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  • painter using grid to transform reference photoThe Must-Have Grid Drawing Tool
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Add Perfect Grid to Your Reference Photos with GriDraw!

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GriDraw: Pro Artist Software

GriDraw is a unique desktop image editing software for Windows, macOS, and Linux, expertly developed with artists in mind. It simplifies grid placement over reference photos and offers a simple interface with

  • Image Editor on the left
  • Grid Drawing Tool on the right

In a league of its own, GriDraw stands out as the sole software solution designed to help both aspiring and professional artists, setting it far apart from grid placing tools available online.

Only $19 for a one-time purchase and lifetime ownership without trials or recurring payments.

Grid drawing tool that places grid over image

Download mobile version:

How to put a grid on a picture   How to put a grid on a picture

Get GriDraw on Mac appstore

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Place Gridlines Over Images Quick & Easy

GriDraw was originally created as a mobile phone app and has evolved from a simple grid-drawing tool for Android and iOS apps into an image editor with support for cropping, resizing, transparency, saturation, brightness, contrast, hue, color temperature, flipping, rotating. It also has Save and Print features even without the placed grid; therefore, GriDraw can be used solely as an image editor.

The features of the grid-drawing tool on the right side meet all the requirements of the artists when it comes to placing the grid over the reference photos, including labeling and diagonal lines. The created grid is movable, allowing you to position it precisely over the reference photo. Artists can also customize the color, thickness, and opacity of the grid lines to suit their preferences.

GriDraw: a tool for various creative fields

Who is GriDraw intended for? If you belong to any of the following categories or know someone who does, consider getting this software as a thoughtful gift.

  1. Artists: Whether working with pencils, paints, or other traditional media on paper or canvas, GriDraw is a valuable tool. Artists use it to overlay grids on their reference photos and create corresponding grids on their physical media. This approach helps break down complex images into manageable sections, allowing for precise and proportional drawing or painting.
  2. Knitters: GriDraw isn't just for visual artists. Knitters also find it indispensable for converting images into knitting patterns. By overlaying a grid, knitters can better plan their color choices and stitch placements. GriDraw's customizable grid options, including spacing, size, and style, cater to the unique needs of knitters who often have specific requirements for their grids.
  3. 3D Printing Enthusiasts: GriDraw is an indispensable tool for 3D printing enthusiasts. They use it to calibrate their 3D printers with sub-millimeter precision, ensuring perfect dimensional accuracy. GriDraw helps verify the scaling of 3D models and assists in adhesion tests for flawless prints.
  4. Photography Enthusiasts: GriDraw is a versatile tool for photography enthusiasts. It aids in precise composition, perspective alignment, and mapping for landscape shots. Additionally, it's valuable for digitizing film photography. Our software provides customizable grids, overlay features, alignment guides, and seamless integration with popular editing software, streamlining photography and post-processing workflows.
  5. Tabletop Role-Playing Gamers, especially D&D enthusiasts, can enhance their gaming experience with GriDraw. Our software simplifies the creation of intricate battlemaps, allowing players to visualize their surroundings and movement speed. If your group struggles with visualizing the battlefield, maps are a great solution. GriDraw offers customizable grid options and an intuitive design, making it an invaluable tool for dungeon masters and players seeking immersive adventures.
  6. Battlefield Map DnD Grid
  7. Geologists: GriDraw proves indispensable to geologists, revolutionizing mapmaking by simplifying the process of gridding geological outcrops and aligning them with precise scaling. This enhances the accuracy and clarity of geological maps, streamlining the analysis of geological data. Geologists rely on GriDraw as an essential tool for their profession.
  8. Print professionals treasure GriDraw for its ability to cater to custom printing needs. Whether producing files, cards, notebooks, calendars, or personalized materials, it aids in achieving impeccable precision and intricate detailing for clients' projects. GriDraw stands as a trusted tool in the arsenal of print workers, ensuring top-notch results.

