Peer Critiques Useful Words

Portraits - Stage One

The first stage is to choose a good quality colour photograph. Then to enlarge that in black and white on a photocopier or inkjet printer onto an A4 sheet of white paper.  On the copy draw a grid of squares (in this example the squares are 2cm each) and number them along both vertical and a horizontal edges.  Over the area of the face add diagonal lines from the corners of each square to create smaller squares and diagonal lines. See next photo' below. 

Here you can see the numbered main grid of squares and the smaller squares/diagonals over the more complex area of the face. This is to help you to plot the features more accurately and easily - see next image below.  This method is often called called "gridding-up" and is commonly used to manually enlarge images or to transfer drawings onto a surface ready for painting. Of course you can do this electronically if you have the means - a PC with an A3 printer or a photocopier.

Here you can see the good quality original colour photo' which we will use later when we add the colour. For now we use the black and white copy as our "original" to allow us to enlarge the image using the pencil-drawn grids. We are going to double the size of the image ready for an A3 painting.  To do this, draw a grid on an A3 size sheet where the squares are 2x the size of the A4 squares i.e. 4cm squares. You must have the same number of squares on both the A4 and A3 sheets, and they must be numbered on all sides.  The A3 sheet can be either white or light coloured pastel or white watercolour paper.  More experienced painters could use a dark colour pastel paper to give a ground colour that matches the original and the grid and drawing would be made using a light coloured pencil - white or yellow for example.  Now you can begin plotting (copying) the image from the A4 onto the A3 sheet - see next two images below.

Detail: Here the completed drawing has been enlarged from A4 to A3. You do this by carefully observing where the lines of the pencil-drawn grid cross over the features of the face in the black and white copy. Wherever this happens make a small pencil mark, a dash or a dot, to create an image made up of these marks, then start joining them together to eventually create the line drawing (see image below).  If you are new to this method, take your time. You will get faster with more experience.  This method avoids having to be too highly skilled in free-hand drawing or worrying about proportion and likeness at this early stage. It can be used on any type of subject.

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