There is no written evidence that Dürer and other artists used the help of construction frames. But there is a clue in the manual for drawing horses, Die Proporcion der Ross, by Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550), published in Nuremburg in 1528. Although the work was immediately confiscated on suspicion of plagiarism, Beham later integrated his instructions in Das Kunst und Lere Büchlin of 1546 / 1552. He believed that for art it was necessary once again to learn to measure with the compass and work with construction lines.
Beham recommended constructing proportion diagrams with nine fields. Within the grid, further subdividing construction lines and a diagonal should be drawn as well as “Pünctlein” (little dots), to be placed on precisely designated lines. From these dots the strokes of a compass would pre-determine specific contour segments of a horse, which would later be expanded into the whole outline of the animal’s body. 
Another clue to the actual use of the construction method envisaged for Dürer is supplied by a drawing by Hans Baldung Grien (1484 or 1485 – 1545) with the Portrait of the dead Erasmus of Rotterdam. In his study, Baldung drew an (irregular) grid over the head of the deceased. He inscribed a circle onto it and criss-crossed it with diagonals.
In the work of the Italian sculptor and art theorist Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378 – 1455) can also be found a clue about grids for heads. In the third commentary of the unfinished Commentarii, which discusses a modular system for the body of a man, is written: “(...) we begin with the measure of the head and draw each section of it in its height and divide said head into nine squares (...).” 
 Boris RÖHRL, ‘Die Transformation der mittelalterlichen planimetrischen Proportionsschemata zu den neuzeitlichen empirischen
Proportionslehren’, Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 39 (2012), 77–92.
 Der dritte Kommentar Lorenzo Ghibertis. Naturwissenschaften und Medizin in der Kunsttheorie der Frührenaissance trans. with an introduction and commentary by Klaus BERGDOLT (Weinheim, 1988), 554, lines 14–16: “(...) cominceremo alle misure della testa et cosi explicheremo per l'altitudine ogni sua parte, partiremo in quadri nove detta testa (...).” [English: Lorenzo GHIBERTI, The Commentaries, trans. Courtauld Institute of Art (London, 1985)].