It's been a few days and I wanted to share my progress so far with the grid drawing. Before diving right into adding value, I spent a few hours meticulously drawing outlines of all my images. This required me to measure where lines began and ended on the small grid and then convert it to the size on the larger grid. Instead of measuring twice and drawing once, I probably measured about 4 times just to ensure it was the right distance away from each grid mark. Square by square, I worked my way around the image, until finally I was ready for adding value.

I was nervous about starting the value because it seemed so daunting, but I told myself to do it one square at a time, and focus on that instead of worrying too much about the other 29 squares. So one, by one, I worked. And despite measuring 4 times, I was still slightly off in some areas!

What has really helped me progress with this project is, I've been drawing the whole thing upside down. My high school teacher used to have us do this exercise all the time. I looked up the reason and this site explained the reasoning behind this very well:

"It is because the left side of our brain is very good at what it does and is in charge most of the time. One of the things the left side is good at is assigning symbols to common objects which makes them quick and easy to reference. For example, a wheel is always round, an eye is almond shaped, etc. The left side is also very good at being abstract--taking a small bit of information and using it to represent the whole. Both are very powerful and useful skills for quickly dealing with most obstacles we face. Here is an example. The following letters in the following paragraph are all mixed up but I doubt you have any problem understanding it:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and youcan sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed erveylteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Let's hear it for the left side of the brain! It quickly solves thousands of puzzles a day without us even thinking about it. So why do we need the right side?

The very things that make the left side of the brain such a powerful problem solver, limit our ability to see creative solutions. Because it is quick to make assumptions and jump to conclusions, we are not even aware of the assumptions that are limiting us. In addition, symbols and names that it assigns have meanings attached that we don’t question.

Back to the upside down drawing exercise. When most of us draw, the left side of our brain uses its common symbols to help speed the process. If we're drawing an eye, it is almond shaped with a little circle in the middle. If we're drawing a wheel it is always round. Two arms are always the same length etc. Trouble is, once perspective gets involved (which it always does), rarely is a wheel in a picture round nor are eyes almond shaped. I know, I know--your left brain is telling you that is a lie. But it's not. Look at these pictures."

Pretty interesting stuff!

So far, the most challenging parts of the drawing were the eyes and the hands as they were in the photo. I kept wanting them to look perfect by drawing what my brain thought they should look like, rather than what they actually DO look like. Once I broke it all down and saw everything as it's own shapes and value, it all started to come together. Also, I was seriously doubting the nose for a while, but I kept at it with looking at every value change and after about an hour, a nose was finally developed.

I plan on dedicating about 20 hours to this drawing this week and next. Hopefully I'll be able to be finished with it by next Thursday.

In addition to this, I am doing a portfolio review for my this drawing class and midterms are next  week. That means a load of assignments from all of my classes. Wish me luck!