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Before you start drawing either three dimensional objects or from a photograph, drawing or painting, you should try using one of the following techniques to get a better result regarding your composition:
- 1) Full page grid
- This is used for drawing from another flat two dimensional image. Simply divide your drawing surface into four even parts by drawing a faint but noticable line connecting the middle of the top and bottom, then do the same to connect the middles of the remaining two sides. Then do the same again to divide each quarter into four even parts. Now you have an even grid of sixteen seperate cells on your drawing surface. Now when you look at the photograph, image or painting you are drawing, try to mentally superimpose your grid onto your subject. Figure out where its mid point is and make markings on your drawing surface in relation to the graph as appropriate. Find creative ways to use your graph to translate the proportions of your subject into your drawing. The grid itself can be made less noticable by using dotted lines, or can simply be erased and drawn over when it is no longer needed.
- 2) Portrait line
- This method is even simpler. Look at what you are drawing and draw a portrait line on your drawing surface that goes straight from its top median to its bottom median. Look at where major changes in your subject happen from top to bottom. Relate those places to proportionate markings you make on your portrait line. Extend these marks into horizontal lines that represent the boundaries between different parts of your subject. The trick is to be sensitive to where the middle of the subject is, and where the different boundaries lie along the portrait line in relation to the middle, the top and the bottom. Keep trying until you are happy with the proportions, then draw the object on top of the portrait line, using it as a type of guide to where things should go on the page, and where and how large they should be in relation to each other.