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Foolproof Proportions Tutorial by TubaQueen Foolproof Proportions Tutorial by TubaQueen
I finally got a new computer so I could throw this together:)

The beginnings of this piece:


This is an explanation of how I begin working on a piece, all the technical parts of drawing that I don't especially love, but I think this method makes it easy for anyone. I've even taught it to 5th grade students with impressive results!

I know not everyone likes gridding, I just wanted to show my method, and I hope it helps at least one person ;)

If you have any questions or suggestions for other tutorials I'd be glad to hear them! I'll try to put together a shading tutorial next, I'd like some ideas of what to cover.

I'm also open to mentoring any artists who would like me to work with them on a longer term basis, maybe help you through some pieces.
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:iconplunger02:
plunger02 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
I've only used the grid method once but i absolutely love it!! I had a landscape assignment for my painting class and my teacher taught us how to use the grid lines, it really does help reduce stress levels and makes creating art more enjoyable and relaxing :) But can I ask you a question? I'm always confused on how wide to make my grid lines on my paper, like mathematically wise to where it matches my reference photo. I think for my landscape assignment we did use the same measurements you used for this tutorial. Do you use the same measurements for every photo or does the size of the reference photo and the size of your paper determine the size of the grid line?
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:icontubaqueen:
TubaQueen Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad it works for you!

Do you mean the size of the squares? You just have to make sure that your scale them in a way that will give you the same number of squares on the reference that is on the paper. If your reference is the same size as the piece, you can use the same size square, for example--one inch squares on the paper and on the reference, or if you need a more or less detailed grid you could do 1/2inch or 2 inch on both. The size of the grid lines isn't important as long as they match up, I find one inch to be a good size for more things.

Now if you're scaling up a piece you have to make sure there are still the same number of squares, but the ones on the paper will be bigger--say double or triple the size of the grid on the reference, so if you made one inch gridlines on the reference, you would make 2 inch squares on the paper to double the piece or three inch ones to triple the size.

I hope I understood your question and that might clarify the math a bit.
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:iconplunger02:
plunger02 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
that actually does thank you! my art teacher didn't really give me a...straight answer so i've held off on making grid lines because, quite frankly i didn't know what to do lol ^^; All i know is that we pulled out the calculators to help determine the size of the squares and me and calculators/anything math related don't mix.
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:icontubaqueen:
TubaQueen Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm right with you there, but this is super low tech math, I don't think you'd need a calculator unless you have abnormal sized reference images, such as 5.5 x 8.5 or something like that. in that case I usually just crop the reference or add a half inch of something because I am too lazy to try to figure that out ^_^;;
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:iconvaleka:
valeka Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing!
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:icontubaqueen:
TubaQueen Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Sure thing! :D
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:iconjustinsdrawings:
justinsdrawings Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011
Cool. Gridding has always been a mystery to me, seems harder to do than the actual drawing.

How do you keep all the lines even and straight? I always got wobbly boxes because the line above wasn't exactly level with one below.
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:icontubaqueen:
TubaQueen Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Really? Well it obviously hasn't affected you at all, whatever you do, you just keep on doing it ;)

The ruler I have makes it a hell of a lot easier to line up all the lines than a conventional one, but it's all a matter of making sure the ruler is parallel to all the other lines you have, it takes a little patience to make sure the ruler is lined up, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. I kind of do it on autopilot now, to me it's a relaxing ritual of sorts that gets me ready to focus on the piece. I'm sure that sounds weird, ha ha, but I get that way about a lot of things--like heading and formating an essay is cathartic for me before I start writing the paper itself--I can't just jump right in or I feel lost.

Everyone's brain works differently, so I'd say whatever works for you, do it!
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:iconjustinsdrawings:
justinsdrawings Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2011
Haha, thanks. My process is a bit more ridiculous.

I try to get the proportions on the first sketch and then I scan it into the computer dozens of times at different stages to check and adjust it against the original reference.
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:iconsherlockah0lique:
ShErLoCkAh0LIQuE Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
this is awesome!! I've been using grids ever since I became interested in pencil realism drawings!! :D
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