Skip to content ↓
Welcome To

Willingham Primary School

Grid Drawing, part 2: KS2

Last week, I taught you how to create an accurate outline drawing using the grid method. A grid made up of squares is marked on an original drawing or photograph and a similar grid drawn on your piece of paper. You can then transfer the main lines and features of the original onto your own artwork, square by square.

I hope that, by following last week's lesson, you will have been able to create a drawing a little like one of these:

In order to transform your outline drawing into a finished piece of art, you need to add further details. Both my deer and my kingfisher look very cross at the moment, but I am hoping that that will improve as I work on the shading. During this final stage, there are two important things to bear in mind: value and texture.

Value in art means how light or dark a tone is. Often, the more contrast between the lightest and darkest areas of your picture, the more effective it will be. You can begin by looking at the original photograph and trying to identify which the darkest areas are. Some artists find it helpful to look at the image through half-closed eyes.

If you made a value scale as part of the lesson on shading, you could use that to help you judge how dark the tones are and then check against your drawing as it progresses:

The other important element of a pencil drawing of an animal is texture. Texture is what something feels like. When we create a drawing of feathers or fur, we use pencil lines and changes in value to suggest what something would feel like in real life: this is known as implied texture.

When shading your animal, you should think about the length and direction of the fur or feathers and try to copy that with your pencil. The direction of the pencil stroke and the pressure you use will vary for each small section of the drawing. If you are using a photograph on a screen, it may help to enlarge the picture and to deal with each square in turn, just as we did with the outline drawing last week. When you look really closely, you will find that there are smoother and more textured areas, darker and lighter areas and that the feathers and hairs change in size and direction from one part of the animal to another.

I decided to start with the head of the kingfisher. Already, he is looking a lot less cross!

This is not a quick task: taking your time will make all the difference. I found that what worked best for me was to zoom in on a small area and to look really closely at the texture. Then, I looked at my drawing from a distance to check and make adjustments to the overall value. Remember that, if you have an eraser, you can use it not only to get rid of mistakes but also as a drawing tool. You can also rub out the grid as you go if you have not pressed too hard with your pencil!

I am going to keep going with mine and will let you know how I get on. I hope that you enjoy finishing your drawing. Well done to Eve who has already created this detailed picture of a fox:

... and I am also making progress. Good luck, everyone!