Grid drawing exercises help students keep their drawing in proportion while devoting more attention to detail. Mystery grids deny the left brain access to the final image during the process and encourage a right-brained shift. Mirror grid drawing takes it a step further by require students to process the images a second time in reverse to complete a symmetrical image.
Download the preview for a free Mirror Mystery Grid worksheet.
The collection contains three mirror mystery grid exercises featuring Beauty, Beast, and a Biker Dude. PDF format.
The grid drawing technique is a time-tested method of drawing used historically by the likes of Leonardo DaVinci and Albrecht Dürer. In traditional grid drawing, an artist constructs a grid over their source image and a proportionately identical one on their target surface. This serves three purposes: (1) A complex image is reduced to a series of simplified parts. (2) The grid itself serves to keep the drawing in correct proportion by using coordinates to properly locate aspects of the image. (3) Finally, when one truly focuses on one square at a time, the left-brain's interpretation of the overall subject matter is less likely to interfere with the right-brain's execution of the task.
As a right-brained drawing technique, mirror mystery grids are particularly suited to addressing left-mode issues. The original image is intentionally scrambled to deny the left-brain access and facilitate a shift to a more beneficial mode of mental processing.
Grid drawing isn't exclusive to art class. The technique is very effective at teaching itself. The process addresses certain math concepts and the variety of subject matter can relate to other areas. This activity also transcends language barriers. I have found that non-english speaking students can discern the method and get to work right away.
If you'd like to introduce grid drawing as a new concept to your students, you may find my introductory series beneficial.
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