How to Grid on Procreate: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Introduction

Are you an aspiring artist looking to improve your digital drawing skills on Procreate? Then mastering the technique of gridding can be a game-changer for you! Gridding is a powerful tool that helps artists break down complex images into manageable sections, allowing for better accuracy and proportion. In this article, we will guide you through the process of gridding on Procreate, giving you the skills to create stunning artworks with ease.

What is gridding, and why is it important?

Gridding is a technique used by artists to divide an image into a grid of smaller squares or rectangles. It serves as a visual aid to help maintain accurate proportions and ensure precision while drawing. By breaking down a complex image into manageable sections, artists can focus on one area at a time, preventing overwhelm and improving overall accuracy. Gridding is especially beneficial when working on intricate pieces or when scaling up or down an image.

To provide you with a comprehensive guide, we have broken down the gridding process into easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Import your image

Before you can start gridding, you’ll need to have your desired image in Procreate. Here’s how you can import it:

1.1 Open Procreate on your iPad

To begin, open the Procreate application on your iPad. Make sure you have the latest version of the app installed for optimal functionality.

1.2 Create a new canvas or open an existing one

If you already have a canvas ready for your artwork, you can skip this step. Otherwise, follow these instructions to create a new canvas:

  1. Tap on the “+” symbol located at the top right corner of the screen to create a new canvas.
  2. Choose the desired canvas size and orientation. Procreate offers a wide range of preset sizes, or you can customize your canvas dimensions.
  3. Tap “Create” to generate the new canvas.

1.3 Tap on the wrench icon to access the Actions menu

The wrench icon is located at the top right corner of the screen. Tapping on it will open a menu with various settings and options.

1.4 Select “Insert a photo” from the menu

In the Actions menu, scroll down until you find the option “Insert a photo.” Tap on it to proceed.

1.5 Choose the image you want to grid from your photo library

A window will appear displaying your iPad’s photo library. Browse through your photos and select the image you want to use for gridding. Once selected, tap “Choose” or “Done” to import the image into Procreate.

1.6 Adjust the image size and placement on the canvas as desired

After importing the image, it may appear too large or small on your canvas. To adjust its size and placement, use the Transform tool:

  1. Tap on the “Transform” icon in the top toolbar. It looks like a square with arrows coming out of its corners.
  2. You can resize the image by placing two fingers on the screen and pinching them together or spreading them apart. Spread your fingers to enlarge the image or pinch them together to make it smaller.
  3. To reposition the image, drag it with a single finger to the desired location on the canvas.
  4. To rotate the image, place two fingers on the screen and twist them in a circular motion.
  5. Continue adjusting the image until you are satisfied with its size and placement.
  6. Tap on the checkmark icon in the top toolbar to apply the changes.

Now that your image is ready, we can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Create a new layer

To keep your grid separate from the original image, it’s essential to create a new layer. Follow these steps:

2.1 Tap on the Layers icon on the top right corner of the screen

The Layers icon is represented by two square shapes, one on top of the other. Tapping on it will open the Layers panel, where you can manage and organize your artwork layers.

2.2 Tap the “+” button to add a new layer

In the Layers panel, locate the “+” button at the bottom right corner and tap on it to create a new layer.

2.3 Make sure the new layer is positioned above the image layer

After adding the new layer, it will appear above the image layer in the Layers panel. Ensure that the new layer is selected and positioned correctly.

By creating a separate layer for the grid, you can easily toggle its visibility on and off without affecting your original image or artwork. This allows for more flexibility and control during the gridding process.

Step 3: Enable the Drawing Guide

Procreate offers a built-in Drawing Guide feature, which will help us establish the grid lines accurately. Here’s how to enable it:

3.1 Tap on the wrench icon to access the Actions menu

Just like in Step 1, tap on the wrench icon at the top right corner of the screen to open the Actions menu.

3.2 Select “Canvas” from the menu

In the Actions menu, scroll down until you find the “Canvas” option. Tap on it to access the canvas settings.

3.3 Toggle on the “Drawing Guide” option

Within the Canvas settings, you will see a toggle button labeled “Drawing Guide.” Tap on it to enable the feature.

3.4 Choose the “Edit Drawing Guide” option

With the Drawing Guide enabled, a new option will appear below it: “Edit Drawing Guide.” Tap on it to customize the grid appearance and settings.

Enabling the Drawing Guide is a crucial step in setting up the grid accurately. The Drawing Guide provides a customizable grid overlay on your canvas, ensuring precise positioning and proportions for your artwork.

Step 4: Customize the grid settings

Procreate allows you to customize the grid settings according to your preferences. Adjust the following settings to create the desired grid:

4.1 Grid Size

The Grid Size determines the number of subdivisions you want for your grid. This will depend on the complexity of your image and how detailed you want your grid to be. Follow these steps to customize the Grid Size:

  1. In the Edit Drawing Guide menu, locate the option for Grid Size.
  2. Tap on the “+” or “-” buttons to increase or decrease the number of subdivisions, respectively.
  3. Observe how the grid overlay on your canvas adjusts in real-time based on the Grid Size changes.
  4. Continue tweaking the Grid Size until you achieve the desired level of detail for your grid.

