Grid Drawing

Using The Grid Drawing Method to Create Super Realistic Drawings

(above)  The hyper-realistic pop art oil paintings of Doug Bloodworth

Photorealism is a genre of art that encompasses painting, drawing and other graphic media, in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium.  

We are going to look at techniques artists use to create photo realistic drawings. 

Lesson 1--Grid Drawing Practice

Grid Drawing

Things you will need:

Grid Drawing.pptx

Grid drawing is a technique that will help improve your accuracy without compromising the development of your freehand drawing in the long-term. It basically involves placing a grid over your reference photo and canvas, then using that grid to assist with the placement of your drawing. It is a tool used by artists to help them isolate shapes of subjects, thus making it easier to define and draw accurately. Artists use the grid system to transfer scale drawings that look natural and without distortion. This technique is a great way to create photorealistic drawings. Michelangelo gridded the Sistine Chapel, in fact he got his students to do it for him!

Today you will try your hand at grid drawing. There are three separate grid activity sheets below. 

Step 1:

Watch the videos.

Step 2:

Complete the following:

--Practice #1 is a 1 to 1 ratio drawing. That means you will exactly redraw the image on the grid the exact same size as the original contour line image. 

--Practice #2 is a 1 to 2 ratio grid drawing.  This means you will enlarge the original contour line drawing onto a grid twice the size of the original image. 

--Practice #3 is using a photo to enlarge with shading added. 

Lesson 2--Pop Art Cereal Box Drawings 

What you will need: 


1. Read the article on Burton Morris. Discuss the article. (15 minutes) 

2. Look at examples of Burton Morris’ art. If they have access to a computer you can research for a few minutes on your own. 

3. Introduce project to students. Demonstrate to them how to use the “Cropper Tool” to grid their drawing, then give them time to do so. 

4. Once both the color cereal box print-out and the 9x12 white paper are gridded, students will use a pencil to sketch the original design onto the white paper. 

5. Once the design is sketched onto the white paper in pencil, students will begin coloring in their design with marker*. Erase the pencil marks as you color. 

Teacher Instructions - Pop Art Cereal Box Drawings Lesson Google Slides.pdf