Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Easy Drawing Tip: Use a Grid!

There are times I would like to shake whichever art teacher came up with the sentence "copying is cheating" decades ago because I hear it SO many times from ages 4 to 94. It is a terribly unfortunate statement that has stopped many a beginner from progressing because some well meaning but uninformed person (who uses the latest of updated technologies) repeats that demoralizing sentence!

Some artists, and I am one, can look at anything and redraw it on paper. But I still need a reference :-) And those that "pull from their minds" also need a reference. I love to ask people if they know what an elephant looks like. And everyone says "yes." Good. So then I ask them to draw an elephant and this is where the fun begins. The subject quite honestly can be anything. The point is, in order for it to look like what we want it to, we need to have seen and handled (regularly) the subject or look at references. Only then can an artist "pull from" his imagination whether realistic, cartoonish or a monster!

So with all that in mind, a blog, the Frugal Crafter, whom I follow, posted a great little tutorial on "graphing"-the ability to take a smaller (or larger) photo, drawing or sketch and enlarge it onto a surface  the artist wishes to paint on.  The usage of a grid goes back centuries! There are woodcuts by the artist Albrecht Duhrer (1471-1528) depicting an arrtist using a grid to learn to draw and see properly. I like to encourage the students of all ages to draw on scratch paper THEN transfer their image to the canvas or paper. Having the ability to enlarge drawing makes the possibilities endless!

I am going to try to post in verbatim here and try to go back and add the links as I have permission to share! The title link will also take you right to the blog! Enjoy!

Easy Drawing Tip: Use a Grid!

 I had an “Ask a Crafter” question from a lady who wanted some ideas on how to re-size drawings, she had thought about a projector but she wanted to know if I had any ideas. I thought this questions would be better explained in it’s own video so here it is:

The best thing about this technique is anybody can do it, even if you say you can’t draw a strait line you can do this and it will look very close to the original because you are just copying lines in a small box.  I got a great tip from a YouTube viewer who suggested that I cover the squares I was not working on to trick my brain into not looking ahead, great idea, you could cut a square the same size as the grid and lay it on top and shift as needed. I also heard from a math teacher who cuts up coloring pages and has the kids draw the contents of the square on a larger paper and they the class put the “puzzle” together. Ain’t learnin’ fun!?! This is a good exercise for me because I have drawn for so long that I start with the basic shapes then start refining but if I’m not careful I just make it up and stop looking at my reference so this makes me really look.
Before I forget, here is the link for the printable graph paper. I used a 1/2″ grid in black for my transparent sheet. I drew my picture on a 1″ grid therefore doubling the size. You can make the drawing grid as big as you like, and make it however large you want. It’s really like designing a vector…hmmm, maybe that is why it is good for math teachers, and art teachers, let’s cross curriculum this technique!
I hope you found this useful, teach it to yourself and your kids! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!