Google+ Followers

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dog Painting Tutorial: Using a Grid

What if I gave you this  grey square and a white pencil or paint, and I asked you to draw only the small white part in the lower right corner? What if I told you it didn't have to be exact, just roughly 1/4th of the way from the right side, and about 1/5th of the way from the bottom? What if I said a little smearing was ok? Could you draw this? Likely, you could.

How about this square? This time the shape is about 1/4th of the way from the right, but it's about 1/3rd of the way from the bottom. It also has a little hot dog shape on it. Could you draw the shapes loosely? I think so.

How About this one? Let's see. A curve close to the lower left corner curves up to not quite 1/3rd of the way up on the right. It has some dark lines in it. There is another shape here on the upper right. Can you imagine drawing these shapes?

What if I told you that I was going to give you 36 squares to work with, but that 8 of them were already finished for you? Could you leave those 8 alone? Ofcourse, you could. Now, you have 27 squares to draw or paint shapes in that don't have to be perfect.

What if some of the shapes had angles? I think you can.

What if a few of the shapes had different directions of loose strokes. Here, at the bottm left there are a few curves from the bottom to the left side, and on top of them theres sort of an arrow shape pointing down.
  From the top dark and light lines mixed up all go toward the arrow.
  I think you can do this too. Remember, it's loose and it doesn't have be accurate, just general direction.
  Nice abstract, I'd say. smiles.

   The squares are from a 5x7 print. I measured with a ruler and marked off each inch. Then I numbered them. I've put an "X" on each square where there is nothing of the dog for me to draw. The first square I showed you, was 2 across and 2 from the top. See if you can locate the others.
"Sure!" You'll say, "but there is an awful lot of information in some of those squares!"
This is true. Take 2 down and 4 across, for instance. It has most of the face in it. What if I told you, we can simplify it?

Within any square, we can create another grid. Here I've divided 2 down and 4 across into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are simpler to render. Look at the top line, three across. You can do this. 

For my canvas, I painted it a sloppy medium grey and I made a grid just like the one on the photo in a white pastel (like chalk) pencil. I can wipe the grid away when I'm done. I chose to make my grid on the canvas 2x2", so my painting is twice the size of the photo.  Here is the dog with all of the 27 squares filled in. More work will be done refiining, but already this is a good representation of the above dog.
Using your own photo, choose a simple image, even a ball or a cup. Print it and make your grid on the paper image. Create your grid on your drawing/painting surface, and start filling in the squares!
OH! And don't be afraid to play...

  Bring that Puppy Home! hehe!

11x14 Acrylic on Canvas

tina jones


  1. LOVe this!! I just clicked to post a nice long note....and for some reason it didn't register...and now I've lost it and don't feel like starting over!!
    Just to say thanks for the inspiration to do THE GRID THANG!!!!! for a painting that I have been procrastinating about!!!

  2. Jay,
    Thankyou so much! I had a little trouble responding. I believe Blogger had a glitch. Wishing you great success with your painting!