Have you ever tried to draw straight lines parallel to the edge of a sheet of paper, or to draw a grid? We arrive at a satisfactory result with a simple ruler, a pencil, a square and a lot of patience, but it takes time and most often the result is far from precise.

Today, I talk about a useful tool to have in your art studio or creative space, especially if you have to frequently draw parallel lines or grids: the clear square-patterned ruler.

Tracing precise parallel lines with a ruler and a square is both challenging and time consuming. © 2017, Louise Lamirande.

Tracing precise parallel lines with a ruler and a square is both challenging and time consuming.
© 2017, Louise Lamirande.

The Ruler

What makes the interest of this ruler, it is that it’s not only graduated like any common ruler, but that it is covered with a grid pattern and transparent. The one shown in the pictures (below) belonged to my mother and is over 35 years old, but this type of rule still exists, either in metric or imperial version in inches as the one I use.

You’ll find similar models at sewing accessories dealers selling them for patchwork lovers, at some craft stores, or online at Amazon.ca, Amazon.fr  or Amazon.com .

The clear square-patterned ruler I have in my art studio. © 2017, Louise Lamirande.

The clear square-patterned ruler I have in my art studio.
© 2017, Louise Lamirande.

How to Use

The use of this rule is so simple that you do not need tutorials. Here is an example…

To trace a parallel line to the edge of a paper sheet, align the grid lines to the edge of the paper to guide you. In the picture below, I draw a line at ¾ inches from the edge of the paper sheet.

Here is the easy way to trace a parallel line to the edge of a paper sheet. © 2017, Louise Lamirande.

Here is the easy way to trace a parallel line to the edge of a paper sheet.
© 2017, Louise Lamirande.

 

If you like to reproduce photos or enlarge your sketches by using the grid method, a ruler like this one should speed up the process and make it more enjoyable.

If you want a clear white border around your drawings and paintings on paper, the square-patterned ruler will allow you to precisely mark where to put the masking tape.

Also consider this ruler to draw parallel lines, perpendiculars, squares, rectangles, grids, cutting lines for a mat board, and more. If you also have a square-patterned ruler showing angles (some models have that option), then you can also draw angled lines and triangular shapes.

The clear square-patterned ruler is a useful tool to have in your studio. Try it!

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