I can remember my first attempt at painting a portrait in my first college painting course. I was struggling to get the proportion right using my photograph as a reference. I walked out of class when I saw another student walking out of a small room to the side of the class. Inside this guy was using a projector to transfer his photograph onto the canvas . What? I've been killing myself trying to get this face "right" and all along I could have projected it. How come NO one told me. It was so simple I walked to the supply room gave the girl my student i.d. and *boom *easy peasy. There are so many great tools and tricks to help with art making but people make you work to find them . Using a projector is one really helpful tool. Using a grid to help draw from photograph is another great tool. I love any tool that gets people to further their own art. Photographs are wonderful resources for art making the cool thing about drawing or painting the subject is that new and wonderful things come from your new choice of media.
One artist who uses the grid to paint from photographs is Chuck Close. There is great gallery on his website where you can zoom into his painting and prints to see how he uses the grid. Here is one I really find interesting.