21 May 2015

[art] #MtStHelensArt35 : Gridding Out the Picture

The object so far is to make this print into a form that I can copy. Bigger is better; you have many little details that you want to reproduce as faithfully as possible, and in order to see them well, you go big. Everything because more easy to cope with and draw that way.

If you're doing any kind of visual arts these days, technology is your friend! The above picture shows the graphic, which I had gridded out with a pencil and scanned back into a digital file. This TIFF is then loaded into Photoshop, where I made guides along those pencil grid lines. Then, making sure the snap was on and set to guides, it was pretty easy to copy out individual squares and paste them into another 8.5x11" document, then scale up the individual squares until each was about 3 inches on a side. Each square was individually labelled so I'd know where to put them on the final drawing grid, which I've not drawn out yet, but that should be my next step … selecting the size of Bristol I want this on then positioning the grid to visually satisfy.

The grid is 10 modules wide and 8 modules deep. The squares are all 1-inch square, except the bottom rank, in which each is 1/2 inch tall and 1 inch wide. I'm holding in my hand right now a print of the E3F3E4F4 sheet, and the detail is big and lovely and reproducible.

The two main concepts at work here? 1) Lift something complex out of context, obliterate that context, and the complex tends to simplify, and 2) a big drawing like this is best accomplished the way you eat an elephant … one bite at a time.

One bite-size square at a time, in this case. 

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