The fourth week of my  drawing course with was completed this Thursday, and in summary; I learned how to create a drawing using the Grid Method. See the feedback sections below to find out how I got on, and don’t forget to click on the thumbnails by each section to see the cool drawings I created in more detail. My drawings were submitted to Cindy, my course instructor at, and her feedback (in italics) is included below.

Unit One: Outline Drawing: Week Four

This week I was tasked with learning and using the Grid Method of copying an image to create a drawing. The Grid Method is also a great way to alter the scale of the original image, enabling you to scale your copy to be smaller or larger than the original just by changing the size of the grid you use. I was given a choice of three images to work with, with differing complexities. Taking my tutors advice literally of “Practice, Practice, Practice” I drew all three!

Grid Method: Footy Buzzy Bee

My drawing of Footy Buzzy Bee

Click to enlarge

The first drawing I copied using the Grid Method was Footy Buzzy Bee.

It was the simplest one of the three, and even then it took me quite a while to nail the technique with any confidence to begin with.

Click on the image opposite and you will see my dots and markings where I noted intersections of lines and shapes through the boxes of the grid to copy the image.

I roughly shaded the dark ares of the image using a simple cross-hatching with my pencil.

Grid Method: Getting Married Fuzzy Bee

My drawing of Getting Married Buzzy Bee

Click to enlarge

The next image I worked on was Getting Married Buzzy Bee, and having completed the previous exercise I felt a lot more confident this time.

Taking what I’d learned in previous weekly lessons from this course I roughly sketched out the corresponding shape outlines, dotting and marking out to ensure correct positioning. For example, I created circles and ovals for the flower heads, rectangles for the feet and so on.

By working in this way I found it a lot faster, and in combination with the dots and markings I think the final result looked less stilted. Click the image opposite to see how it turned out.

Grid Method: Little Blue Wren

My drawing of Little Blue Wren

Click to enlarge

With the final exercise, Little Blue Wren, I mainly concentrated on copying the shapes again, but this time I spent most of my time looking at the original while occasionally comparing it to what I was drawing. I used the 80/20 guideline for the amount of time spent looking between the original image and my copy, with 80% spent studying the original while my drawing hand blindly created the shapes I was seeing.

I think this is probably my best of the three drawings because it looks very natural, even though I didn’t quite get the wing feathers exactly right. In hindsight I’d probably rub out the wobbly wing feathers and redo them, but I’ve left it in as a true representation of my progress.

Click the image opposite to see how it turned out because I believe the result of all of these combinations of techniques produced a much more flowing and natural looking drawing than the others. What do you think?

Feedback from Cindy

Little Blue Wren Drawing Feedback

Click to enlarge

Hi Ian, well done on another fantastic week of work here. Its great that you have completed all three grid drawings and I have chosen your final one to comment upon for you. In general I can see that you have good understanding of the grid method and there is just a small area that I can help you to improve in.

The exciting thing to see here is that you have correctly applied the procedure that we use to gain absolute accuracy; in most areas of the drawing. I can understand that by the time you came to the bottom half of the drawing ie: in the branch area you may have become a little tired of drawing all those markings. However, a drawing is only as good as the final part so I encourage you to continue the hard work all the way through the entire grid to gain absolute precision all round.

The wonderful thing about doing that is you not only have an excellent drawing upon completion but more importantly you build valuable brain pathways which will enable you to go on and create even more challenging and rewarding artworks in the future. Persistence, consistence and general all round tenacity are all important ingredients for drawing a likeness to the subject and that requires the development of intense concentration. This is why drawing is so good for us; it keeps our brains active.

A: The little beak on a bird is one of the most important parts to enable a bird watcher to name the breed of a bird. Even the slightest angle can change the bird’s beak from a Canary to a Wren, from a Pigeon to a Crow, a Chicken to a Parrot with just a few strokes. Your beak is slightly different to the one in your notes, it is very similar though. The area that it is mostly different is beneath the beak. The tiny changes would have been detected if you positioned some more dots within the square. When we are drawing important areas such as eyes, beaks and legs its important to position many more dots if required. Great effort though, this is very close and with just using the method a little more intricately its surprising what a difference it can make to the accuracy of the image.

B: Great work in these areas, I have noticed that you are extremely proficient in mapping the tiny dots in the areas of the image that cross over the sides of the small squares. This is fantastic news because all you need to improve on now is the inside of the squares. At letter C you haven’t position the tiny dots so the shapes are not in the correct places.

This week I have included an important extra tutorial to help you understand the importance of accurately mapping areas within the square.

When used with extreme accuracy the grid method can really help us to get incredible results and there is no need to leave our drawing skills to chance any longer. We simply use this logic-based system which helps us to measure simply by using the half way measuring ability that most healthy people are all born with. This to me is extremely exciting!

Well done Ian, this is already impressive work and the suggestions here are just for fine tuning and taking your skills to the next level!

Very encouraging feedback from Cindy there, and some great pointers on observation and how I can improve this important skill to give me more accurate results in my drawings. Cindy has also very kindly  sent me some additional information which includes lots of hints and tips on how to improve accuracy when using the grid method. She has kindly allowed me to share this help sheet with those of you who are following my drawing journey, so please  feel free to click the Adobe icon below to download a copy of these excellent free drawing tips.

Download these free drawing tips

Coming up

Next weeks study looks incredibly exciting! I’ll be learning six different pencil strokes, how to prepare my pencil, and then how to hold it the correct way to achieve a variety of different strokes. Once I have those techniques under my belt I will then be learning a new way of transferring an image, and creating a completed drawing that I’ll be able to hang on my wall – such fun!! Please follow my Drawing Journey to see how I get on 🙂

Next Steps

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