What is a Doodle Grid?

Posted: 1st August 2023

The Doodle Grid, Lazy Grid or Squiggle Grid are methods of upscaling murals and street art. Without having to draw straight lines.

Street artists often get asked the same question. “What are all those numbers and letters on the wall?” The answer is simple, its a doodle grid. The history behind it takes more explanation.

Grid lines have played a significant role in the history of art. Serving as a foundational tool and concept for artists throughout different periods and cultures. Using grid lines can be traced back to ancient times and has evolved over the centuries.

Ancient Origins

The concept of using grids in art can be traced back to ancient civilizations. One notable example is the ancient Egyptians. They used grid-like guidelines to maintain proportion and scale in their wall paintings and hieroglyphs. They employed simple grids to divide surfaces and ensure accuracy in depicting human figures and objects.

These are known as Canonical proportions. A set of ideal, mathematical ratios. First used by the Egyptians and later the ancient Greeks. Measured the various parts of the human body in relation to each other. Seen in The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci.

Renaissance Perspective

At the start of the Renaissance (14th to 17th centuries), artists delved into the study of perspective. This was to achieve more realistic representations of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface. Artists Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, and Albrecht Dürer are prime examples of this. Using grid systems to aid in accurately rendering scenes and achieving realistic depth in their artwork.

Conceptual Art

In the mid-20th century, conceptual artists like Sol LeWitt explored the use of grids in a different way. LeWitt’s famous Wall Drawings involved creating precise instructions or algorithms for creating artworks. Often based on grid systems. These instructions allowed for different interpretations and implementations. In short, the idea or concept behind the artwork was emphasized.

Street Art

The development of the grid and its use has changed through the centuries. We can see this with the introduction of the doodle grid. A less rigid way of mapping an image and its proportions. Using technology to help overlay the grid and the desired image. Making sure the scale is correct without the need to draw exact grid lines. Take a look at our project below to see how its done.

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