Re: How do I set up a grid on my paper?
Use a divider to step off equal sized divisions in both length and width. A divider is an instrument like a compass (for drawing circles), but with a point in the end of each leg. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the divisions to come out even at the the end of your photo, but once set, leave it at the same setting for doing the other dimension. Once set, and stepped, mark the location of each "step" with a pencil or pen. You need to buy a divider that has a screw adjustment that stays put, after it is set, and not one that simply has a bit of tension on it, as that can be too easlily moved.
One thing is alway for sure, if you happen to be working with a photo that is not proportionate to your canvas dimensions: And, that is your photo will either need to be cropped in one dimension, or added onto in the other. That is an absolute "given". When you work from a photo that is not proportionate to that of the canvas, you must decide at the onset, which dimension is the most important to maintain, as far as the picture is concerned, and set your divider spacing for THAT dimension. The OTHER dimension with either have to be cropped, or added onto.
Preparing the grid for your canvas is always quite straightforward. It simply needs to be laid out to the exact size as your canvas. Use a ruler for marking one inch marks on your tracing paper. I use tracing paper, because it can be coated with charcoal on the backside, and used like transfer paper. Obviously, I use a tracing paper that is the same size as the canvas.
Once I have drawn my grid on my reference photo (usually on a clear mylar, laid over the photo), based upon each of the "stepped" locations of the divider, I then draw the image that is in each square of the reference image onto my tracing paper.
Now, if you are fortunate enough to have a reference photo that is the same proportion to that of your canvas, and is of a size that is equally divisible in inches, you can do your gridding of your reference photo with a simple ruler.
For example, if your canvas is a 16" x 20" and your reference photo is 8" x 10", that is proportional. It is not only proportional--it is exactly 1/2 the size, as well. So you can draw a grid of one-inch increments on your canvas (tracing paper), and a grid of 1/2" increments on your reference photo.
Last edited by WFMartin : 07-01-2008 at 11:54 PM.