A few more advantages of GriDraw to consider:

  1. No Ads: GriDraw is completely ad-free, guaranteeing an uninterrupted creative journey. Online tools (other than our one) often bombard you with distracting ads, disrupting your artistic flow.
  2. Offline Accessibility: GriDraw is available for offline use, granting you the freedom to create wherever and whenever you desire, without relying on an internet connection. This is especially convenient for artists who work in various locations. You won't be dependent on online tools that might become unavailable one day.
  3. Versatility: GriDraw goes beyond just grid placement. It offers a rich array of features typically found in comprehensive image editors, including rare tools like Opacity control. The grid placement features on the right side are tailored to artists' specific needs. Images can be saved and printed even without a created grid, making GriDraw a powerful standalone image editor.
  4. One-Time Purchase: GriDraw is available at a single, budget-friendly cost, ensuring you own it forever, with no recurring expenses. Professional artists understand the value of investing in top-notch tools, and GriDraw is priced at just the cost of a couple of pencils and paints that you'll use up in no time, while the valuable software continues to serve you.
  5. Privacy and Security: While online tools (except for our one on this site) collect and use your data, GriDraw operates offline, safeguarding your artwork and personal information, keeping them private and secure.
  6. Gift for a Friend or Loved One: If you want to bring joy to a fellow artist or knitter, this software may be the perfect present. They will use it with gratitude, thinking of you with appreciation.

The grid method used by artists

The grid method is an easy way to transfer the outlines of the reference photo to your drawing paper or canvas.

The grid divides the original image into smaller, manageable pieces so that you can more easily see where to place the main lines.

Starting with a precise and proportional sketch is crucial. Color erasure can damage paper, even graphite HB and darker pencils may not erase completely. Ensure your paper or canvas remains unharmed as you add color.

Only $19 for a one-time purchase and lifetime ownership without trials or recurring payments.

Use a grid overlay to maintain the proportions of your drawing subject

The process of using the Grid Method helps you to improve your drawing and observational skills so that you can learn to draw freehand by practicing with a grid first. Some advanced artists use only two or three lines of their grid because that is just enough for orientation.

If you're using the Grid Method, your sketching can go much faster, and there's much less erasing, so your paper stays smooth and clear. As you progressively become more comfortable, you can make your grid squares slightly bigger. This will lead you to a more freehand drawing. Keep increasing the size of the grid squares, and eventually, you won't be needing a grid at all.

Mastering proportions: from old masters to modern creators

Famous artists from the Middle Ages, such as Albrecht Dürer, employed the Grid Method to achieve proportional accuracy in their paintings and drawings. While they didn't have reference photos, they used physical grids through which they observed their models while sketching on gridded paper, ensuring precision in their creations. Many other Renaissance artists, even the great Leonardo da Vinci, used the Grid Method.

Even in the present day, gridding reference photos is a valuable technique for artists to break down complex subjects and maintain accuracy in their artwork.

Artist using a grid to achieve correct proportions in a drawing
image editor crop flip saturation sharpnes hue brightnes resize edit photos

How to create a grid with GriDraw

Before you place the grid over your reference photo, you can edit it with the tools on the left panel. You can resize it, crop it, rotate it, or flip it. Furthermore, you can modify the brightness, contrast, color temperature, hue, and sharpness.

There is also a feature for decreasing opacity, which is rarely found in other image editors. When you save the image as a PNG file and place it over another photo, you will see the other photo through it. You can also use the "Saturation" feature for creating a black-and-white image by decreasing the saturation to zero, by moving it to the left side of the scale where the "B&W" sign is found.

Note: You can edit the image even with the grid placed over it.

Choose your grid size: rows and columns

Now it's time to place the grid. Decide how many columns and rows you want, and type the numbers respectively.

The best option is to check the 'Square Cells' option to ensure a perfect square ratio of 1:1. When this option is checked, you only need to specify either the number of columns or the number of rows to create perfect squares.

If you create rectangles (when the 'Square Cells' option is unchecked), it may be challenging to reproduce the same ratio on your paper, potentially resulting in elongated drawings. However, it's important to note that you still have the flexibility to choose the option that best suits your needs, allowing you to create grids according to your preferences

chose columns rows grid number size width height gridlines

Download mobile version:

How to put a grid on a picture   How to put a grid on a picture
grid label labeling option marginal marks numbers letters

Label your grids with ease

To make your work smoother, check the 'Labeling' box. This feature will automatically label the marginal cells with letters and numbers, using the same color and opacity as your grid lines.

You can then replicate these labels on your paper or canvas, making it particularly useful for large artworks or when dealing with numerous rows and columns, simplifying your orientation during the creative process.