4.2 Opacity

The Opacity setting allows you to adjust the transparency of the grid lines. A lower opacity allows you to see the underlying image better, making it easier to sketch accurately. Here’s how you can modify the Opacity setting:

  1. In the Edit Drawing Guide menu, locate the option for Opacity.
  2. Drag the slider left or right to decrease or increase the Opacity, respectively.
  3. Observe how the grid overlay changes in transparency as you adjust the Opacity.
  4. Find the Opacity level that strikes the right balance between visibility and clarity for your artwork.

4.3 Color

Choosing the right color for your grid lines is important to ensure visibility and contrast with your artwork. Follow these steps to customize the Color setting:

  1. In the Edit Drawing Guide menu, locate the option for Color.
  2. Tap on the color swatch to open the color picker.
  3. Explore the color picker’s various options, including color wheels, sliders, and saved color palettes.
  4. Select a color that contrasts well with your artwork, making the grid lines clearly visible.
  5. Once you have chosen a color, tap “Done” to apply it to the grid lines.

Take your time to experiment with these settings until you find the perfect grid appearance for your artwork. Customizing the grid settings ensures optimal visibility, allowing you to focus on accurate sketching and proportioning.

Step 5: Position the grid

Now that you have customized the grid settings, it’s time to position the grid on your canvas:

5.1 Adjust the grid size to fit your canvas

The size of the grid overlay should match the dimensions of your canvas. Follow these steps to adjust the grid size:

  1. Using two fingers, pinch in or out to adjust the size of the grid overlay according to your canvas dimensions.
  2. Spread your fingers apart to enlarge the grid or pinch them together to make it smaller.
  3. Observe how the grid resizes and aligns with your canvas as you adjust its size.
  4. Continue tweaking the grid size until it covers the entire canvas, ensuring accurate alignment and representation of your artwork.

5.2 Align the grid with your image

Positioning the grid accurately over your image is crucial for maintaining proportion and precision. Follow these steps to align the grid properly:

  1. Drag the grid using a single finger to position it over your image.
  2. Ensure that the grid aligns correctly with the edges of your image and covers the entire canvas.
  3. Take your time to adjust the grid’s position until you are satisfied with its alignment.
  4. Remember, the grid should aid you in accurately sketching each section of your artwork, so precise alignment is crucial.

Once you have positioned the grid to your liking, you are ready to start sketching!

Step 6: Begin sketching on the grid

Now that you have set up the grid, it’s time to start sketching on it:

6.1 Select the desired drawing tool from the Procreate toolbar

Procreate offers a wide range of drawing tools to choose from, including brushes, pencils, inks, and more. Follow these steps to select your preferred drawing tool:

  1. Tap on the brush icon in the top toolbar to access the brush library.
  2. Browse through the available brushes or use the search function to find specific ones.
  3. Select the brush that best suits your style and the desired effect for your artwork.

6.2 Start with one section of the grid

Instead of attempting to sketch the entire artwork at once, it’s recommended to focus on one section of the grid at a time. Breaking down the drawing process into smaller sections helps maintain accuracy and prevents overwhelming complexity. Follow these steps to start sketching:

  1. Zoom in on one section of the grid using the pinch-to-zoom gesture with two fingers.
  2. Begin sketching within that section, reproducing the details as accurately as possible.
  3. Pay attention to the lines, shapes, and shading within the grid square, ensuring they align with the corresponding section of the original image.
  4. Use light, delicate strokes to establish the basic outlines and proportions.

6.3 Move on to the next section

Once you have sketched one section to your satisfaction, you can move on to the next section. Follow these steps to transition smoothly between sections:

  1. Zoom out or pan to the adjacent grid square that you wish to sketch next.
  2. Ensure that the previous section’s details align seamlessly with the current grid square.
  3. Continue sketching, focusing on reproducing the details accurately within the new grid square.
  4. Repeat this process for each section of the grid until you have sketched the entire artwork.

By sketching one section at a time, you can maintain accuracy and gradually build up your artwork with precision. This approach also helps prevent overwhelming complexity and ensures a systematic workflow.

Step 7: Refine and finalize your artwork

After sketching the entire artwork on the grid, it’s time to refine and add the finishing touches:

7.1 Hide the grid layer

Now that you have completed the sketching phase, you can hide the grid layer to focus on refining your artwork. Follow these steps to hide the grid layer:

  1. In the Layers panel, locate the visibility icon (an eye symbol) next to the grid layer.
  2. Tap on the visibility icon to toggle it off, hiding the grid layer from view.
  3. You should now see your sketched artwork without the grid overlay.

