Grid drawing is one of the best techniques for getting kids confident about drawing. Usually the results are good and the process is fun because it feels sort of like you are doing a puzzle. And guess what? There’s even a little math involved. (Just a little; don’t fret.) UPDATE! I just discovered a site where you can upload a photo, tweak it, and add a grid to it. This eliminates the whole math step. so do with this information what you will. 🙂
Grid drawing is a technique that I learned in college and forgot about, so I was pretty excited when Fen came home from school last week and promptly showed me what she had learned in art class. She had me print out a face, and my headshot was the easiest one to find on my computer…
Then she got to work gridding and drawing. When she was finished, she was beaming. How cool is it to see your kids really proud of themselves for something?
The great thing about grid drawing is that it breaks down the subject into small, manageable areas. It makes drawing into sort of a puzzle, and kids absolutely give their full attention to reproducing what they see in each box.
After doing a couple of drawings on 8 1/2 x 11″ paper, Fen decided she wanted to try a giant self-portrait, so I pulled out a piece of poster board. Big drawing is awesome. Big drawing helps kids loosen up, tackle something bigger than life size, and use their brain to translate something they are looking at to a different size onto the paper.
- Print out of a face
- printer paper
1. Draw a grid over the printed face using the width of the ruler as your guide.
2. Outline the most prominent features of the face to get your hand warmed up, and also to help simplify the face. This makes it easier to see the main shapes in each box that you will be copying.
3. Draw a grid onto your paper. If you are using printer paper, just use the ruler in the exact same way you gridded out the face. If you are going bigger, you’ll need to figure out how many squares you can fit onto the bigger surface by multiplying. Ha!
Alternately, you can benefit from our math-doing and draw out the grid at 7 3″ squares width-wise and 9 3″ squares length-wise.
Then just get down to drawing what you see in each square of your portrait into the boxes of your gridded blank paper.
4. Erase the grid marks. You may ned to go back over some of your drawing marks that accidentally get erased. If you want to, go over the whole drawing with permanent marker.
Feeling really ambitious? Break out the paints- this would work well on the poster board, but you’ll probably want to use something more substantial than printer paper if you’re painting on the smaller size.
Have your kids tried grid drawing? What did they think? If you haven’t done grid drawing, I highly and completely and totally recommend this as a family drawing project. It’s much more fun than Monopoly…