Comics Creators

Art tips for using grids


Artists! Looking for some advice and tips. How do you create grids before starting on your pages? I’m a professional graphic designer by day, so for me my usual go-to is to create my grids digitally in my software of choice. For comics, I try to stay out of the computer as much as I can and create “analog” style with pencils and paper, so i’m not quite sure how to get that same level of precision. Do you just bust out the ol’ T-square and measure out a grid on your boards, or are there other tricks that are helpful? Thanks for the help.


Are you asking about perspective grids? Or panel layout?

As far as what I use for either I’m not much help. I use a ruler and a pencil for both and work on straight out of the pack strathmore bristol board. (I should quit being such a luddite… one day)

The only tip I really have beyond measure twice before inking straight lines, would be unless you want a fish eye appearance make sure your perspective grid is bigger than the panel you’re working in by a fair margin.

Also I find I’ve caused myself quite a lot less headaches since I started inking my borders BEFORE I start drawing.


My opinion is that there is no way to make a decent quality comic art alone in a monthly series. I work almost all digital and still I want 14-18 hours for a perfect ( for my artist level) page inked and full color and that is after I draw some pages of the << heroes >> and become more familiar with them.


Yeah I think i’m approaching it a bit more from a graphic design place than a lot of comic creators. Looking more at modular grids like in this link: thinking with type and grids

I guess I already answered my question with doing a carefully measured out blue line grid and go from there. That’s just a nightmare of measurements! haha I’m so stuck in my digital world, where i can create a grid in 30 seconds.


I know manga studio has built in perspective grids.

If you wanted to get that part done I’m assuming you could always set it up digitally then print the blue lines out on bristol. But you’d have to buy a printer that could accommodate the size of your working space.

And maybe have the best of both worlds.

Over the coming year I think I’m going to be looking into tapping into the 3D asset resources I have available from my days working with animators, to maybe start building sets and using lightboxes to get all the structure down quicker.

But it’s still super early days with that. So I don’t even have a proof of concept yet for it.


So I just took a second to look over your link. Honestly for things like how the eye flows on the page or how I move panels and compositions around is all figured out at the thumbnail stage. As far as using the Golden mean for each page or panel, it’s never been something I’ve considered.

I usually just want the reader to get from top left to bottom right as easily as possible and sort of eyeball it as I go.

So tl:Dr I wing it. Haha.


oh yeah a lot of that stuff is kinda heady graphic design stuff, mostly for laying out text. But i really do like the modular method in the middle, where its just a grid of giant sectors. You can make infinite combinations inside of a simple thing and it all kind of feels coherent.

I’m not smart enough or for golden section grids. Some of that stuff is so intellectual its not even highly functional. haha

Ii’ve met a few artists who do the grids up digitally because they don’t like using rulers and all that, and then print it of their archival inkjet out on board to draw on.


I am partial to using graph paper and lightboxing over from time to time, good as you can scale up or down


i’ve done a bit of that. I"ve created girds and lightboxed over them as guides.