Thursday, June 13, 2013

Handy-dandy grid cards for urban sketching via Kickstarter

Watch Steve Worthington pitch his Kickstarter project.

How do you figure out the composition of a sketch when you are drawing in the field? Framing a scene may become intuitive with years of experience, but some tools can make the job easier.

Steve Worthington, a British-born storyboard artist and sculptor based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has come up with a brilliant device that makes measuring and composing sketches on the go much easier: artist grid-cards.

The wallet-size cards seem a step up from similar devices I've seen sketchers use, such as slide frames or do-it-yourself cardboard visors. They are made of transparent plastic and printed with grids of squares and rectangles that are perfect for measuring proportions.

As many artists are doing these days, Steve is crowdfunding his project through Kickstarter. And things are going well so far. Though the deadline to pledge money for his project is still several weeks away, he has already raised more than three times of his goal of $700.

Steve recommends Kickstarter to other artists, especially if you do at least some of your work in a medium that is expensive to produce. "I’ve learned that if you have an audience of people, from blogging or selling online, that appreciates your work, it’s much easier to get new stuff off the ground when you can offer it to them at the special first-time rate prior to putting it in galleries and up online for regular sales," Steve said via email.

You can get your hands on a set of these handy-dandy drawing tools by pledging $10 on Steve's Kickstarter page. I can't wait to get mine!

Steve was doing a bit of his own urban sketching —iPhone sketches of cars— when he had the idea of the cards. Here's how it happened, in his own words:

"I came up with the idea for the grid cards while I was waiting outside Sprouts (a supermarket) for my wife whose dithering I am most grateful for on that occasion!! Not exactly beautiful drawings on my iPhone (I was using the first incarnation of the app ‘Brushes’), but they spawned a neat idea!!"


  1. Thanks for blogging about this, Gabi! I went straight to Kickstarter and put in my pledge for this tool! You should invite him to a sketch outing... He'll probably sell tons of them!

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