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Portrait Drawing Tutorial (Gridlines)

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Written by   44
7 months ago
Topics: Tutorial, Drawing, Art

For this article, this will be about gridlines and sketching tutorials. So, You might think of gridlines is cheating, but it's actually not. It's just a technique to get the exact position of every part of the reference. There are various techniques to get the exact position of the reference but most artists used gridlines.

If you also think that gridlines is a technique and you wanna know how to use it then read this and apply everything on your paper.


  1. GET YOUR MATERIALS FIRST. In gridlines, the materials that you only need are:

    🖌️ Vellum Board (or any available paper),

    🖌️Pencil (mechanical pencil is much better)


    🖌️tissue/handkerchief ( Yes you need a tissue/handkerchief so when you cry you have a tissue to wipe your tears, just kidding. But seriously you need a tissue especially when you have a sweaty hands. Just place it under your hand so you're not touching the paper directly. By that, you'll have a clean paper and clean artwork!

    🖌️Phone with Drawing Grid Maker App (Yes you need this for your reference. Later I'll teach you how to use this one.)Here's the Logo of the app

🖌️Printed Reference (If you prefer to use printed reference rather than the reference on phone with the Drawing Grid Maker app)

If you prefer using the app then here's the step 2

  1. Get your phone and open the Drawing Grid Making App. The step by step procedure on how to use the app will be shown below.

Just click that one. It's for importing a phot or chosen reference.

You'll just select a photo or chosen reference from your gallery.

After importing your reference, just click the one with the row lines

Then type the number of the rows you want. It's always depend on you.

Then click the one with the column lines

Again, type the number of columns you want.

Then click the “Sq" to make the spaces square. You should always click that it will be easy for you to make gridlines on your paper

Set it to 1 so you'll have thinner lines
Click that and then lower the opacity of the lines so you'll se the detailed part of the reference.
Check the “BW" to make the picture black and white
Then check the “Di" so you'll have diagonal lines. It's optional, it depends on you if you want diagonal or not. Having diagonal lines will help you to get the exact position easier. But it will take time to draw diagonal lines on your paper.
This is how it looks like.

So that's everything you need to know if you want to use the app and if you prefer printed reference, then here's what you need to do.

🖌️First is to Choose your reference

🖌️Paste in on Microsoft Word

🖌️Print it

🖌️Then you're going to draw your own lines, just make sure that every space would be equal.

After the reference, let's move on to the next which is your paper. Here's step number 3

  1. Measure your paper and since the number of rows that I shown above is 15 and columns are 10 then you'll gonna measure your paper and divide it into 15 rows and 10 columns.

  2. Mark it using dots first. But make sure to have atleast 1cm border.

  3. Connect the dots so you'll have squares just like the reference in your phone or printed reference. (Just a reminder, do not put much pressure in making lines because at the end of sketching you're gonna erase them and you're paper should be clean.

  4. If you put diagonal lines on reference then, you could put diagonal on your paper too. Just make diagonal lines in every square. But if you're kinda lazy, you have a choice to put diagonal lines on eyes, nose and lips part only hahaha.

And that's it you already have gridlines. The number of lines from the reference and the number of lines on your paper should always be equal and square.

Then next would be sketching!

Just a few tips on Sketching.

🖌️You may start with the eyes, just look at the reference and count or check where is the eye part located. Then start sketching and just always look at your reference.

🖌️Just like in gridlines, do not put much pressure in sketching so it will be easy to correct and erase the wrong one.

🖌️ After sketching the eyes, sketch the nose and then the lips.

🖌️ Focus on the part that you're sketching and do not sketch the other parts if you're not yet done with the first part.

🖌️After the eyes, nose and lips, check first the sketch if it looks like the person in the reference and observe if there's something wrong.

🖌️If everything is ok then sketch the shape and the hair.


I think that's all for the gridlines and tips on sketching. Am really sorry if I included so many picture, I just really want to show you the steps on how to use the app and I honestly do not know how will I explain it without pictures, so yeah am really sorry. And sorry if you didn't understand it clearly. I don't know if this may help but I really hope so. Hesitant to publish this because of the pictures but I hope this help huhu.

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Written by   44
7 months ago
Topics: Tutorial, Drawing, Art
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