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Breaking Free from Grid Lines in Portrait Painting

So, when I first dipped my brush into the world of portrait painting, grid lines were like my trusty sidekick—easy to use and pretty darn effective. But, you know, they started playing mind games with me.

portrait painting with grid lines

At the beginning, relying on those grids seemed like a no-brainer. They were handy, helping me map out faces effortlessly. However, I slowly realise that they sneakily took away my knack for eyeballing proportions. At times, the entire composition became warped due to an excessive reliance on grid lines.

Here's the deal: if you're all about art and using your canvas as a feelings playground, grid lines can be real dangerous. They switch from being helpful guides to annoying distractions, messing with your artistic vibes. It's like they're stealing your chill during the creative process, making you hyper-focus on details right from the get-go.

Hold on, though. Before you swear off grid lines entirely, let's talk big canvases. Huge canvases practically beg for grid lines to keep things in check—making sure your masterpiece stays on point.

portrait painting with and without grid lines

As my proficiency in portrait painting progressed, a conscious decision to liberate myself from the shackles of grid lines occurred, particularly in smaller portraits. It's all about reclaiming that freedom in painting, you know? Letting my instincts and feelings take the lead, minus the grid line training wheels.

The lesson here? Grid lines have their time and place, but getting too cozy with them can cramp your creative style. So, for all you art enthusiasts out there, trust your gut and loosen up on those grids—your paintings will thank you for it!


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