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I am frequently asked about what products I use for my pastel work. Below are some product links I use from Amazon for my art supplies that you may be interested in. (*affiliate)   

The Pastel Hangout Newsletter

Welcome to the Pastel Hangout Newsletter!


Today, I want to step you through a simple method of drawing your image to your paper using a proportional divider.

I recently completed a pastel painting named Paint a Woodland Chickadee by using a proportional divider to transfer my image to my pastel paper. Sometimes, I look for shortcuts to draw my image without having to always use a grid method over my reference photo and my art paper. Although it is a great method for providing reference points between your reference and your art surface, it requires a lot of time to divide and draw the segments. So, if you are looking for a shortcut and have some freehand drawing experience, this may be just for you.

Step 1. Using a tablet to draw from.

I opened my photo reference on my tablet and adjusted the size of the chickadee I wanted on my tablet. I positioned my anchor points on my art paper to be the top and right side of the bird’s head.


Step 2. Measure segments of the image with a proportional divider


Step 3. I have measured from the top of the bird’s head to his belly.


Step 4. Mark the points measured to the art paper.


Step 5. Use some freehand drawing and check accuracy with divider.


Step 6. Measure the width of the bird's wing on the tablet and transfer it to your art paper.


Step 7. Check measurement on your art and continue transferring anchor points of the wings and tail feathers to your art paper. Then, draw and connect the shapes.


Step 8. Complete the drawing by measuring the length and placement of legs and feet on the branch.


I enjoy using this method of checking my accuracy as I go because it helps improve my ability to see more accurately without compromising my development of freehand drawing.

I hope you enjoyed this shortcut on using a proportional divider to check your accuracy. Watch a full video demonstration (part 1) Paint a Woodland Chickadee on my YouTube channel.

This content uses affiliated referral links that may earn a commission.*

Thank you and stay safe and healthy!

Rita Ginsberg

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