The grid pattern in this image is not symmetrical, but that doesn’t matter as long as the same number of grid tiles appear on your drawing surface. Complex images such as this one are more accurately portrayed using a grid.

Last year when I posted an article on using grids, I received a comment that said that using  a grid was the same as tracing. My first reaction was how could the two be the same? One (tracing) is direct copying, while grids require personal judgements in proportion drawing. Upon reflection I can see that both are drawing aides and could be seen by some as forms of copying, I don’t agree.

As I said yesterday, tracing is the imitation of an existing image. Grids are designed to enable one to draw in proportion but still allow personal interpretation. At Art School I used a grid when life drawing. How can one trace a live model? Can you image a model covered in felt pen squares!

Grids enable the artist to change the proportion (great for distortion and surreal imagery) of their chosen subject. The more tiles, the more accurate the artist can be.

I only use grids when I am drawing a complicated subject. I don’t need to use a grid and sometimes I don’t. It’s a habit I have grown up with (and a good one), that helps me decide the contents and positioning of the foreground (close), middle distance (near) and the background (far).

Accuracy is not always essential, it’s the character of the subject that defines your work as a piece of art, not how photographically real you are.



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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One Response to GRIDS

  1. Gillian says:

    Well, you’ve certainly stirred up a hornets’ nest. LOL

    I’ve used grids all my life, and I agree, you still need those drawing skills and a good eye for relative position and proportion to make it work. It’s an aid to composition not a copying machine.

    We should remember that some of the great artists back in history used a camera obscura to make their foundation drawings – Vermeer and Canaletto being two examples.

    A lively debate, Richard!

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