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Let’s face it; drawing is a difficult concept to teach. Drawing takes a lot of practice, patience and students tend to get frustrated easily. How many times have you heard the phrase “I can’t draw” in your classroom? Probably too many times to count.
I help build students confidence by providing them drawing assignments where they can be successful. A strategy I use in my classroom is drawing with a grid. Using a grid helps break down the drawing into smaller sections. Chuck Close once said, “If you’re overwhelmed by the size of a problem, break it down into many bite sized pieces.”
The grid technique can be used to create drawings from a photo. The subject of the photo can vary. Some common subjects include animals, people, flowers, and landscapes. Using a grid from a photograph allows students to create an accurate and proportional drawing. Students focus on their observational skills while incorporating the mathematical skills of measuring, drawing straight lines, and proportion into their art.
When my students choose a photograph, I make sure I print them as a 4×6 photograph.
I use 8×12, double the size of the photograph.
My students’ grid their 4×6 photograph into ½ inch by ½ inch squares.
Make sure the numbers coordinate. My students number 1-8 on the top row, and 1-12 on the left row.
Be sure students are look at each individual box as they draw.
With these simple steps, your students are sure to be successful.
What are other “tricks of the trade” you have for drawing with a grid?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.