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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Friday, March 25, 2011

the grid is an imperfect drawing tool

I am making a Power Point slide show about inventions for my grandchildren who are now teen- agers. One of the most important historic inventions is the grid according to my grandfather Emile Widler. He used to draw a grid over his photographs and then enlarge them for watercolors. Searching the Internet for a match for one of his paintings of Chinese Emperors, I found a photo that matched his painting especially in the eyes ears and general shape of the face. Then I drew a grid over a copy of the photo and made an enlargement. I was amazed at how closely the lines matched my grandfather's except for purposeful changes like removing the mustache and making baby doll lips.

I usually do not like copying photos because there is no need to understand the volumes and the lighting. It is a mathematical exercise. However, in the case of my grandfather's portraits, he deviated enough to communicate his feelings on this emperor with tiny lips and a high forehead. It is alittle humorous.

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