Grid Drawing: A How-To Guide

Grid drawing is a technique used by artists to create evenly spaced lines and shapes. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating guidelines for a painting or sketching out a design. In this how-to guide, we will teach you all about grid drawing and show you how to create beautiful works of art using this technique!

What Is the Grid Drawing Method?

The grid drawing method is a way of creating evenly spaced lines and shapes by dividing a surface into a grid. This can be done by drawing horizontal and vertical lines on a piece of paper or using a ruler to create a series of squares. Once the grid is in place, the artist can use it as a guide to draw their lines and shapes. This technique is often used by artists who want to create detailed drawings or paintings.

How the Grid Technique Works

The grid technique works by breaking down a complex image into smaller, more manageable pieces. When you look at a painting or drawing, it can be overwhelming to try and recreate it from scratch. However, when you break the image down into smaller sections, it becomes much easier to tackle. This is where the grid comes in handy!

By dividing the surface into a series of squares or rectangles, you can focus on one section at a time and slowly build up the image until it is complete.

By using this method, you will achieve evenly spaced lines and shapes which will help give your artwork a clean and polished look.

What Are the Benefits Of Grid Drawing?

There are a number of benefits to using grid drawing:

Composition And Design Tool

The grid can be used as a tool for composition and design. It can help you to plan out your artwork before you start drawing, and it can also be used to create symmetry and balance. Grid drawing is a great way to improve your composition and design skills.

Reference Points

Another benefit of grid for drawing is that it gives you a reference point to work from. When you are starting out, it can be difficult to know where to begin. However, by using the grid as a guide, you can easily map out your image and create a plan of action. This is especially useful when you’re drawing complex subjects, like human faces or figures.

Helps Drawing Complex Subjects

Another great benefit of grid drawing is that it can help simplify complex subjects. This is because you can break the subject down into smaller, more manageable parts. Once you have the smaller parts drawn accurately, it’s then much easier to put them all together and create complete grid paper drawings.

Improves Accuracy

In general, grid drawing can help you to be more accurate with your drawings. This is because you can more easily measure and map out the proportions of your subject matter when you’re using a grid.


Lastly, grid drawing can be a great time-saver. By using a grid as a guide, you can avoid having to measure and map out your subject matter every time you want to draw it. This can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re drawing something that you plan on drawing multiple times.

Different Types Of Grids

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of grid drawing, let’s take a look at some of the different types of grids that you can use:

  • The Square Grid: This is the most basic type of grid. It’s simply a series of squares that are evenly spaced apart.
  • The Rectangular Grid: This type of grid is similar to the square grid, but the squares are replaced with rectangles.
  • The Diagonal Grid: This type of grid is made up of diagonal lines that intersect each other. This type of grid is often used for portraits and other complex drawings.
  • The Radial Grid: This type of grid radiates out from a central point. This type of grid is often used for landscapes and other wide open scenes.

How To Create a Grid

Materials Needed

  • Pencil
  • Ruler or a piece of string
  • Paper


There are two ways to draw a grid: manually or using a template.

Manually Drawing a Grid

There are several different ways that you can create a grid. The most important thing is to make sure that the spacing between your lines is even. You can use a ruler or measure out your own intervals with a pencil and paper. Once you have decided on the spacing of your grid, you can start drawing your lines.

If you are using a ruler, make sure to use a light hand so that you don’t create any accidental marks on your paper. Once you have drawn all of your lines, you should have a nice, even grid that you can use as a guide for your drawing.

Using a Template

If you don’t want to bother measuring and drawing your own grid, you can use a template. There are a variety of templates available online, or you can purchase one from a craft store. Once you have your template, simply trace the lines onto your paper.

How To Draw With Grid Drawing Technique

1. Select a Subject Matter That You Would Like To Draw

Grid drawing is perfect for still lives, portraits, and landscapes. Choose a simple object to start with like a fruit or a bowl of flowers. You can also use a photograph as your reference. Just make sure it’s not too complicated and has clear lines.

If you’re using a grid drawing method to draw from life, set up your subject matter so that it is in proportion and positioned how you want it before you start to draw. If you’re drawing from a photograph, begin by printing it out at actual size or making a photocopy of it that is the same size as your paper.

