Reporting for Vox: Eric Norby Paints the Movies

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 3.37.08 PMLast month, I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Norby, an artist and grad school student at MU. Inspired by minimalist art, Norby makes freehand grid paintings of Western movie landscapes with watercolors. His art will be featured at the MSA/GPC Craft Studio from this Sunday through the rest of the month. Check out the Craft Studio’s website for more:

Or, click the photo below for the full story!

Eric Norby Vox Magazine

I was especially interested in this grid-style of painting, because I’ve used the grid technique before for my own artwork. When I was younger, I really loved to draw. Right now, I think most of my pictures are probably tucked in my old drawing pad under my bed at home in Minnesota… So, maybe, I’ll upload one or two when I go home for winter break! Anyways, I found it incredibly helpful to use grids when trying to draw people. I would print out the photo in black and white, and use a ruler to draw a grid on the photo and on my blank sheet of paper, like so:

Mara Mattia Art

Photo Courtesy of Mara Mattia Art

It trains your eye to look at the image on a micro-level, in pieces, instead of as a whole. It forces you to pay attention to proportions, lines, angles and the relationship between different features, like the gap between your nose and upper lip. Sometimes, it even helps to flip the photograph and draw the picture upside down. Then you’re less tempted to draw what you think you see, as opposed to what you actually see. You have to keep your mind purposely blank, and try to refuse to identify what you are portraying. Of course, you then turn it right side up for viewing.

If you have the patience, grid drawing is totally worth trying sometime! Regardless of your experience, I guarantee you’ll be impressed with your artistic abilities. I think I’ll have to give this a try again sometime soon.


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