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Old 12-25-2013, 05:22 AM
zeropoint zeropoint is offline
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Tool to help draw a grid?

I was wondering if anyone makes a tool that makes it easier to draw an exact grid. I haven't seen such a thing, but it might exist. Thank you.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:48 AM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

To use a grid you really need two - one on the reference and one on the drawing. There are a number of ways to get a grid on the reference, but as far as I know, the only way to do one on the drawing is to measure it out and draw it by hand. For the reference, Gimp or Photoshop will superimpose a grid of whatever size you wish on the image.

In Photoshop, set the grid size and color in preferences/guides,grid and slices. Then to show the grid, view/show/grid. I don't know GIMP but it ought to be very similar.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:50 AM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is online now
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Merry Christmas to all of you!
Ken, I have Photoshop, and I followed the instructions that you just mentioned but I can't print the image having the grid! How can I print the photo with the grids?
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:33 AM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Ah yes .. I forgot about that. Simple solution. When you have the grid showing on your reference in photoshop, press ctrl-print screen together. Then turn off the show/grid. Drop down file/new - be sure the size is set to the clipboard (should be by default) and then paste (ctrl-V) the clipboard to the new image and there's the grid for printing. Sorry I forgot to say how to do this ...
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:44 AM
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maryinasia maryinasia is offline
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

low tech:

in a word processing program, insert a table, choosing sizes of columns and rows... print it out...

put the print out chart in a plastic folder. trace the grid on the front of a plastic folder...insert reference photo...reusable
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:40 PM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparrowHawk7
....
In Photoshop, set the grid size and color in preferences/guides,grid and slices. Then to show the grid, view/show/grid. I don't know GIMP but it ought to be very similar.
Very similar in GIMP, but as in PS, that grid is not integrated in the image. However there is a "permanent" grid under the menu
"Filters->Render->Pattern->Grid"
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:01 PM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

doesn't anyone just print out the reference picture, in B&W, then use a RULER to divide the original and the canvas into appropriate squares?

By the time you have done all that work in the computer you could have the value study gridded and clipped to the easel. And it would allow you to use the scale you choose. good for the brain and the fingers.

I have done all of this on the computer as described here, but it is best to learn to use a ruler, I draw the lines lightly with soft vine charcoal on the primed/gessoed canvas. then I dust most of it off. It disappears as you paint.

gridding is best done only to get general shapes and placements, otherwise it becomes a crutch and very time consuming.
It also helps with value studies if the original ref phot is done in B&W, color confuses if used alone.

I often use a free wooden yardstick I got at a real hardware store years ago for the lines on the canvas, nuttin better.

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Old 12-25-2013, 06:27 PM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparrowHawk7
Ah yes .. I forgot about that. Simple solution. When you have the grid showing on your reference in photoshop, press ctrl-print screen together. Then turn off the show/grid. Drop down file/new - be sure the size is set to the clipboard (should be by default) and then paste (ctrl-V) the clipboard to the new image and there's the grid for printing. Sorry I forgot to say how to do this ...

Ken,
I finally got it! It was not easy at the beginning, but then I found the trick how to do it faster now. Thank you.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:16 PM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Yes, getting the grid on the reference can be very fast ... but there's no quick way to draw a grid overlay on the drawing. That's what put me off doing grids. Oddly enough since I spend 120+ hours doing a drawing, I have no patience laying out a grid. Nor do I have patience to do a basic line drawing first. I just start at the left side eye and work my way out from that using angles and measurements. Well, we all have our methods and approaches to drawing. But gridding is a legitimate method dating back possibly to the ancient Egyptians and used extensively since then.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:06 PM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparrowHawk7
Yes, getting the grid on the reference can be very fast ... but there's no quick way to draw a grid overlay on the drawing. That's what put me off doing grids. Oddly enough since I spend 120+ hours doing a drawing, I have no patience laying out a grid. Nor do I have patience to do a basic line drawing first. I just start at the left side eye and work my way out from that using angles and measurements. Well, we all have our methods and approaches to drawing. But gridding is a legitimate method dating back possibly to the ancient Egyptians and used extensively since then.

I have tried using grids, only to find that they helped me not in the least: I could get no closer to an accurate likeness using a grid than I could by just eyeballing. Not sure why this should be so, but I found working with a grid rather boring anyway.

I have had some success trying to use your method of starting somewhere and then carefully working outwards, but I found it very difficult to make the initial bit the right size and put it in the right place, so that the eventual drawing would be correctly placed. I would think this would get even more difficult if you want to put more than one thing in your picture.

Anyway, in more than twenty years of battling it out with reference photos, I have never managed to learn how to achieve an accurate likeness of anything - I have kind of given up on it now. May the OP have better luck! :-)
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:31 PM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

I do use a great many measurements when placing that first eye because everything after that relates to it. Angles, distances, etc. Doing this properly, of course, requires using a photo editing program to place the image exactly where I want it in the drawing. Getting a likeness with this method is undoubtedly more difficult than using a grid though because using a grid allows you to get an overall relationship throughout the drawing while mine requires more leaps of faith in that measurements are correct along with placement which is why I do not recommend it for others. I do not worry about the overall drawing or the likeness but just work outward a mm at a time. It is very tedious but I find the likeness just happens. This method works adequately for me and it's the way I learned to draw a few years ago. Each of the initial eye drawings represents around 6 hours work. Throughout the drawing I go over initial work at every sitting and make adjustments as needed. I probably put about 10-12 or so hours on that cat eye overall throughout the drawing - much less so on Burnside's initial eye.

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Old 12-26-2013, 04:04 AM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Sparrowhawk: I would guess could use your method to make a far less detailed drawing too, by starting with one shape and then working outwards, without necessarily taking each shape to completion. One would then end up with a line drawing that can be filled in with more tone.

Still not sure how one would go about trying to create a complex composition in this way. And it surely requires great accuracy, because even the slightest error will perpetuate itself through the entire drawing.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:18 AM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

I have a great deal of difficulty if I have to traverse any sizable area such as a forehead because there usually just aren't enough reference points. I anticipate all those areas and work my way around using other "signposts". It's basically the details that are my road map.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:08 AM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is online now
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Ken,
Man, that is too complicated for me. You are really bold when working like that, but you are used to it! I have used the grids but in smaller squares so I could get the minimal details, but again, it becomes difficult to erase the lines on the paper after you finish with the initial sketch. Years ago I purchased a grid kit that contained vynil sheets with the imprinted grid already. I inserted the reference photo inside the double vynil sheet and then secured the photo with clips in order to prevent any drift of the photo. No matter how careful I was the technique was far from being perfect.
However, I remember seeing a Wetcanvas realistic artist from England using strings on the canvas as grids but it looked complicated but he was able to do a good job with his technique. He is an oil painter. I can't remember his name.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:48 AM
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Re: Tool to help draw a grid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparrowHawk7
I have a great deal of difficulty if I have to traverse any sizable area such as a forehead because there usually just aren't enough reference points. I anticipate all those areas and work my way around using other "signposts". It's basically the details that are my road map.

I have that same problem: I just can't seem to accurately judge shape and proportion over larger areas. Perhaps I should give your method another go!
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