said...

I just can't cope with a grid at all but I think it is because I am too lazy. I am looking forward to seeing Sky take shape :)

Mary Jane said...

I think the old masters would have used photographs if they had been available. Instead they used a grid.
When photographs became available painters started using them for reference and I wonder if some used tracings to get realistic likenesses.

Eyeballing is time consuming but the way to go if you love drawing and you have lots of time.

But I have noticed some of the demonstration videos of popular artists on the Artists TV Workshop series, trace enlarged photographs or photocopies for the outline of a subject. So they get very good likenessess with half the problems of measuring and getting features exact etc. So there definitely are many successful artists who use photos to create excellent realistic likenesses of faces and animals if that is what is wanted by clients.
Some say,"whatever gets the job done" is the way to go.
I think about these things a lot.

Jennifer Rose said...

sue, very true, it does help with the little bits that need :)

sandi, thats the argument i use! proves that all types of artists need the occasional bit of help drawing

cam, those squares turned out great :D

michelle, thanks for the comment :)

thanks shashi :)

ingrid, def. easier to use a grid for buildings. lots of people don't use grids because they see it as cheating

chrissy, it does take time to use a grid, which can be a pain

mary, yep, what ever gets the job done is what i think. tis the end result that really matter :)

PaintDog said...

I haven't used a grid since an art class in college. I flat-out trace! Saral graphite transfer paper is a must-have art supply. But I use my own photos (or ones I have permission to use) and I know how to draw. The tracing just lets me get to the "good stuff" faster.

I also have a thorough understanding of my animal subjects' structure - I know why there's a highlight there or a shadow over there.

When I'm working on a pet portrait commission, I'm not going to spend an extra hour or two getting a free-hand drawing just perfect before I can even start painting or penciling.

The initial tracing is my road map and I'm constantly refining and defining the artwork as I go along. I know what to leave in, what to add and what to adjust from the photo reference.

I look at it this way - I could give the same initial tracing and photo to 10 different people and we'd get 10 different results.

I too say "whatever gets the job done".