When I first started painting twelve years ago, my process was very traditional. A photograph of my subject was taken and scaled up to fit to a sheet of paper. The image was then put on a light table and using tracing paper I would attempt to draw out all the edges and major changes of value. The traced version was then folder width and length wise multiple times to create a grid of lines. The canvas was then divided into a comparable grid. At that point, the gridded “value lines” image from the tracing paper would be drawn onto the canvas. (The grid is used to make sure proportions are correct by visually comparing how much of a piece of the image is in a specific grid square.)
Thanks to new technologies, this entire process has been simplified and digitized. Instead of needing to trace, grid and find the contrasting highlights and shadows of an image with bare eyes, Photoshop can do it almost all for me. I used to print out dozens of images, but thanks to compact tablets I don’t print any! Saving me tons of time, ink, paper and ultimately money.