Basics of illustration: Using a Grid

In celebration of my next art classes with Ironlak, Basics of Illustration: Using a Grid & Detailed Illustration, I thought it was a better time than never to chat about my process a bit more indepth. This is a two part blog, the first half is about the pro’s of using a grid in illustration. Now to be clear I use the grid technique because it suits me, which I’ve explained further on - it’s important to note: You do you, do what you want, what works for you.

How & Why I use the grid for my work 

I’ve personally used a grid for years, and still use it today. I generally work in 3x3cm squares done with VERY light pencil marks. I use a grid because it allows a faster starting process for me, but is still a part of what I would call my meditation (drawing).  When I use a grid I depend on it for the general shapes and areas of detail to make my piece look how I’d like it (realistic). I print out my reference image (generally to the size I’m drawing) and line up a grid on my reference, then on the paper I’m working on.

Benefits of using a grid

- Helps with overwhelm on prepping layouts on a blank canvas
- Easier to up size work and keep proportions the same as reference
- Still remains to train brain to recognise shapes and lines

Surprising things I’ve learnt using a grid

I found I had more control using a grid compared to tracing or drawing freehand - the perfect balance for me
I’ve found it far easier to draw freehand as it’s helped me recognise proportions whilst drawing a piece rather than right at the end when it looks wrong.

    You hear it again and again but the reality is - everyone works differently. I have amazingly talented friends that use grids or trace or draw freehand. There’s more chance your work will turn out better if you’re using a process that works better for you, than it does someone else. Tune in for the second part of this blog during July where I finish off my piece and go through some detailing tips!

    If you’re a Brisbane local and want to get a better grasp on realistic proportions and try your hand at using a grid - my “Basics of Drawing” class is for you - check out the workshops tab [HERE] for the upcoming dates and spend two hours with me focusing on the starting steps that will be the base of your illustrations. BOOK UPCOMING CLASS JULY 8 DIRECT [HERE]