Grid use or not [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Grid use or not

05-06-2011, 03:52 AM
I personally will never use a grid. I don't feel the nature of my art allows it. I find that they actually hender my work.

These are only my opinions but thsy are fixed in my soul and have been how I pass on my insights to the next generation.

Yes grids can be a tool but it still requires capturing what you see. Capturing what I see or imagine has been the centerpiece of my talent. A grid takes away the flow of my work. It henders what comes naturally. If an artist relies on a grid, he will stunt a needed ability to be able to arange shapes and spaces. There are different levels of artistic talent. Some will never reach their greatest work if they don't use a grid but others will never reach theirs if they do.

I would suggest trying to work without a grid until you determine that it is absolutely a must.

05-06-2011, 09:41 AM
I rely heavily on grids when doing portraits for people. They expect the drawing to be an exact replica of the photo which is what I try to achieve. When doing something for myself I will rearrange things or add details to make it more interesting. I feel if I hadn't learned the use of grids I wouldn't be at the level I am now and it's given me the confidence to break away from using them.

05-06-2011, 10:04 AM
You can see that I have no trouble with portraits. If I used a grid, I would never have gotten to the level I am. You say that you are breaking away from using them. Why?

I honestly believe grids to be a crutch that hinders and should be overcome. An artist MUST develop a relationship between shape and space. When drawing, the portrait develops from the entire page. Relying on a grid takes so much away from the natual development. The grid should be within the eye and hands. Learn to control the whole space. Know from the first placement of th pencil the size, shape and direction of every mark.

These are just my views. Whatever works for you use it.

05-06-2011, 10:19 AM
I "might" have used the grid method years and years ago in a college class but quite honestly I don't even remember a thing about it.

I can see as how if you were doing a commissioned portrait where the features had to be an exact replica (or close to it) where it could come in handy...probably make life a lot easier too.

I have to say that by NOT using the grid method and just figuring it out "freestyle" I have been learning a LOT. I have always been frightened by portraits but am overcoming that fear and am really enjoying them! I don't want to start using the grid method for fear that it will become just that - a crutch.

05-06-2011, 11:57 AM
As a total ameteur, I didn't even know what was meant by a grid until it was first discussed in here. A good majority of my work so far is plein air or imagination or memory, so any grid system is useless for that. Where I have used photos, many are on the cell phone, not good for a grid either. I also always had the belief that artists could just sketch what they wanted at will. However, I did just see a show on PBS about the first Taos artists and how one of them took and developed huge photos of subjects and then gridded them.

05-10-2011, 06:05 PM
In elementary school, my art teacher made us do a project where we took a small, 8x10 gridded picture of a cartoon character and redrew it on a much bigger poster board. We had to do something that was about 3 or 4 scales larger. Needless to say, kids that "couldn't" draw were able to make something that more-so resembled the character than what they would have if they didn't have a grid.

I also have a drawing book that swears by the use of grids. My room is a horrible mess so I'm not going to look for and quote said book, but I believe it had something to do with being proportionate and developing a sense of proportions and shape.

Personally, I don't (but I used to, during those formative years) use a grid. If its a simple picture, like tracing, I can't seem to get it to look as natural. However, I guess from that book's perspective, I can see how focusing on rendering what's in each little square can help you focus on being able to render a larger picture in the long run.

06-04-2011, 05:27 PM
I use them simply to help with scale. It helps me detrmine my starting point, and place the drawing just right on the canvas.

08-08-2011, 02:14 PM
Shoot, even Van Gogh used a grid for his first two years when all he did was sketch with pencil. I heard his outdoor grid weighed well over 20 lbs., couldn't imagine carrying that plus all the other stuff out to do a landscape.

Anyway, l use grids and like them. Heck, I even use a photograph on a light table to get me going. But that's not art, you say? Well, first I took the picture (art in itself) then I crop/chop/add/delete or whatever to the photo (again, I feel this is a form of art). Then I copy the basic outline of the subject on the light table. Then it comes off the light table and I begin. Every choice I make after that is soulfully based on artistic design. Mostly all a grid or light table do are take care of the technical stuff. The art comes after that.

So, I guess, basically, I don't agree.

08-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Mostly all a grid or light table do are take care of the technical stuff. The art comes after that.

I completely agree. :) I don't like the implication from people that I'm not a real artist if I use a grid.

08-09-2011, 09:00 PM
I completely agree. :) I don't like the implication from people that I'm not a real artist if I use a grid.
It not that it makes you less of an artist but the "technical stuff" is the backbone to art. Learning relative spacing until it is natural will expand your talents. Then not only will a grid be a waste of time it will make your art less impressive to you. Grids hold you back.