HOW TO GRID PORTRAITS

by | Last updated Sep 7, 2018 | Published on Jun 4, 2014 | Art Blog, Miscellaneous, Traditional

How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson
Step 2, Laminating Pouches | How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson

STEP TWO | PLACE GRID INTO A LAMINATING POUCH

Take your printed grids, and slide it into a laminating pouch. I use an A4 (about 8 X 12 in) pouch, but you can also get A5 (4 X 6) and A3 (16 X 12) pouches, or cut them up to any size.  Laminating pouches work perfectly; just make sure you push the paper right up to the edge so it’s straight and not at all wonky before closing the front of the pouch!

Step 3, Draw on your grid lines | How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson

STEP THREE | DRAW YOUR GRID LINES

With the grid inside the laminating pouch, take a permanent marker pen, I used a CD/DVD pen. Copic markers don’t work, they just smudge all over the place lol With a ruler trace the grid you now have inside the pouch. You may want to tape the pouch down so that it doesn’t move about while doing this, and be careful moving the ruler to avoid smudging the ink.

Step 4 - Line Up your Reference Image | How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson

STEP FOUR | LINE UP REFERENCE IMAGE

Now, grab the reference image you want to draw, and place it inside the laminating pouch you’ve just drawn your grid on, so that the grid is shown over the top of the photo. Make sure that it lines up straight with the grid!

Step 5, Use a lightbox to avoid leaving lines on your paper | How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson

STEP FIVE | USE A LIGHTBOX

Before you can begin drawing your lineart, you need to have the grid visible on your piece of paper. At first I used to draw the grid on my paper very lightly and then erase the lines after. Problem was, no matter how lightly I drew the lines, I would always see them through my shading on the finished drawing.

It really bothered be, I honestly tried so hard to do the lines as lightly as possible. In the end I had to think of something else. This is what lead me to try a portable lightbox. It’s been very successful, as no lines of the grid will ever be placed on your drawing, plus you save time by not having to keep drawing the lines each time.

Step 6 - Line Up your Paper on the Lightbox | How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson

STEP SIX | LINE UP PAPER

I use Bristol Board paper, which is quite thick, but it still works! You want to line up your paper on the lightbox, with your printed grid underneath it so that you can see the grid through the paper. Make sure your paper is straight, then tape everything onto the lightbox.

Step 6 - Line Up your Paper on the Lightbox | How to Grid Portraits, by Artist Sophie Lawson

STEP EIGHT | START DRAWING

It may seem like a lot of work just to get going, but, it only takes a couple of minutes after the very first time. In fact, doing it this way is a lot quicker, and less hassle, then having to draw the grid by hand each time you start a realistic drawing.

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

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