View Poll Results: is using a grid to draw portraits cheating?

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  1. #1
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    Question using a grid to draw faces?

    I have a friend who only draws portraits with a grid. I keep telling hom it is cheating but he dosen't think so. We always have "discussions" about this. I just want to know what other artists think...
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  3. #2
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    If he's going around telling everyone he's a great sketcher when really he only uses a grid, he's a horrible little person and deserves to be shot.

    However, if he's very open about using a grid and willing to admit his skills are limited, then by all means he is in the clear.

    It's not the methods but rather the intention that determine the severity of what he's doing.

  4. #3
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    To be honest, he could even trace if he wanted. I'm not entirely convinced about this whole "traditional" making art. People have had a lot of criticism since ages past from everything from Camera Obscura to common magazine tracing. The end justifies the means, but only if you're honest about how you achieved such results. There's currently a debate going on at CGTalk forums about someone who used Poser models in his 3D scenes. His work is fantastic, but because he didn't say he used Poser models, he's being called a cheat, regardless of the final quality of his work.

    So yeah, let him use the grid if he wants. He is, of course, limiting his potential to do dynamic and spontaneous work, but he certainly has a right to do art any way he chooses.

  5. #4
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    BTW Albrecht Dürer has invented a special grid, too, he apparently was using for his portraits. And I wouldn´t call him a cheater .

    As Ceenda said the result is important. I´m from the ads and we used (and use) any technical means to get quick and good results. O.k. maybe the ads have got the reputation of prostituting art for commerce but who isn´t . At least you have to see what it´s good for and how you´re using this means. Otherwise today you can take a photocopy or whatever ..

    Hope I made sense

    Fipse
    Last edited by Fipse; November 14th, 2003 at 08:23 AM.
    <Insert witty remark here>

  6. #5
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    I personally don't use such methods, because they don't really help me.

    But I don't think it is cheating, because everybody could use a grid and drawing portraits doesn't mean you have to use a certain technique, you should make it with that technique that will make it look best in the end.

  7. #6
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    man ALL those old masters (i.e. Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Rapheal, Titian, etc.) INVENTED the grid for drawing, thats what they taught students to use in the beginning to teach focus and its a good way to capture detail. i've been doing photo-real portraits for my figure drawing class and i consider it to be a very good excercise, especially in SEEING, using a grid forces you to look at every little square inch of a persons face, or photo. that way theres zero generalization on your part. and when you finally make that kind of observing habitual, it boosts your drawing skills tremendously.

    just because you use a grid doesn't mean you're shitty, or that you're "artistically limited" its just a different mode of drawing, i don't think its right to frown on someone because they use it, doing that is like frowning on an old master, they've used them and look what they produced.
    www.nickface.org/newkid

  8. #7
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    Originally posted by siskol p
    just because you use a grid doesn't mean you're shitty, or that you're "artistically limited" its just a different...[/B]
    I'm not sure if you're quoting me there, but if you are you've quoted me wrongly and/or misinterpreted what I've said. Otherwise, excusé moi. My bad.

  9. #8
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    grids aren't cheating unless they lie about it like ceenda said.
    i am removed

  10. #9
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    I think it should be used as part of someone's progress, but I wouldn't rely on it every time. One of my instructors took our picture, had us enlarge it on a photocopier, grid it out and draw it. The exercise was to help us with shapes and rendering. It came out very nice, but that was the first and only time I've used the grid system (a bit different than using it for live portraiture). I may try it again, but like I said, I wouldn't want to rely on it every time.

    One could also argue that using your pencil to measure things by eye is cheating as well, but that's one for another day. (FWIW, I don't think it's cheating at all).

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  11. #10
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    not cheating!

    I've been reading stuff on grids recently. I do not at all think it's cheating in anyway and you damn sure shouldn't be telling people if you use one because it doesn't matter at all! Don't give away our tools to the non artist. It's no ones business. The grid is not cheating. All it does is allow you to break down the photo, no different then measuring with your pencil. You can either use your pencil to measure or the grid. The grid is a tool and can be used in many ways. I do plenty of free hand work. Most of my work is of style and not of copying photos. In any event the gird is awesome for the artist who does not do photo realism that often or for the one who does. The old masters used it for a reason. I know artists that are so incredible that can freehand who use the grid for portraits. They are either using intense measuring with the pencil or using the grid. You can use the grid for the rest of your art career, as long as you don't rely on a grid ONLY to draw things. You don't want to use a grid to draw every little thing. Use the grid when you can't see correctly for that day. The artist eye isn't always active. Some days it's harder to see in shapes then others. Some days a human face will keep registering as a human face and you can't break it down. Other days you can.
    I just don't see how one would consider using a gird cheating. You are still free handing what you see. For example- When i use a grid i'll sometimes only use the gird to get the general shape of the head and then not use it for anything it. It's a tool man! I think more artists should use it because honestly most studies i see are so off you would have been better off using the grid.

  12. #11
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  13. #12
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    Grids are useful. If you are pumping out art on a regular basis then you might would understand. Ask many of the professional illustrators on here.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kartoffel View Post
    I personally don't use such methods, because they don't really help me.
    It's the same with me: I have been struggling for many years to achieve accuracy, and in desperation occasionally tried a grid over a reference photo, only to find that drawings produced that way were mostly LESS accurate than ones I just eyeballed. Don't know how the heck I managed that, but personally I found using a grid to make drawing into a very unsatisfactory sort of experience for me, and they did not help me in the least to get any better either.
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  15. #14
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    Grids are not cheating
    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

    My SKETCHbook
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  16. #15
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    I used to do it. Mostly when I was under pressure for the first few times when I wre starting to do some commission portraits. I don't know if its just as wrong, but I use a grid in photoshop now just to make it a little more clear where the quarters are. But I never draw the grid on the picture anymore. I liked how I could get it accurate first time, but it felt wrong to me. Now I like to just draw it out. And to be honest the people that receive these say they think it looks great, whereas before they sometimes commented it didn't look quite right!

  17. #16
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    By saying he is cheating implies he is breaking rules. Who makes these rules? Who is he cheating? Himself? Well if his goal was to make as realistic portrait as possible the grid can only help. As far as I am concerned the use of a grid is something that should be taught, nevermind cheating.

  18. #17
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    I certainly wouldn't call it cheating, I've seen some good portraits that started with a grid. But a balanced knowledge base is still needed to make it work. It's always funny when you can tell somebody learned to draw using a grid. Same goes for projectors. It's like the proportions are really accurate, but the artist doesn't know how to handle it from there. I see it alot with "local" art. I hear fuddy duddies say "it looks so realistic!"

  19. #18
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    holy necro... 8 years. Oldest I've seen I think. Means I was 13 when this thread was made o.O

    Um. yeah. anyways. If you're using it as a learning tool, it isn't cheating. Same goes for tracing.

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  21. #19
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    Yeah this thread is older then the war in Iraq. Obama wasn't even a senator yet. There was no such thing as a smart phone. PS2 was the pinacle of videogame technology.

  22. #20
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    If the goal is to reproduce a photograph, grid or trace away!

    If the goal is to create a powerful work based on a feeling of an experience, you gotta have skillz for that. Experiencing and interpreting life is no easy task. Creating powerful work is not easy.

    The only artists who I have seen able to make something out of photographic reference were powerful artists in their own right. They've had plenty of experience working from life to understand the true inspiration. The ones who never work from life just look like poor photographic copies.

    I'd recommend to your friend to just put it in photoshop and run a "drawing" filter over it. Saves time.

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