7.2 Create a new layer above your sketch to start refining your lines and adding details

By creating a new layer above your sketch, you can refine your lines and add additional details without altering the underlying sketch. Follow these steps to create a new layer:

  1. In the Layers panel, tap on the “+” button to add a new layer above your sketch layer.
  2. Ensure that the new layer is positioned correctly, above your sketch and below any other layers you may have.
  3. Remember to select the new layer before proceeding with refining your artwork.

7.3 Use various brushes and tools available in Procreate to enhance your artwork

Procreate offers a rich variety of brushes and tools to help you enhance your artwork. Experiment with different brush types, textures, and effects to achieve your desired aesthetic. Here are some tips for utilizing Procreate’s brushes and tools:

  1. Tap on the brush icon in the top toolbar to access the brush library.
  2. Browse through the available brushes or use the search function to find specific ones.
  3. Select a brush that suits your desired effect or create a custom brush to achieve a unique look.
  4. Adjust the brush settings, such as size, opacity, and flow, to fine-tune your strokes.
  5. Experiment with different brush textures, pressure sensitivity, and blending modes to add depth and dimension to your artwork.
  6. Don’t be afraid to mix and match brushes to create unique textures and effects.
  7. Remember to save any custom brushes you create for future use.

7.4 Experiment with different

colors, shading, and blending techniques to bring your artwork to life

Now that you have refined the lines and added basic details to your artwork, it’s time to explore different colors, shading, and blending techniques to bring your piece to life. Consider the following tips:

  1. Select the desired color palette or create custom color swatches that complement your artwork.
  2. Use the Color Picker tool to sample colors from your reference image or other sources for accurate color matching.
  3. Experiment with different brush opacity and blending modes to achieve smooth blends and gradients.
  4. Consider using layers to separate different elements of your artwork, allowing for easier adjustments and experimentation.
  5. Use the smudge tool to blend colors and create soft transitions between different areas of your artwork.
  6. Add lighting and shadow effects to create depth and dimension, paying attention to the direction and intensity of light sources.
  7. Consider using layers with different blending modes, such as Overlay or Multiply, to create interesting effects.
  8. Combine different brush textures and patterns to add texture to specific areas of your artwork.
  9. Take advantage of Procreate’s selection tools to refine specific areas and apply targeted adjustments.

Continuously experiment with different techniques, tools, and effects within Procreate to develop your unique style and make your artwork shine. Don’t be afraid to take risks and explore new approaches in your artistic journey.

7.5 Don’t forget to save your progress regularly

While working on your artwork, it’s crucial to save your progress regularly to avoid any accidental loss of work. Procreate makes it easy to save and manage your files. Follow these steps to save your artwork:

  1. Tap on the wrench icon to access the Actions menu.
  2. Select “Canvas” from the menu.
  3. Tap on “Share” at the top of the Canvas settings.
  4. Choose the desired saving option, such as saving to your iPad’s Photos app or exporting the file to other cloud storage services.
  5. Follow the prompts and provide a name and location for your artwork file.
  6. Tap “Save” to save your progress and ensure that your hard work is preserved.

Saving your progress regularly not only protects your artwork but also allows you to revisit and further refine it in the future. It’s a good practice to create multiple versions of your artwork to track your creative evolution and explore different directions.

How to Grid on Procreate – FAQ

FAQ 1: Can I use the grid technique on any image size?

Yes, the grid technique can be applied to images of any size. However, it’s important to consider the complexity of the image and the level of detail you wish to achieve. For highly intricate pieces, using a smaller grid size can be more effective. Alternatively, for larger images or simpler compositions, you can opt for a larger grid size to maintain a manageable number of sections. Keep in mind that the grid should provide enough detail and accuracy without overwhelming your drawing process.

FAQ 2: Is gridding a time-consuming process?

While gridding may require some initial setup, it ultimately saves time by improving accuracy and proportion in your artwork. The time invested in setting up the grid is well worth the precision it brings to your drawings. By breaking down complex images into smaller sections, gridding allows you to focus on one area at a time, preventing overwhelm and ensuring consistent progress. Once you become familiar with the gridding technique, the setup process becomes quicker and more efficient, making it an invaluable tool for creating detailed and accurate artwork.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, gridding on Procreate is an invaluable technique for artists looking to enhance their digital drawing skills. By breaking down complex images into manageable sections, gridding improves accuracy and proportion, enabling artists to create stunning artworks with ease. Remember to experiment with different grid settings, align your grid precisely, and focus on one section at a time while sketching. With practice, gridding will become second nature, allowing you to take your digital art to new heights.

Closing Words

Note: The process of gridding on Procreate takes practice and patience to master, but don’t get discouraged! Keep exploring different techniques and experiment with your own style. Remember, art is all about expressing yourself, and gridding is just one tool in your creative arsenal. Embrace the journey, have fun, and let your imagination soar!

Now that you have the knowledge and tools to grid on Procreate, it’s time to put it into practice. Grab your iPad, open Procreate, and embark on your artistic journey with confidence. Remember, every stroke on the canvas brings you closer to your artistic vision. Start gridding and let your creativity flourish!

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