4.2 Enlarging an Image


  • Choose one of the 3 drawings from the previous exercise
  • Enlarge it from A4 to A3 using a grid of squares
  • Be sure to enlarge the breadth of the marks, too, so the line/volume ratio stays the same (approximately)

I felt sceptical about this exercise. I think it was not so much about the enlarging technique as such but about the idea of copying a whole line drawing. I think I would use it to enlarge an image in order to achieve the same positioning of objects, shadows etc. from a sketch/drawing onto a larger surface. But the actual drawing I would rather do free-hand. I am no fan of grids, and I felt rebellion stir in me. From the very first I was thinking about how I could use the grid aspect of this drawing to make it different from the original. I wanted the technique to be visible.

Over my inkdrawing I drew a grid of 4x4cm squares. To enlarge from A4 to A3 I had to double the area of the squares and find out the new side length:

16cm² x 2 =32cm²

√32cm² = 5.6… cm

I also made a 4x4cm square mask to lay over the drawing in order to block out the surrounding squares. However, I soon found out that it is easier to get the correct angle for the long straight lines if I look where they start and end and then draw them in one go. I did use the mask for more complex shapes like the bottom of the candles and as a reference for checking my lines.

The mask

I also found out that in this exercise I had good use of negative spaces. As lines cross a square they form shapes against the square’s edges. These shapes are simpler than the whole negative space between the objects in my drawing: many right-angled triangles or rhombi (rhombuses?). They helped me determine angles and points where lines cross the edge of the square.

In the beginning I drew directly with ink but reconsidered after the first wrong line. I then sketched in the important lines with graphite as a reference. For the candles I made the ruling-pen very narrow and that worked really well. For the cast shadows I opened it somewhat more. Now the hatching began. I tried to observe the way I had hatched in the original drawing and to reproduce that approximately. I think that worked ok, too. But with the dark background things got messy. With that many lines I did not attempt to copy lines anymore but tried to think the same way as when I did this part in the original drawing. The ruling-pen now was set really broad and thus swallowed a lot of ink. The lines took some time to dry and I realised I could not cross hatch until the first lines were dry. I misjudged that sometimes and got a blot, sometimes my sleeve would brush over still wet ink and smudge it. A fineliner would definitely have been a better choice – or more experience with the ruler-pen.

Candles A3

The two pictures side by side:

All in all I am positively surprised with the outcome. I had envisioned a wobbly rendering of my original drawing but I think they are quite alike. The left-most candle is bent, otherwise I have managed to keep shapes and composition. In two places I lost my way and drew the hatching too far (between the two shadows furthest down and the background left of the left-most candle). Also my search for a way of achieving lighter hatching in the cast shadows becomes much more obvious in the enlarged picture. There is no consistency in the hatching there.

Once I had started the drawing I began to understand the exercise better and to enjoy its challenges. It is a technique I will remember and use in the future, I think. Maybe just a bit more freely and probably for much bigger surfaces.


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