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Art Projector

Hello hope everyone is staying safe. I have a question i just found out that people used projectors to get their proportions correct , i been using a grid which takes forever and using the proportion devider that i bought from the website... Who has used a projector before and which one would you reccomend buying the company artograph seem to have gone out of bussiness i cannot get any of their digital projectors..Any advice would help and do you guys think its cheating , and if you think its cheating im about to start cheating lol....THANKS

Comments

  • It's not cheating. I recommend not using it because the proportional dividers will help train your eyes so that after a relatively short time you will not need projections. Projectors are expensive and can distort your subject. Projectors don't train your eyes and can be time consuming if they get moved. I like to paint sitting in front of the canvas which is difficult to do with a projector.
    dencaltassieguyhebrew1985JerryW
  • I think a projector would only be of use in doing an under-drawing to get the proportions and placement right. But how would it work when you are doing the drawing? Wouldn't you be standing in front of the projector which would then be projecting onto your back instead of onto the canvas?
    I think I'd find a grid easier. I use a grid in really detailed areas where I need to get the placement just right. I don't think using a projector is cheating any more than it's cheating to use a straight edge to get a straight line.:)
    hebrew1985
  • Hebrew1985

    Artograph | Products for the Creative Mind
    https://www.artograph.com/

    The cheating aspect of all drawing aids is that they cheat you out of improving the eye-brain-hand skill that is the most precious skill an artist can possess. 

    Denis 
    JerryWBOB73
  • I think the only time I would contemplate a projector is if the painting was so huge I couldn’t take it all in without standing 20ft back, something like a mural. 

    If you’re struggling to get things in the right place, a grid is a good starting point. You can make a template out of cardboard if you find you're painting the same size surfaces a lot. Basically draw the grid once on cardboard and poke holes at each grid intersection, then lay it over the surface and draw in the dots. Now just draw lines across. Saves time having to measure. You can create a collection of templates for your common sizes.

    I would recommend gradually reducing the number of squares in your grid until you're down to just 4 quarters, the goal being to remove them all together. I recommend using your pencil / brush as a comparison device. Find something on the source that represents one "unit" (eg the height of some building) and use that to compare every other measurement to. When you get good enough at this, you won't need a grid. The only time I tend to use grids now is if I've already drawn it out at some other size (initial study) and don't want to go through that process again.
    JerryWBOB73
  • dencal said:
    Hebrew1985

    Artograph | Products for the Creative Mind
    https://www.artograph.com/

    The cheating aspect of all drawing aids is that they cheat you out of improving the eye-brain-hand skill that is the most precious skill an artist can possess. 

    Denis 
    thanks they are out of bussiness there no way to order that .
  • I think the only time I would contemplate a projector is if the painting was so huge I couldn’t take it all in without standing 20ft back, something like a mural. 

    If you’re struggling to get things in the right place, a grid is a good starting point. You can make a template out of cardboard if you find you're painting the same size surfaces a lot. Basically draw the grid once on cardboard and poke holes at each grid intersection, then lay it over the surface and draw in the dots. Now just draw lines across. Saves time having to measure. You can create a collection of templates for your common sizes.

    I would recommend gradually reducing the number of squares in your grid until you're down to just 4 quarters, the goal being to remove them all together. I recommend using your pencil / brush as a comparison device. Find something on the source that represents one "unit" (eg the height of some building) and use that to compare every other measurement to. When you get good enough at this, you won't need a grid. The only time I tend to use grids now is if I've already drawn it out at some other size (initial study) and don't want to go through that process again.
    thank you i am just using it to do my under drawing before i lay my paint down.... Marc doesnt really show how to draw from pictures not to many people have live subjects to paint all the time specially when what i am focusing on its self portraits ...
  • BOB73 said:
    It's not cheating. I recommend not using it because the proportional dividers will help train your eyes so that after a relatively short time you will not need projections. Projectors are expensive and can distort your subject. Projectors don't train your eyes and can be time consuming if they get moved. I like to paint sitting in front of the canvas which is difficult to do with a projector.

    i use the proportional devider , Marc doesnt show to many examples from painting from a picture , most of his art are still life ......
  • I would not use a projector because there are so  many fast ways to cheat that are far better and cheaper. 

    If you are not doing very large pieces, or can get by with defining say the face within the larger portrait, the comparator mirror is virtually free, and highly effective.  You can use it to stir up the whole portrait, or just to lay in points, but far more quickly than with the dividers.  You can make any mirror into a front mirror by simply removing the paint on the back of a regular mirror with paint stripper.  Making up things to hold the mirror does depend a little bit on your craftiness.  The comparitor mirror is unique in that it does not distort the subject and allows you to match colors perfectly.

    There is a whole rabbit hole you can go down of Tim Jenison's work, and David Hockney's work that overlaps the comparitor mirror.  It is impressive and fun, but it is a study in itself, you may prefer to avoid this, and stick to YT videos.  Tim invented the CM, though he believes others had already used it, though there is no historical record of such an invention. The evidence is in paintings.  But for your declared purposes, the information you need is on YT in various videos by people who are using this tool in art schools.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are other ways to get lines or dots on paper with accuracy and speed.

    I have experimented with the method of importing photos into cad, and drawing little circles over them.  I sometimes retain just the circles, or I leave the .bmp there also.  You can draw these circles by choosing the icon for a circle, then clicking on the key point, and pulling the cursor sideways until the circle is small, yet visible.  This centers the circle over a key point.  Usually the circle is about 1/8".  CAD allows one to easily manipulate the picture to any size, and to trim it.  Just print it out on a standard 45 dollar printer, you may need to assemble it from several sheets, if your canvas is large.  Then poke little holes into the circles.  Lay the result over your canvas, and you can use a pen to mark all the key points. 

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another method you can use is to convert the photo into a drawing.  I do this by drawing over the lines I want using cad, but drawing programs would work as well.  You reverse the drawing, and actually transfer the drawing to the object you are working with.  It can be so nice you could stop there LOL.  I use this technique as a machinist for pattern transfers.  I got into art to learn to draw, but I have made permanent designs, or marked cut lines as described in here and above, in the shop.  You can transfer directly to metal, or fabrics, pretty much anything.  I place the drawing over the thing I want to mark, and wipe it on with acetone, but there are methods that sound better on multitudes of YT videos. These are mostly not art videos.  Look up  laserjet transfers, or similar.  You could presumably use t-shirt transfer sheets to print on your underpainting, but they are about a dollar an 8x11 sheet.  Since your pattern is full size, you can refer to it whenever you need to consult other points.  You could also transfer onto overhead transparency stock.

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    There is a lady who has a lot of art videos, of which I have only seen a few.  Don't know her channel.  Her method is similar to what I describe.  She uses software (there are free versions and pay versions), to convert pictures into line drawings  You can use MS Paint, and save as a B&W .bmp.  The programs she suggests are much more effective.  She also uses software in a similar way to the way Mark uses his to assemble any proportional size of full size print.  She then covers the back of the print with charcoal, and she then traces that onto her canvas.  She gets a full size line drawing of quality, and there is no distortion.  It looks fast.  She fixes with hair spray.  She clearly can draw, but she points out that most of her pet portrait clients "aren't paying her enough to do drawings as well as paintings".

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    You can mix and match processes, for instance use the mirror for colour matching but a key point strategy for shaping.

    Applying images to everything from: Heat transfers to coffee cups; laser cutting leather maker's maker stamps; to making photo realistic pictures on granite gravestones with silicon masks, and sand balsters; is big business.  There are so many techniques.  Some are actually direct like using gantry CNC and a pen to draw directly on canvas or a board.  All artists cheat.  Photos and dividers are cheating.  The real issue is where the art starts, and how much of you gets into the outcome.

    It is worth considering drawing as an option because it can be fast.  And in oil painting it is not particularly difficult as you can keep adjusting the painting and the lines. 
    JerryW
  • edited April 25
    Some people are naturally better at freehand drawing than others. But that should not prevent those with less than perfect hand-eye coordination making use of whatever aids they find helpful in creating a painting that puts across what they want to expresses. People like David Hockney used photos and grids extensively. Hockney's paintings have entered the western art canon and now sell for squillions. One hears a lot of purist crap that should be ignored. Artists have always made use of whatever tools were available to them. Vermeer, for example, used a camera obscura. But it is true that drawing gets easier the more you do it. It's a learnable skill like playing the piano. I like @gar3thjon3s' idea of using progressively coarser grids until you no longer need them. :)
  • edited April 25
    I agree with you guys,even if now I do my paintings drawing directly by hand on the canvas, I don't think it's"cheating" using other instruments.. If someone doesn't want to create ex novo a scene, or a character, out of mind, using a grid,a projector ,or a mirror, is only a way to speed the process.
    I need to say that drawing skills are essentials in figurative paintings..even if you trace the outline,  if you want bold brushestrokes or unified shadows for example you need to have in mind how the body is made and how to abstract those forms..
    For landscape or still life I don't think there is a difference.
    tassieguy
  • edited April 25
    I agree, @Bobitaly. One must learn to draw with the brush. Doing a line drawing and just colouring it in often results in a tight, amateurish look.. And this is true for still lifes and landscapes as well as portraits. The brush is the best way to create planes, lose and find edges, create texture and drama ...  I never do a detailed line drawing. What's the point? Those lines are nowhere to be seen in the subject and they can hem one.  And they get covered by paint anyway. When I do use a grid it's so I can see exactly where to put a brushstroke, a plane, and not a line. In reality there are no lines, just the transition of planes. 
  • Exactly @tassieguy we need to use instruments not to be slaves of them! 
  • I don't have a problem with the idea of describing aids as cheating.  Vermeer may have used something, but Jenison has had to go to great extremes to identify what it actually was, and to do it with his team to a mathematical certainty.  Vermeer was not explicit about his method, or even that he had one.  It was not the Technicolor of his day, to be marketed across an industry.  What makes "cheat" at least somewhat appropriate, is when means are concealed, and to boot one knows that if one revealed the techniques, people would think less of the achievement.  Other words are also appropriate, I just don't have a problem with cheat.

    Two other issues:

    1)  To be a painter is to be an artist and a craftsman in most cases.  The craft is all the technical stuff.  Drawing being one of them.  But other technical aspects of art involve reproduction of lines, or copying of lines, and it does not make one a worse artist to know more and to have greater range.  Maybe a brush is preferred by most, rather than a knife, but it would not be a sin to master both.  More options as long as they allow you to realize your purpose is usually better.

    2)  A lot of the cheating or skill language concerns difficulty.  Not to say it has come up here, but a lot of newbie thinking involves whether something is difficult or not.  So to be able to draw is a skill that most find difficult to master, and that is a source of pride, once mastered, etc...  But for a person who has mastered elements of a craft, those elements should fall away.    Maybe you can freehand a drawing, and then you might use a projector to get the outlines on a barn, for an advert.  You have the skills either way, you just pick the tool for the job.
    JerryW
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