Drawing, Illustration, Landscapes, Painting, Portraits

How to Make a Grid for Drawing

July 3, 2014

By Alina Bradford

drawing gridUsing a grid to copy what you see in your still life is a good way to make an accurate drawing. To use a grid you mentally divide your subject into thirds vertically and horizontally. Then, you draw what is in one of the thirds into the corresponding area on the grid on your paper. Once that third is finished you move on to drawing the next third. You continue until the entire grid is full. Before you can start, though, you need to make a grid on your paper.

What You Need:

  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Instructions for Making a Grid:

  1. Measure your paper vertically.
  2. Divide that number by three.
  3. Draw two straight lines on your paper, vertically, that corresponds with the answer from step two. So, if the answer was 3-inches, you would draw a line 3-inches from the edge of your paper, then another line 3-inches from the first line. This will trisect the paper vertically.
  4. Measure your paper horizontally.
  5. Divide that number by three.
  6. Draw two straight lines on your paper, horizontally, that corresponds with the answer from step five. So, if the answer was 3-inches, you would draw a line 5-inches from the edge of your paper, then another line 5-inches from the first line. This will trisect the paper horizontally. You now have a grid.

If you have problems visualizing your subject into thirds, use the process above to create a grid on a clear sheet of plastic that you can hold in front of the subject.

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