In this grid drawing art lesson, you will learn how to draw a fairy using the grid method to get the basic outline.
Did you ever have a big puzzle book when you were a kid?
Well, I did and I loved the ones that had the scrambled grid squares that you had to draw a copy in the properly labeled block on the full grid. You got to see the full picture after completing all of them.
This particular piece was done from a photo of a fairy statue that I bought for my wife years ago.
I will go over each phase of the fairy drawing step by step along with the tools I used to create the grid.
Hopefully, by the end of this lesson, you will have a good grasp of how to use grid drawing to enhance your ability to draw more accurately.
Grid Drawing tools Used in this Art lesson
Before starting you will need to have some items in your tool kit to get the best results. Below you will find the equipment I used for this piece of fairy art.
For more details on the specifics for this grid drawing technique feel free to check out my Grid Drawing for beginners guide for a more in-depth analysis.
- Sheet Protectors
- Drawing Board
- Square with 1 inch rules
- 2H Graphite Pencil
- 2B Graphite Pencil
Now that is out of the way let’s get on with the art lesson.
How to Draw a Fairy – Step by Step
I chose to use the grid drawing method in this lesson because it is somewhat easier if you are a beginner. Maybe in another lesson, we will try a different fairy using basic shapes. I did make a lesson on how to draw a bear using basic shapes using a digital tablet with digital art software if you are interested.
Step 1 – Using Sheet protectors
Use sheet protectors to avoid messing up your photographs or pages you want to keep. A benefit of using sheet protectors is your photos will slide into the protector and will be held in place inside the sleeve.
You will need a fine tip marker to keep your lines a thin as possible as to not cover some of the details on your subject. Allow the marker to dry before touching the surface. I used a watercolor marker which will wipe right of with a damp cloth. This helps if you want to reuse your sheet protector.
There are a few different sizes of sheet protectors. I used an 8.5 inch by 11 inch but I did find other sizes on Amazon that would suit a larger photograph. There are many varieties out there for you to choose from.
Step 2 – The drawing Board
The drawing board is mainly used for a surface to keep your subject matter at a 90-degree angle so you can draw perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines.
Now you need to take your photo (inside the sheet protector) and line it up straight on your board.
Once you have it straight then use some tape to secure the corners. I use Scotch invisible tape but any tape will do. You will find it does not take much to secure your paper to the board just be sure it is nice and flat.
Step-3 – Grid Layout
Now it is time to measure out your grid.
Using your T-square with your ruler mark the edge of one side of your subject. Just a quick dash at your desired size will do to start. Do both the horizontal and vertical marks.
Now it is time to use your t-square to line up on your marks and lightly draw your grid lines both horizontal and vertical.
Remove your photo and repeat the process on your drawing paper but with a pencil. Use it lightly so you can easily erase the grid in the final step.
You can increase or shrink the size of your drawing at this phase just remember to keep the same amount of squares. Use larger squares to enlarge and smaller squares to shrink your drawing.
Learn more about grid drawing techniques in my other How to Draw – Grid Drawing Lesson.
I used 1 by 1-inch squares but you can use any size you want. One thing to remember is that the larger block size will have more lines inside of it and gets more complicated to draw accurately.
Step 4 – Fairy drawing for Beginners – Filling in the Blocks
I started this drawing in the top left corner since I am right-handed. This helps me to stop smudging my pencil strokes. If you are left-handed you may want to start on the right side.
Using a 2H graphite pencil start drawing lightly in your first block. Noticing where the lines on your subject meet the grid lines. Go through each grid block until you have them all filled in.
Using the 2H pencil helps to keep your pencil strokes lite because erasing bad strokes will definitely come into play here.
One good thing when using a grid to draw is that it causes you to look at your subject more which is fundamental in learning art as a beginner.
Step 5 – Outline your Fairy Drawing
Now it is time to get your 2B pencil out and draw over the pencil strokes you want to keep. This can be accomplished with a standard pencil by adding more pressure to darken your lines if you do not have a softer lead pencil.
Now is also a good time to erase all those unwanted pencil marks.
Step 6 – Erase The Grid Lines or Tracing Paper
Now you can erase the grid lines. I recommend this method for simpler outline drawings as you will have to come back with a pencil to fix some of your marks.
Notice the parts that seem to be missing in the photo above.
Using tracing paper or onion skin paper is a better option for more complicated pieces. After tracing you can transfer to your paper of choice either by flipping it over and tracing on the back or layering some graphite on the back and retracing your drawing.
Now, this fairy drawing is ready to start adding details or color. Hope you liked this lesson.