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STUDIO GRID

edited January 2013 in Drawing
I took this photo from Arleta Pech. She is a nice artist... and this is a very interesting way for drawing in combination with divider of course!
Auguri a tutti!!!
Ciao Maria

"HOW to make a STUDIO GRID
I used a OLD thin oil painting stretcher bars about 30 x 40 (I paint big). If you want a small one to sit on a table do a smaller size like 16 x 20.
I used a tiny drill bit to drill holes around the stretcher bars sides spaced 1" apart. Painted the wood black. Then used KITE string and a Needle to weave though the holes. I pulled the string at tight as I could so it would not sag.

Since my grid is so large I used two OLD light tripods and tied it to them on each side. So I may raise or lower it to any height.

TIP if all the squares make you crazy or confused, drape back paper over the squares that do not relate to the size of your painting that way you are looking through a window at the sill life.

At the recent Van Gogh show here in Denver, they had a studio grid the old masters used....I was so tickled to see it and to know that we all need help in drawing if you want good realism."
MortenCharleyBoyRonnatjsAllencynthiagwilsonLizONealbhopalitjohnson

Comments

  • edited December 2012
    That is a great idea Maria, however, I imagine that getting the holes exactly placed would be difficult. Possibly, if you were able to use a drill press with a fence and devise an indexing system the holes could be placed and drilled accurately, but even so, that would be a lot of set-up work. I have another idea that is more accurate than using a hand drill and probably a lot easier. A drawing would be the best way to explain, but I'm going to try with words.

    First, mark all the locations for the threads all around the face of the frame with a tape measure and pencil. Placing the marks along the inside edge of the frame's face would assure the best accuracy.

    Next, cut fine saw kerfs in the face of the frame at each pencil mark with a dovetail saw or small back saw using a block of wood as a guide that the side of the saw blade rides against--cut down to a depth of about 3mm. Try to make all the cuts the same depth--you can use a pencil line scribed all along the inside edge of the frame as a guide. A very small and inexpensive craft saw such as made by X-acto would probably be ideal for this.

    Next, tap small nails into the edge of the frame lined up with each saw kerf. Don't pound them in all the way, but rather leave them sticking out about 6mm or so. The nails don't have to be perfectly located. Box nails or finish nails of the 3d or 4d size would be perfect for this.

    Then you can weave thread, dental floss, kite string, or maybe fine piano wire through the saw kerfs, around the nail, over to the next nail, and then through the adjacent set of saw kerfs. The whole grid could be made with one or two lengths of string.

    This method should be much faster, accuracy should be better, and you won't have the chore of threading the string through any holes.

    PS: A "kerf" is the cut that a saw makes that is the thickness of the blade, so in this case it's a very narrow groove.
  • That you Maria! Great picture .... I like using grids with I draw depending on the subject matter. Charley offered an nice alternative as well. Fishing line might also make a nice alternative to string and it comes in all sorts of diameters. You could also make the stands to hold the grid out of pvc pipe (quick and inexpensive). For that matter you could make the frame out of pvc....its easy to drill and can be painted black.
  • Great ideas here. Thanks.
  • Maria this is one of the ways we learned to draw in College! I tried to explain this on Mark's old forum as alternative but couldn't find a picture. Thank you so much :)

    Then we learned to draw using a 'sight sizing' method similar to Mark's method which I have used throughout my life.

    Wonderful tutorial ^:)^
  • TJS

    I have read lots and watched DVD tutorials on sight sizing.
    It seems clunky and pedestrian as a method. I don't doubt you could get used to it and be comfortable using it. Compared to other methods it's like wearing hessian knickers.

    Can you identify three benefits and three downsides to sight sizing?
    Most artists just seem to prefer shooting measurements from the easel to the model.

    Perfect proportion and size relationships can be achieved by much easier means.

    Denis
    Vangie
  • dencal said:

    TJS

    I have read lots and watched DVD tutorials on sight sizing.
    It seems clunky and pedestrian as a method. I don't doubt you could get used to it and be comfortable using it. Compared to other methods it's like wearing hessian knickers.

