Realistic Grid Drawing

Improve Your Drawings With Accurate Proportions and Ease!

If you are ready to improve your drawing skills, and get a better sense of proportions and line placement, this DIY realistic grid drawing tutorial is the post for you! I am happy you are here! Follow along as we move on from simple rose drawings, to drawing realistic roses!

What Is a Realistic Grid Drawing?

A realistic grid drawing is when we use a grid for the art style of realism. Realism means that we want our final product to look like the image in real life. A grid is made up of evenly spaced squares to help us break down a complicated picture, making drawing easier!

Why Use a Grid?

To draw realistically, free hand, is an amazing skill! Like all skills, there is training and practice involved. Consistent tracing and grid drawing can help you in this goal! Training your eye and hand to draw what you see and not what you think you see is essential for realism in art. When drawing from sight we try to break things down into simple shapes to portray the image as it appears. A grid helps our eye to break a complicated image down into abstract lines. When lines are abstract we are less likely to draw what we think the image looks like and more likely to draw what we see. A grid also slows us down, and helps us with accurate proportions.

Ready to start?


  • A ruler or T-square with a ruler
  • Pencil
  • Image you want to draw, digital or hard copy
  • Paper the size of your image or larger
  • Painters tape if desired for a boarder, or security

First we need to place the grid over our image.

Before drawing anything tape the edges of your paper down if you would like.

Setting Up a Grid on Paper

To place the grid over your printed image take your ruler and along the bottom of the image and left side of the image make dots one inch apart. Place a new dot at every inch until both the bottom and left side have dots one inch apart across the entire image.

Next Take your ruler and at each dot make a line through the image. I like to use a t-square ruler to quickly make straight lines.

Alternatively, you can make the same dots one inch apart on the top and right side of the image, and then line the ruler up to connect them. Do this for the length of the image as well.

Setting Up a Grid on a Digital Image

To set up the grid on a digital image you will need a program to help. I like to use this free photo editing software to make my grids. There are also art apps that apply the grid for you to the image.

First open your image in the software. On the side and top of the image you will see rulers! Click on the rulers and drag onto the image. A line will appear Set these lines horizontally and vertically 1 inch apart.

Setting Up a Grid on Your Drawing Paper

Count how many boxes are along the bottom, and side of your image. This is the size you will want to make the grid on your drawing paper. Just like making a grid on a printed image, use your ruler to mark off 1 inch sections on the edges of the page. Then connect the dots!

Using the Grid

Pick a box to start in. Count to find the same number box on your image. Draw what you see in the box! It is that simple! If the image is large and complex, or I am going for a lot of detail, I like to block out the boxes around the box I am looking at to keep me focused on the right square. Keep going until you have completed your image’s line drawing. Erase any grid lines.

Simple and fast! I erased the gird lines as I went. When the drawing was complete I put a base layer down of ink and let it dry. The next step for these roses would be to add in all the details! For this piece, I will be using colored pencils! I use this grid method a lot for creating art, especially when you want to get straight to the medium of your choice! You can find some of my art for sale in the handmade at home market!

What will you draw now!? Let us know in the comments below!

Thank you, and I hope this post brings joy!
Stella Maris, Ora Pro Nobis!

Hello, I'm Jenny!

Hello, I'm Jenny!

I am so happy you are here! Join us as we celebrate Traditional Catholiscism, home making and educating, and wife and motherhood.

More About Jenny


  1. test this comment

    • Hey moorejavaplease,

      Thank you for testing this comment!
      It works!

      In Christ,


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest