How to Draw a Big Picture

By Jen Oda ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Pencil with eraser
  • 2 or 3 small pieces of paper the same dimensions as the large paper
  • Large piece of paper the same dimensions as the small paper
  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • Marker
The most important thing in drawing a big picture correctly is proportion.

Big drawings are eye catching and bold, but creating one may seem like a daunting task. The best way to draw a big picture is to make several sketches of it on a smaller scale. Doing this familiarizes you with the image. Once the small drawing is perfected, transfer the smaller image to the larger paper proportionally. Making the drawing proportionally bigger can be a little tricky because it requires precise calculation. When you have the right measurements for each of the lines, the execution of the drawing is simple.

Drawing a Big Picture

Decide what you want to draw. Draw it two or three times on smaller pieces of paper with pencil exactly as you want it to appear on the larger paper.

Measure the perimeter of the best small drawing with the ruler. Record the length of each edge on all of the borders of the drawing. Measure the distance of the edges of the drawing from the edges of the page. Record these as well.

Calculate how much bigger the larger paper is than the smaller paper. Measure the width of the smaller and larger papers. Divide the width of the larger paper by the width of the smaller paper on the calculator. The number you end up with is how many times bigger the larger paper is than the smaller paper. We will call this number X.

Multiply each dimension of the drawing on the smaller paper by the number X. This will give you the exact length that each borderline should be on the larger paper in order to make the big picture proportional to the small picture.

Lay out the large piece of paper. Lightly sketch the perimeter of the image you want to draw according to the measurements you calculated for the large drawing. This will give you a border according to which you can proportion the rest of the drawing.

Compare the finished borderlines of the large picture to the small picture. They should look exactly alike, only larger. Use the eraser to make any adjustments.

Draw in the rest of the image with the pencil using the small paper as a reference. Go over the finished drawing with a marker.


About the Author

Jen Oda has been writing since 1999. Her stories and poetry have been published in Fordham University's newspaper "The Observer" and in "My Sister's Voices," a collection by Iris Jacob. Oda holds a Bachlor of Arts in theater performance from Fordham University.