Simple undulating grids were among the first optical illusions I learned to draw as a teenager. I continue to use them in my work as backgrounds, as the basis for mazes, and as components of more intricate work. I thought you might like to know how to make them too.
Begin by dividing your page into equally sized rectangles. It doesn't matter what size or shape of rectangle you choose but it's important to remember that the smaller the size of the original rectangles, the smaller the finished grid will be, and that the smaller the finished grid, the more fine line and attention to detail it will require.
Beginning at the center, draw wavy lines that begin with a narrow curve and widen towards the dividing line of the next rectangle then narrow again towards the dividing line of the following rectangle. Continue this repetition to the bottom of the page, working to about half the width of each rectangle on either side of the center line. You could get all mathematical and precise about this but freehand works just fine and gives a more organic feeling of movement to the finished grid.
Repeat the same arrangement of wavy lines around every second vertical line to either side of center.
Now, reverse the curved lines to wide, narrow, wide and fill in the remaining vertical spaces.
(I've drawn mine in red so you can see more clearly what I mean. If you're drawing it yourself you'll probably want to do all the lines the same colour.)
Now repeat the whole process horizontally.
And that's it: You've drawn your undulating grid. It looks pretty cool, doesn't it? You can either leave it just as it in or you can colour it. Either way, have fun with it.
- I find it best to draw my grids in pencil first and then go over the lines in pen, erasing the pencil once the pen lines are finished.
- Don't get all hung up on perfection. You can see that my lines are wiggly and imperfectly spaced. It doesn't matter. The point is to have fun.
- If there's a line you really don't like, remove it and redraw it. If you're removing an ink line, you can use white out, but I don't love it because it gets all clumpy and is hard to draw over. I find that a Sharpie paint pen works best for this.