Grid System For Portrait Drawings

Portrait drawings using grid system has made much simpler. Below illustrated my work from a photographic source, using pencil as the medium. This digital photograph is a profile portrait from a friend in my Facebook. She has given me an opportunity to demonstrate on previous blog: Why Portrait Drawing Using Grid Lines is The Best Practice?.

As you can see in the illustration of a profile portrait, it is probably an easier choice. Most of the attention is focused on the outline of the face. In addition, it made any students to have some challenge drawing with only single eye exists in the portrait. Ideally, it does help to build confidence in portrait drawing with moderate difficulty.

  1. Grid lines are drawn on the photograph using software editing tools, like Photoshop or GIMP. Alternatively, you can print it out and use a fine pen to outline it. I actually draw the portrait direct from the laptop display. Disable the screensaver, otherwise you will be irritated every 5 minutes of your artwork.
  2. Since this photograph is 480 x 480 square pixels , what you have to do next is to square up your drawing paper of any size. Mine was 8.5″ x 8.5″. For grid system, a long scaled ruler is the most essential tool. And be reminded to use 2H pencil to draw the grid lines very lightly.
  3. Mathematically, size of your material is not a factor, because ratio is applied to scale up your chosen portrait photos to your desired drawings paper. Based on your existing length of drawing paper, divide this dimension by the number of squares appear in the digital photograph. If digital photo showing 10-squares grid, make sure you are not using 9-square grid to divide the paper length. I have mine with 8.5″ divide by 5-square grid, resulting per square size of 1.7″. Some grid lines are visible if you look closely.
  4. I started my drawings from the profile of the forehead to the chin. And some lines to draft out the hair. Always justify your point of drawing within a small square grid, it doesn’t carry any meaning though. Apparently, drawing the portrait will start to picture clearly with more lines are being filled. With these initial steps, any student will feel more confidence and wanting to continue with drawings using grid system.
  5. The eye will demand slightly more attention, since there are the main feature of every portrait drawings.  Having smaller square grids concentrated on this portion may help, however, not too encouraging for a beginner to learn free hand. It also makes the drawing messier

Having describing on how I use grid system for portrait drawing, it will be nice to see feedback on what I have completed.  Perhaps, you may want to contribute your photo portrait artwork in here?

Grid Systems Portrait Drawings
Grid Systems Portrait Drawings
Profile Portrait Drawings
Profile Portrait Drawings

Photo Portrait, Courtesy of Megumi Kubo

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