Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grid It!

Although most of my works since the rebirth of my art is portrait, it does not mean I am good at it. Much to my model’s disappointments, they don’t look like the same on my sketch pad.

Take a look at my early portrait in graphite of my good friend, Ising. Anyone can quickly point out that there is something amiss in my proportion and if no one has seen the photo from which I modeled this portrait, her earring is the telltale sign that this is indeed, Ising.

Bai Ising in Graphite

Proportion is the common bane of starting artists. The head is too big, relative to the neck. The forehead is just too wide. One eye is bigger than the other. But there is a solution to that.


If one is copying a portrait from a photo, lightly draw a grid on it. If you made an 8x8 grid, make sure you draw the same grid size on your canvas or sketch pad. This is not difficult if you have Photoshop. You can actually place a grid on the photo using this software.

Once the grid is in placed, you can start drawing methodically. You won’t go wrong with the proportion since you know how many squares are the head of your subject based on your grid.

The downside here is that making the lines for your grid would be tiresome. Well, you can start placing your grid while watching your evening primetime “100 Hundred Days to Heaven” or “Nasaan Ka, Elisa?”. Once these programs are over, you can start making the portrait you have been planning for days.

Once I learned how to use grid effectively, here is another portrait, this time in charcoal, of my friend, Bai Ising. 

Bai Ising

The photos from which I copied these portraits were made by Pareng Jotay.


  1. clap clap clap ko beh.... I like my hair in the 2nd photo and my eyes... waaaaaaaaahh kuha kaayo!!! I know I still owe you a date for our "live" session :)maybe this sembreak?