Guest Post: Paulo Patricio on how to make a panel grid in five minutes

Our longtime friend and collaborator Paulo Patrício is an illustrator and cartoonist born in Angola and currently living in Portugal. Among his many projects, one that will be of particular interest to visitors to this blog is, an ever- growing collection of quotes about comics (also on Tumblr). Check his blog for more pictures and updates.

It happens a lot of times, in workshops or looking at cartoonist friends with whom I have worked, paying attention to how they draw a panel grid. And sometimes, I am completely baffled with the time and complexity they invest in such a task. Drawing line after line, with this ruler and that ruler. Sometimes they even do it on the computer, print it out and trace it using a light table, or they just quit and buy on of those ready-to-use layout pages.

While this is a simplified version, I will explain a very quick and effective method to generate grids. What you need: X-Acto, soft pencil,  a triangle and a hard sheet of cardboard the same size as your page. On the cardboard, draw a grid with the margins, dimensions and number of panels  you need. In this example, I used 6. After drawing the grid, pick the X-Acto and cut out the interior of each panel. Place the cardboard mask on top of your page, align, and with the pencil draw the panels.


Notice that I used a 6 panel grid, but that can change from page to page, and you can easily come up with variations. You just need to merge the panels, either horizontal or vertically.

You can also do it on several pages at once, up to 100 or so. You just need an unexpected, but very handy, tool. I will explain that in another post.


5 Comments to Guest Post: Paulo Patricio on how to make a panel grid in five minutes

  • by jfml

    On May 18, 2015 at 8:02 am

    This is awesome!

  • by w mang

    On June 22, 2016 at 12:50 am

    So what is that other handy tool?

  • by Matt

    On June 22, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Good question! We’ll see if we can get the answer from Paulo.

  • by Paulo Patrício

    On June 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Hi! A hammer – and a (thin) nail.
    Place the cardboard mask on top of a pile of blank pages – like, 50 or 100 pages – put the nail on the corner of one of the panels, hammer lightly. Do that for each corner. You will end up with the main “dots” (ie tiny holes!) of your panels marked on each page. Just connect the dots with a pencil or brush, and you will have a panel.

  • by w mang

    On June 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks so much, Paulo and Matt!

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