Hold the gridvu at arms length or close to the eye. Or just move farther or closer to your subject. Designed by Louis Mateo, painter and art instructor, the gridvu simplifies the reading of scale and proportion of any subject matter. Based on the square, the grid system provides a quick estimate of direction, placement and size relationship of lines and shapes. An integrated bubble level insures the accuracy of the reference lines.
The specially designed grid makes it easier to find the vertical and horizontal center of any subject matter such as landscapes, still life arrangements and the human figure. This device allows the artist to match the ratio of their working surface such as canvas, paper or mural, to a compositional plan.
A special diagonal bar, calibrated for making a head length count makes a quick estimate of the figure size for a variety of poses. By simply holding it up in front of the subject and rotated to align with the directional thrust of the pose—match the size of the model’s head to the skull icon and the figure’s size is immediately apparent by noting where the pose ends on the diagonal bar. For instance, a standing pose may involve 6 to 8 head lengths depending on the pose or physical characteristics of the model.
The rest of the grid lines act as reference points for locating various parts of the subject. The bubble level, insures an accurate horizontal and vertical reference helpful in capturing correct gestures, as well as freehand perspective treatments. By viewing the working surface through the gridvu, i.e. canvas, or drawing sheet—align either sides or the top and bottom within the grid. By using masking tape to mark the alignment lines, the gridvu can be used to view the subject in the correct ratio that matches your working area. Along with the centering feature a more controlled placement of your composition can be achieved. An additional calibrated diagonal line (blue) can be used to make a quick reading of scale using anything that can be used as a measuring unit. This could be a hand, furniture, and for a mural size work an 8-foot door or chair acting as a ‘yardstick’ to estimate the height of the wall. The gridvu is practically a navigation tool for artists that can be used in a variety of ways.