Diagonal lines: a unique feature

Many artists like to incorporate diagonal lines into their grids to achieve precise outlines. GriDraw understands this need and offers the option to include diagonal lines that match the thickness, color, and opacity of your grid lines.

To include diagonal lines in your grid, simply check the 'Diagonal Lines' box.

Only $19 for a one-time purchase and lifetime ownership without trials or recurring payments.

grid diaginal lines for more precision artwork picture
grid lines thickness bold size gridding options

Custom grid line thickness

Can't see your grid lines on a large image? Don't worry; GriDraw has got you covered.

To adjust line thickness, simply use the - and + buttons or type the desired number of pixels in between. A recommended thickness is up to 5 pixels, though this may vary based on your reference photo's dimensions. For larger images, like 6000 px x 4000 px, grid lines with a thickness of 5 pixels or more become clearly visible and effective.

You can observe real-time changes in the image panel as you click - and +, allowing you to choose the appearance that suits your preferences.

Exclusive grid color selection

For your convenience, you can select the color of your grid. This feature allows you to choose from a palette of options, including black, white, grey, or any color that harmonizes with your reference photo.

This feature is essential because no single color choice fits all situations. For example, if your reference photo has a white background, using a white grid color will make the gridlines and labels invisible. On the other hand, a black grid might not be visible over the darker parts of your subject. This is where the versatility of GriDraw comes into play. Your choice of grid color ensures that you can work effectively with any reference photo, no matter its characteristics. You can see real-time changes in grid color as you move the cursor over the color scale, allowing you to determine which color is visible over the entire picture.

grid color Grid overlay for picture grey black white

Download mobile version:

How to put a grid on a picture   How to put a grid on a picture
transparent grid opaque transparency opacity gridlines

Adjusting grid line transparency

In a unique feature exclusive to GriDraw, you can fine-tune the transparency of your grid lines. If you'd like to partially see through the grid lines, simply adjust the opacity using our Opacity scale. As you adjust the slider, you'll witness immediate changes, giving you precise control over the gridlines and label transparency.

This feature is highly valued by professional artists who find that bold grid lines can sometimes be distracting, making it essential for maintaining focus and precision in their work.

Only $19 for a one-time purchase and lifetime ownership without trials or recurring payments.

Grid line position control

One of the most requested features by artists is now available only in GriDraw. You can effortlessly reposition the grid on your reference photo, improving your workflow for a more comfortable and pleasant experience. To use it, simply click the 'Drag and Move Grid' button to enable grid movement. Then, drag and place the grid exactly where you want it on your reference photo before clicking 'OK.'

Enjoy the enhanced flexibility and start your sketching as you please.

Get GriDraw for Windows, macOS and Linux
$400.00 $19.99

Limited Time Offer Till Price Goes Up!

Or get GriDraw on Mac appstore

movable grid lines reposition placed grid over image better drawing technique

Free Grid Drawing Tool

A simple free grid maker online tool that will add a grid to your pictures. You can quickly place a drawing grid over your image; simply upload your image and select the number of rows and columns. Use a larger thickness if the image is large and the gridlines are hardly visible.

Select the grid color from the color picker, press Enter, and click "Download" button to save a gridded copy of the image to your device. The saved image retains its original size.

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Learn to Draw Like a Pro!

Explore the art of drawing with colored pencils in a photorealistic style through our premier tutorials at Colored Pencil Tutor. Immerse yourself in real-time videos and receive expert guidance to elevate your drawing skills. Whether you're a beginner or looking to refine your technique, our tutorials provide a professional learning experience. Browse through the extensive collection and sign up to embark on your artistic journey.

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Grid Placement Made Easy: A GriDraw Tutorial

In this video, renowned pencil artist Jasmina Susak demonstrates how she effortlessly uses GriDraw on her Mac laptop to precisely place grids over reference photos. Additionally, Jasmina shares insights into her workflow, revealing how the grid method enhances her artistry. Watch as she creates a stunning tiger drawing using a gridded image with an overlay on gray drawing paper.

If you admire her drawing style and want to learn her techniques, explore her collection of narrated real-time video tutorials and comprehensive written guides with images available at Colored Pencil Tutor.

Testimonials - What artists say about GriDraw

artist illustrator using grid method precision artwork
painter using grid method realistic landscape paint picture
How to draw with grid method artist using proportions in colored pencil drawing portrait

How to sketch with the Grid Method

Now that you've placed a grid over your reference photo, it's time to replicate that grid on your paper. You have two options: either print a pre-gridded paper or draw the grid by hand, aided by a ruler.