    Can you identify three benefits and three downsides to sight sizing?
    Most artists just seem to prefer shooting measurements from the easel to the model.

    Perfect proportion and size relationships can be achieved by much easier means.

    Denis

    I usually use my eyes a ruler and a compass if is necessary, divider is very convenient in order to reduce unnecessary mathematical calculations.
    That was another "interesting" suggestion to do things from life for people who works with grid !
    An acetate grid onto a photo sometime is usefull.
    Sketch sketch is what I always do whenever I can on every kind of paper (even napkins) it's the only way to accustom oneself eyes!
    Ciao Maria
    tjs
  • tjstjs -
    edited December 2012
    dencal said:

    TJS

    I have read lots and watched DVD tutorials on sight sizing.
    It seems clunky and pedestrian as a method. I don't doubt you could get used to it and be comfortable using it. Compared to other methods it's like wearing hessian knickers.

    Can you identify three benefits and three downsides to sight sizing?
    Most artists just seem to prefer shooting measurements from the easel to the model.

    Perfect proportion and size relationships can be achieved by much easier means.

    Denis

    Denis I feel like I'm back in school on final exam day here :))

    Well Mark demonstrates it great:



    This guy puts the advantages nicely:

    "....The use of sight-size imparts certain aesthetic and technical attributes to a painting, notably the broad handling that comes into focus when seen at the viewing distance. Its principle aim is unity of effect, the tout-ensemble advocated by de Piles in his Cours de Peinture par Principes and by Reynolds in Discourse IX. Painters who employ the method work straight onto the canvas with colours keyed to, or which anticipate, those of nature, making changes to their endeavour as part of the creative process. A sight-size painting displays qualities of modelling and brushwork that owe more to the method itself than the stylistic conventions of a particular era. Thus portrait painters born a century apart like Raeburn (1756) and Sargent (1856) can share a consistency of procedure and artistic intent. "
    Nicolas Beer

    Here's a short video for plein air:


    Disadvantages???? NONE that I can think of for painting.

    I do approach it for painting a tiny bit different. Just what I'm use to and it works for me.

    I use a small ruler that I hold in my left hand (a stick or end of a brush works too) and I use it the same as Mark uses his PD.

    The only difference is I don't start drawing in the entire subject curve for curve. I only draw in all the objects either in squares or triangle shapes. Then I step back and make sure it looks good compositional wise. Does it feel balanced? Does the overall design work well with the negative space and so on....

    If this all looks good, I then do what Mark does with his PD to get the approximate shape of a curve and so on.

    It's just easier for me probably cause I've been doing it that way since gradeschool and I'm too old now to change!

    There's 3 for sight sizing. Sorry can't think of any against!

    [Deleted User]
  • Sight sizing works for me. I don't find it awkward at all! We're all a bit different in what's comfortable as a aide in our projects. The only real way to know if it's for you is to try it. :)
  • Tjs

    Thank you for the comprehensive reply with examples.
    Mark certainly sights his sizes but I understand the classic form of SS to be more like the Dalessio example. All your identifications of position, proportion and later hue and value are made at this distance from the canvas. When you return to the canvas a mark or brushstroke is placed without further reference to the scene. The Beer quotation vaguely mentions 'unity of effect' and 'qualities of modelling'.

    After writing this I did some trawling on the net and found this interesting discussion on the + and - of SS.

    http://www.learning-to-see.co.uk/sight-size

    Advantages - Training observational skills, Accuracy of form, Proportional fidelity.
    Disadvantages - Loss of expression (movement), Restricted viewpoint, Over-reliance on process.

    Appreciate your thoughts
    and
    Thank you Gary.

    Denis
  • That's intense. It would drive me bad s**t crazy to have everything behind that grid.

    Could be a very useful learning tool though.
    tjs
  • tjstjs -
    edited December 2012
    dencal said:

    Tjs

    Advantages - Training observational skills, Accuracy of form, Proportional fidelity.

