Grid drawings are simple enough for people who are daunted by the task of sketching a picture without a starting point. Even professional artists are known to use grid drawings to enlarge small objects, so never underestimate the power of this technique! You might wonder how you can draw a picture on a grid, but is quite simple as you can use graph paper with large squares, or even make your own grid as I did in this tutorial. Grid drawings are also useful for enlarging a small object when sketching, although in the subject I drew this picture I did not do that. However, when I was in high school our geometry teacher had us each enlarge a picture from a small comic strip to draw on an 8 1/2 by 11-inch sheet of printer paper, which shows this drawing lesson could work in both math and art. Drawing on a grid can be quite fun, and this is an art project that can be tailored to the ability level of most anyone. You can buy graph paper with large squares for this drawing project, or make your own as I did with a ruler. Personally, I always prefer to make my own grid paper as I can customize it to my needs this way!
First I used a ruler to create a grid on the reference photograph of Maxx.
On my blank paper I also made a grid, and I will use the grid on the reference photograph to determine what I should draw in each box. Using a graph for drawing is a helpful technique for focusing on one part of a drawing at a time.
When I start sketching in the details on the graph, I usually start at the top working with one box at a time. Sketch in each square of your graph however you wish, but focusing on one square at a time is the easiest technique for me.
One satisfying element of the grid drawing method is watching your picture slowly take shape.
As I draw my cat on the grid, I look at the reference photograph to make sure I am emulating what I see in each box.
Adding the eyes and other details to Maxx makes him look more lifelike already, but there is still much to add to my sketch at this point in the process.
I created a YouTube video to demonstrate how I used the grid to draw each portion of the cat. The grid method is a good tool that will help you focus on sketching rather than allowing your mind to wander.
The grid drawing method is also an easier way to concentrate since just starting from scratch can be a daunting task if you have never sketched before.
The sketch of Maxx begins to come together once I add the bottom part of the cradle.
In this video Maxx looks more put together since he is now fully sketched out.
I should have used a light gray marker to accurately portrait to color of Maxx's fur, but I opted to use a brown marker without thinking much about it at the time. Actually, I like how Maxx turned out with light brown fur, but next time I plan on drawing him with his actually light gray coat.
I defined Maxx's tail and the other features of his body with a darker brown marker, but colored in the majority of his fur with the light brown marker.
The vibrant purple marker was perfect for coloring in the blanket in Maxx's doll cradle. However, there was no blanket in the reference picture, I simply used artistic license to create this detail in my sketch.
The blanket looks very bold as I continue to color it in.
I used several different shades of pink to color in Maxx's doll cradle. Well Maxx is not a doll, but he used to love sleeping in that little cradle.
I colored in the top-half of the background with a navy blue colored marker.
I continue to color in the navy blue portion of my Maxx illustration.
The grid is now completely covered since I used to the markers to finish coloring in my kitten Maxx. This illustration is special to me since it helps me to commemorate the life of a special kitten I had many years ago. The video below also shows what the completed illustration looks like.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 15, 2011:
Appreciate your comments Kathryn1000!
kathryn1000 from London on March 14, 2011:
I like that.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 10, 2011:
Glad you enjoyed this hub.
Emma from Houston TX on March 10, 2011:
Interesting hub with cute pics,am really glad you learnt how to draw the stuff perfectly well.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 09, 2011:
Thanks for reading!
Glad you enjoyed this tutorial!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on March 09, 2011:
A great idea and help to learn the right proportion when drawing.
kabirunAhmad from Philippines Mindanao MSU Marawi City on March 09, 2011:
I find this stuff interesting, well i think i need to read it again and again to learn it...
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 07, 2011:
Thank you for reading my hub Truckstop Sally. I love to draw, and share this passion of course! Glad you enjoyed the drawing project your daughter arranged for you.
Truckstop Sally on March 07, 2011:
Super instructions!! My daughter gave me a Pet Painting class for Christmas. They took our pre-submitted pet photos and somehow copied the outlines and grey-scales on the canvas. What fun! And the product is great too!