If you want to draw the grid manually, draw the grid lines, using an HB, or softer pencil. If you have a small reference photo and want a bigger drawing, just make the squares of your blank paper two to three times larger than those over the reference photo. Don't press too hard because you will deboss your paper and these lines will show up after applying your pencils on top, so keep the pressure light. Label the squares on your drawing paper in the same way as on the reference photo created with the GriDraw.

Pro Tip:

If you don't want to draw the grid lines manually, and if you plan to use colored pencils, pastels, or make a graphite drawing without many highlights, you can open a blank page in GriDraw, create the grid with the same ratio as the grid over the reference photo, and label the cells. It is important to reduce the opacity as much as possible (but not completely) to make the gridlines semi-transparent. In the case of a white background, you can cover the lines with white opaque markers. Experiment with colors, thickness, and opacity on the blank page in the GriDraw to see which combination is the least visible. Finally, print your image on the same high-quality drawing paper you use for your artwork. This way, you not only save time compared to manually drawing the grid but also prevent paper damage caused by erasing grid lines. You're left with a grid that is hardly visible, yet functional to kickstart your drawing process. At the end of the drawing, you can simply either cut off the labeling or color over it.

how to use grid method draw grid lines on paper proportional
grid approach correct proportions sketch over grid photo

Getting started

Now, let's dive into the process of sketching the fundamental lines necessary for your artwork. These lines can range from simplistic forms to intricate details, depending on your artistic vision inspired by the reference photo.

Initiate this step by outlining the primary contours of your subject. Start with the main outlines of the subject transferring them from the squares of your reference photo to the squares on your paper or canvas. Pick the box from which you would like to start and find the corresponding box on your gridded paper or canvas. In this image, you can see the starting point of the curve of the ladybug's shell being the box A2.

Only $19 for a one-time purchase and lifetime ownership without trials or recurring payments.

Sketching the main outline

Continue drawing the outline from box to box, relying on the marginal labels to identify your current cell. Pay close attention to where the outline starts and ends in each box. Focus on replicating the primary lines you see in each small square of the photo and transfer them accurately to the corresponding square on your paper or canvas.

While sketching this ladybug, an exact copy is not necessary. However, when working on portraits, precision in copying and placement becomes crucial. In this image, you can observe the step-by-step sketching process of the ladybug's body and legs.

Only $19 for a one-time purchase and lifetime ownership without trials or recurring payments.

sketch lines grid drawing paper accurate copy of subject
realistic sketch grid lines gridding tool draw proportions

Refining the details

It's time to enhance your sketch with intricate details, such as the head-to-shell transition, delicate highlights, and distinctive spots. You can modify, omit, or introduce any detail as you see fit.

Once you're satisfied with your sketch, it's time to erase the grid lines and proceed with shading and coloring.

Enjoy creating your realistic, proportional artworks!

realistic sketch grid lines gridding tool draw proportions

Learn to draw like this at Colored Pencil Tutor

Get our Grid Drawing Tool for tablets and mobile devices. The mobile version features a grid placement tool with labeling, thickness adjustment, and three color options. Also:

Get GriDraw for Windows, macOS and Linux
$400.00 $19.99

Limited Time Offer Till Price Goes Up!

Get GriDraw on Mac appstore

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Now, Let's Color with PenPick

How to choose colored pencils

Once the sketching is complete, the next step is coloring and shading your drawing. But how do you select the right pencils for your artwork? Fortunately, there's an incredible application called PenPick that can assist you in making the perfect choice. When you select a color from your reference photo, PenPick suggests which colored or graphite pencil to use. The application features an extensive color palette that includes the most popular colored pencil brands.

PenPick is available as desktop software for Windows and Mac, and also as a mobile app for iPhones and iPads. Also, for Android. Learn more about app on their website here.

Colored Pencil Picker PenPick software app pencils

Coloring Made Easy

In this video, popular artist Jasmina Susak demonstrates how she selects colors from her reference photo using PenPick. Then, the software suggests pencils for the picked areas, and Jasmina uses the exact pencils recommended by the color picker, resulting in a photorealistic drawing based on a perfectly proportional sketch.

Sketching and coloring by Jasmina Susak