A trick to the drawing trade

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By The Staff

There are tricks to every trade including art. Take, for instance, using a grid and carbon paper to create a work of art.

If aspiring artists think tracing is not an option or view it a cheating, then use a grid to copy an image. An image can be broken into shapes by placing an acetate grid over a photograph. Or copy the photo and draw a grid right on to it. By studying the shapes in each individual square, the image becomes more abstract and a lot easier to draw. An artist can further their objectivity by turning the picture upside down, which will make it even more unrecognizable.

With a pencil and ruler, draw a graph on drawing paper. Use the same size squares as the grid drawn over the photo. This will make the drawing the same size as the photo. I recommend using a 1-inch grid.

To make a drawing bigger then go to a larger square on the drawing paper.

If shapes inside the boxes are drawn as accurately as possible, all of the lines will connect properly and create the desired shape. Be sure to get everything, including shadows and highlights – these areas should be viewed as shapes also.

When finished and everything is drawn as accurately as possible, then transfer the drawing onto the paper that will be used for the painting such as watercolor paper, canvas or acrylic board. The image will be transferred using graphite paper, which is like carbon paper. Gently tape the image onto the clean paper. Put the graphite paper, dark side down, under the drawing and using a pencil, trace over the drawing so that it shows up on the paper below, but without the grid lines. Once the image is transferred onto the clean paper, it can be painted or colored using the medium of choice.

For more information about the Santa Fe School of Art,  visit www.santafeschoolofart.com.