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While searching the internet I ran across two great references to Compose-It-Grids by Aimee from Scarlet Owl Studio.
I emailed her to thank her and asked her permission to include part of the first one here in the review section. I've included a small paragraph from 'My New Favorite Painting Tool'. To see the full article with photos - check out the links below. You won't be disappointed.

I'm a big believer in taking the time upfront to work out any major compositional and layout issues in your work before the brush hits the canvas so last week, while reading Artist's Magazine, I spotted a cool tool that I just had to get. It's called the Compose It Grid--it's an easy to use plastic grid that allows you to transfer your planning sketch to your canvas.

........ I already love it for still life composition. Remember the ratio needs to match your canvas size. Personally, I bought the square ratio (1:1) since it's my favorite format as well as the 8 x 10 ratio. Plus, I love that the Grid is heavy duty and will stand up to be tossed in an art tote, etc. for classes and workshops.
Aimee of Scarlet Owl Studios



Hi Cindy,

I want to thank you again for sending me a Compose It Grid to try out. I
have found it an excellent tool for training one's compositional eye. I
do a lot of plein aire painting as well as live figure work in the studio.

In plein aire work it is useful in selectively framing a composition much
as you would by creating a frame with your hands and fingers to peek
through , though with much more ease and clarity. Of course its main
advantage is in being able to locate on the grid the principle objects and
lines of the composition with the dry marker and then transpose them to
the canvas. This allows one to experiment with line and the relative
placement of the large masses before touching the canvas. The tricky
illusions of perspective also become immediately obvious.

In figure work in a studio setting the compositional help from the Compose
It Grid works equally well with the added advantage of being able to see
the negative spaces around the figure with more clarity. Also, important
is the understanding of foreshortening, one of the greatest challenges in
figure work since the untrained eye is usually determined to see the
relationship of the figure's masses in preconcieved ways and not as they
actually are. Your Compose It Grid provides a reality check that even the
most accomplished artist would find helpful but it is extremely helpful
for the student to learn to see the world through the eyes of an artist.

I wish you the best of luck on the business end of this enterprise so that
this useful tool becomes available to as many artists as possible.


Charles Ewing

The grids are an excellent teaching tool. The students delight
in the ease that they can compose deep space around their selfportait in a thumbnail sketch and then transpose it to a larger surface.

Madelon Umlauf

(Madelon Umlauf is a painter and art intructor
at Austin Community College where she teaches life drawing and

"I've already used one of the viewfinders and I just
love them! So far my classes are giving you a rave
revue and want to know when these will be out on
the market!
Thank you again, Cindy!
Polly Jackson"
Art Instructor for Texas Union Informal Classes,
University of Texas'

"Hi Cindy;
......I just wanted you to know that not only is the grid
fabulous for looking through and rendering from a
distance, but placing it on a picture (from a
magazine, as an example) offers one of the best
renderings possible! I just used one for a series of
staircases for a new painting and I could'nt have done
it w/o the grid (or let's say, it would have taken me
days and days of correcting mistakes, etc, with all
these angles)! I am so pleased with the result!
Thank you Cindy, for your genius mind!
PJ "


Hi Cindy!
A bunch of us had your grid for Debbie's workshop last week and just loved them and found them a big help!!
Thought you would like to know.
Diane Hooker
Marietta, GA