    Disadvantages - Loss of expression (movement), Restricted viewpoint, Over-reliance on process.....



    Maybe your link by Paul (he has some great articles BTW) feels that sight sizing has too many restrictions...."Disadvantages - Loss of expression (movement), Restricted viewpoint, Over-reliance on process....."

    Sometimes I spend a several hours for a complicated piece. Other times it's just a few quick dashes to get the placement right.

    For me personally? If I just draw freely it never fails - there is always something a bit wonky that in the end I am unhappy about. So to eliminate frustration, I follow a method.

    I see lots of artists re-drawing while they paint. It never ususally ends well :(
  • Ok! I lit a fire ... but you always learn something new ... many heads so many ideas!
    Thank you all!
    Maria
  • edited December 2012
    The old masters used a physical grid back in the 14th century, they looked like large tennis racquet types of things. The problem with these fixed grid affairs is that the artist's head/viewpoint has to kept in exactly the same position otherwise all the target positioning is lost.

    David Hockney discusses it in his book 'Secret Knowledge' ... which is also available on YouTube in several episodes. A very interesting and thought provoking proposition regarding the 'secret' use of camera lucida and obscura by the influential Flemish artists in the very early 15th century.... regarded by some as cheating and some art historians deny that it ever happened.

    Search YouTube for David Hockney Secret Knowledge.... the eight part set is in English audio but has Italian subtitles.
  • edited December 2012
    I watched the Hockney series a while back and was fairly well persuaded by his arguments. Later on I read an article by Gregg Kreutz written in 2002 called "Camera Absurda" : The Case Against Hockney" where Kreutz took on many of Hockney's assertions and theories point by point with a persuasive case of his own. What is true is not really important, but it showed me how easy it is to be persuaded when only one side of an argument is given. Kreutz's article can be found on his web site along with other articles he has written over the years about art for various publications.

    It seems silly for some people to claim or believe that certain techniques are inferior or even "cheating"--unless there is an element of competition involved, there shouldn't be any rules on how the job gets accomplished. Anyway, who appointed them judge? If a person uses technology to avoid the hard work of learning a valuable skill, then he is only cheating himself, but if he uses it as training method, or even to save valuable time if that's important, then he is helping himself.


    tjsedward


  • It seems silly for some people to claim or believe that certain techniques are inferior or even "cheating"--unless there is an element of competition involved, there shouldn't be any rules on how the job gets accomplished. Anyway, who appointed them judge? If a person uses technology to avoid the hard work of learning a valuable skill, then he is only cheating himself, but if he uses it as training method, or even to save valuable time if that's important, then he is helping himself.


    EXCELLENT!

  • LindenH said:

    The old masters used a physical grid back in the 14th century, they looked like large tennis racquet types of things. The problem with these fixed grid affairs is that the artist's head/viewpoint has to kept in exactly the same position otherwise all the target positioning is lost.

    David Hockney discusses it in his book 'Secret Knowledge' ... which is also available on YouTube in several episodes. A very interesting and thought provoking proposition regarding the 'secret' use of camera lucida and obscura by the influential Flemish artists in the very early 15th century.... regarded by some as cheating and some art historians deny that it ever happened.

    Search YouTube for David Hockney Secret Knowledge.... the eight part set is in English audio but has Italian subtitles.


    I had already given a '"look" to the video time ago .. everything about the painting process intrigues me.
    As there are no Italian painters like Mark generous in showing things ... the same goes for writing so I bought several books in the "your language".
    The must is Richard Schmid, I have all their Landscape, Portrait and "Alla Prima" which I strongly recommend for what concerns the section of the edges, it's a bit philosophical but gives a good idea on the matter, I made a painting on it ...later today I'll post!
    I understand English ... I can even speak ... I lose a little obvious, expecially with no common use terms (but there is a translator fantastic invention) but writing is always different ... you have to remember also how write the words as well as to get them in line!
    David idea to put a translator in the site is very helpful maybe I'm not the only stranger!
    Ciao Maria
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