Lewis Middle School Art Students Learn Grid Drawing

Lewis Middle School Art Students Learn Grid Drawing

Lewis Middle School Art Students learned Grid Drawing this semester to create larger than life portraits of famous artists.

“Drawing can be a difficult concept to teach,” said Cassandra Akery-Benefield, Lewis School Art Teacher.  “It takes a lot of practice, patience, and students tend to get frustrated easily.  I can't count how many times I have heard the phrase ‘I can’t draw’ in my classroom.”

When students are successful, it builds their confidence.  This was Akery-Benefield’s goal when choosing drawing lessons and introducing Grid Drawing to her Lewis Middle School art students.  Artist Chuck Close once said, “If you’re overwhelmed by the size of a problem, break it down into many bite-sized pieces.” 

The grid technique was used this semester to create drawings from a photo.  The students created larger than life portraits of famous artists, such as Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, American artist Kehinde Wiley, and Spanish artist Salvador Dali. 

Akery-Benefield’s stated that using a grid from a photograph allows students to create an accurate and proportional drawing.  Students focus on their observational skills while incorporating the mathematical skills of measuring, drawing straight lines, and proportion into their art. 

“I chose the photograph of the artist and the 18x24 sized paper,” she said. “Their artist photo had a grid laid over it and they were assigned one square.  They began drawing the contour lines of the photograph and then applied different kinds of media.  Once everyone was done with their individual square, they were all placed together to create the final picture!  You can see who successfully collaborated with their neighbors to make sure their lines matched up.  If they followed the simple steps, their individual and overall image was a success!”