How to Use the Grid Method When Drawing Or Painting – Learning to Paint

One common question that many beginning artist ask is, do I have to draw before I can paint? The answer is that you should have drawing skills, or at least a way to make it appear that you can draw. The good news is that drawing is make easy when you use the grid method. When you use a grid to obtain accurate drawings you are literally following your own step by step technique for drawing.

The grid method is a great way to get a small picture onto a larger area such as a canvas. The grid is actually a way to break a picture down into a dozen or more smaller more manageable pictures.

The grid method is done using a ruler and creating a grid of equal squares that is placed over a reference picture or photo. The squares in the grid can be any size such as one half inch or one inch. Now draw another grid on your painting surface. The grid on the painting surface can be the same size as on the reference photo or it can be larger or even smaller. It just depends on how large or small you want the painting to be.

Lets say that you are working with a photo or picture that you cant draw lines directly on. An excellent way to still be able to use a grid would be to draw the grid on a transparency or having a transparency or overlay made. You will be able to use it over and over again. Just make sure that you tape the photo on a piece of paper, then tape the transparent grid on top of the photo. This way, your lines won’t move. Lightly draw with a pencil, a grid on your painting surface. Keep these lines light because you will be erasing them when your drawing is complete.

Now that you have your grids in place you are ready to draw. Look at the reference photo in only one square at a time. Working one square at a time, draw what you see onto the canvas. Do this step by step and square by square.

You have now taken a complex subject and literally broken it down into manageable pieces. Have fun and don’t be afraid of drawing because with the grid method, drawing is made easy.

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