
Making your own format.
The beauty of any rectangularshaped format is that by drawing diagonal lines form corner to corner, you can reproduce the exact scale of that format at any size, from infinitesimal, to infinitely large. If you draw a decent rectangle and it's corners land on the diagonal lines (like the dotted lines above), you've got a perfectly scaled rectangle. It's dimensions will always be in the exact same ratio as the original rectangle. From a 5 x7 photo, you could reproduce a life size 25 x 35 foot drawing of King Kong by first "squaring it up" within a format or a "grid". (We'll be discussing grids and formats more in upcoming lessons especially lesson 8 and 9: Perspective and Proportion). Here's what I recommend. Either print this page or trace the grid above (with tracing paper) right off the computer screen. If you printed out or traced the format, here's what you do next....
Object: you want to end up with a frame you can use as a viewfinder  that is you'll be using this little hand made window to "aim at " and "frame" any object you want to draw much the way you view your subject through a camera viewfinder. Materials: heavy paper or cardboard, tape, a sharp scissors or exacto knife, some kind of straight edge, ruler, or tsquare. 1. Center your printed or traced format on any sheet of heavy paper or cardboard. 2. Tape it down. 3. Cut out any of the dotted rectangles. Follow it all the way around the page. If you snip out the smallest dotted rectangle, you'll have small format. If you snip out the middle sized one, you'll have a medium sized format. If you snip out the largest rectangle, you'll be left with the a large format. 4. Make all different sizes. Print or Xerox 3 copies of the format above. On different pieces of cardboard or heavy paper snip out the smallest dotted rectangle, you'll have small format. If you snip out the middle sized one, you'll have a medium sized format. If you snip out the largest rectangle, you'll be left with the a large format.
Here's how I drew mine: 1. Take an 8 and 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. 2. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner. 3. With a ruler, draw a horizontal line about an inch down from the top margin of the page. 4. Where it crosses the diagonal line on the left side of the paper, make a mark. (Any mark will do  you just want something to sight on so you can draw the vertical line the same distance from the left vertical margin of the page.) 5. Now, starting at this intersection of the horizontal and diagonal lines, draw a vertical line down to the next diagonal line (it's going from the lower left corner to the upper right corner). I.e., you're drawing a line parallel to the left edge of the paper. 6. Your vertical line should intersect the diagonal line approximately the same distance from the left edge of the paper as did the intersection you made in step 3. (You could compare the distance from the mark you made in step 4 to the left edge of the paper, to the distance the intersection of the vertical and diagonal lines in step 5 are form the left edge of the page. They should be roughly the same distance 7. Draw a horizontal line parallel to the bottom edge of the paper from the intersection formed in step 6 to the diagonal line ( the diagonal that courses from bottom right to top left of the page). You're 3/4ths done. 8. The last line you draw is from the intersection in step 7 to where the horizontal line at the top of the page crosses the diagonal. There. You've gone around the horn. My explanation was tougher than just doing it. But model any of the dotted lines above and it's pretty selfexplanatory. 