2. Add a Grid On the Reference Photo

Once you have your subject matter ready, it’s time to add a grid. If you’re drawing from a photograph, use a ruler to draw a series of horizontal and vertical lines over the image, making sure to keep the spacing between the lines even. If you’re drawing from life, you can use a piece of graph paper or a gridded template to help you create an evenly spaced grid on your paper.

If you’re using a template, trace the outline of it over your photo or subject matter.

Your grid can be any size or shape that you like, but it is typically best to keep the grid small so that you can fit more details into your artwork.

3. Add a Grid To Your Drawing Paper

You can create a grid by drawing evenly spaced parallel lines with a ruler or using a grid template.

If you’re using a ruler, start by drawing a horizontal line across the paper near the top. Then, measure and mark evenly spaced intervals down the length of the paper. Next, draw a vertical line down the left side of the paper, and then measure and mark evenly spaced intervals along this line. Finally, connect all of the horizontal and vertical lines to create a grid.

If you’re using a grid template, simply place the template over your drawing paper and trace the grid lines.

4. Rough In Your Drawing

With a pencil, begin by lightly sketching the outline of your subject matter. Don’t worry about being precise at this point – just get the basic shape down.

Now, using your reference image and the grid lines as a guide, start to fill in the details of your drawing. Work from the top of the image down, and from left to right. Pay attention to the negative space around your subject matter as you draw.

If you make a mistake, erase it and start again. It’s ok if your drawing doesn’t look perfect – the goal is to learn and get better with practice.

5. Refine Your Drawing

Once you have the basic shapes and details down, it’s time to start refining your drawing. With a fine-tip pen or pencil, start to go over the lines you’ve drawn, making them darker and more precise.

You can also add shading at this point to give your drawing more dimension. Work slowly and carefully, paying attention to the small details.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully used the grid drawing technique to create a detailed and accurate drawing. Practice this technique often, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro!

How To Change the Scale Of Your Drawing Using Grid

If you want to change the scale of your drawing, simply adjust the size of the grid accordingly.

For example, if you want to make your drawing smaller, draw a grid with smaller squares or lines and then draw the outline of your subject matter within the grid. Finally, refine your drawing and add details.

If you want to make your drawing bigger, start by drawing a grid with larger squares or lines.

It’s important to keep the proportions of your subject matter the same when you change the scale of your drawing. For example, if you’re drawing a person, the head should still be approximately the same size in relation to the rest of the body – it shouldn’t be twice as big or half the size.

By following these simple instructions, you can easily change the scale of your drawing without compromising the accuracy or detail.

Use the Grid Method To Draw Better Freehand

The grid method is also a great way to improve your freehand drawing skills.

Start by drawing a simple subject matter – like a circle, or square. Once you have the basic shape down, draw a grid over it using evenly spaced lines or squares.

Now, try to recreate the same image without looking at your reference material. Work slowly and carefully, and pay attention to the negative space around your subject matter.

By using the grid method, you’ll be able to improve your accuracy and precision while drawing freehand.

Tips For Grid Method Drawing

Here are some helpful tips for using the grid method:

  • Use a light pencil to draw your grid. This will make it easier to erase if you need to make any changes.
  • Make sure that the lines of your grid are straight and evenly spaced. This will help keep your drawing symmetrical.
  • Use a ruler or other straight edge to help you draw the lines of your grid.
  • Experiment with different sizes of grids. You may find that a smaller grid is easier to work with, or that a larger one allows for more detail.
  • Don’t be afraid to erase mistakes. grid drawing is all about making corrections and adjusting your grid until you’re happy with the results.
  • Don’t forget to label your grid squares! This will help keep track of where everything is in your drawing.

People Also Ask

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Final Words

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to give grid drawing a try! Grab a pencil and some paper, and get started today.

Grid drawing can be a great way to improve your artistic skills. By practicing regularly, you will start to develop a better understanding of how to use the grid drawing method and create beautiful works of art! We hope that this tutorial has been helpful and inspires you to try out grid drawing for yourself. Happy drawing!

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