Solving the Lighting Problem
Traditionally, even with a good camera lucida, it would only work on white paper if you had just the right lighting, and it was frustrating or even impossible to get the image bright enough unless you limited yourself to drawing on black paper.
And you had to change the lighting in the room to change the brightness of the image, then as soon as you changed the lighting all the shadows would change forcing you to start over. And if you were working outside, you had even less control over the image brightness because you could not change the lighting.
The LUCID-Art eliminates all these traditional lighting problems by incorporating two shatter proof optical filters that can be placed in the Top or Bottom Brace of the LUCID-Art; interchanged and combined to create nine brightness levels instantly without any lighting changes. This improvement alone changes the camera lucida from a neat device into an indispensable art tool.
Now you can easily use draw and paint on white or dark paper/canvas and adjust the brightness back and forth as you work with out any problems. This feature makes a huge difference-it’s like night and day!
Besides the above four brightness levels there are five other settings; three that make the subject dimmer and two that decrease the brightness of both the subject and your drawing surface. These are helpful while working outside on a bright day and other bright lighting situations.
Solving the Image Size Problem
There are three main factors that control the size of a camera lucida’s image: the size of the mirrors, the distance between the drawing surface and the lucida’s view hole and factor X.
You could set a lucida ten feet away from the drawing surface and get a huge image, but no one could reach that far to draw. You could increase the size of the mirrors to get a larger image, but then the lucida would be big and bulky.
The LUCID-Art is light, compact and portable, yet you still get a jumbo sized image because we discovered a new way of increasing the size of the image without increasing the size of the mirrors and maximize the size of the image at every height; we call it factor X, but sorry we cannot disclose how it works.
Here are the results, even at its lowest possible height, 16in (41cm) from the drawing surface, you get a large 13in x 26in (33x66cm) image, which is larger than any other camera lucida available–and it just goes up from there. Set at 21in (53.5cm) high the image is 18in x 31in (46x79cm). And at the highest height, 24 ½ in (62cm), you get a mammoth 20in X 37in (51x94cm) image.
Solving the Image Stability Problem
Earlier prism type camera lucidas had (and the ones today still have) an unstable and elusive image. As David Hockney noted “You must use it [prism type Camera Lucida] quickly, for once the eye has moved the image is really lost. ( Secret Knowledge, pg 24)”
Later mirror type camera lucidas have a more stable image, but they are often only suspended by a thin rod that wobbles back and forth as you try to draw.
The LUCID-Art has the more stable mirror type lucida image and is supported by a solid mechanical arm that is steadied by a second diagonal cross support arm; thus, eliminating wobbling and giving you the most stable image possible, while ensuring that the support arms will not get in your way as you draw.
The image is still a virtual image, so it will move if your head moves, but you will have a solid place to anchor your head. And if you move your head or want to take a break, then you can easily line your marks back up with the image and continue drawing.
Solving the Expensive Price Tag Problem
Camera lucidas used to be more widely carried in art supply stores and have fallen in and out of popularity over the years. Consumers might even be willing to overlook all the before mentioned problems (lighting, Size, Stability,) except for the fact that camera lucidas have been so over priced for what they could do. Artists are used to seeing price tags of $375 or more for the frustrating little devices of the past.
It is true that the optics for prism lucidas are expensive, but they are not any better for the extra cost. And some camera lucidas are just tremendously overpriced for what you get.
The LUCID-Art Camera Lucida is a high quality art tool made in California, USA with strong light weight aluminum alloy with a powder coated finish. All the mirrors and optical filters are shatter proof acrylic glass. It comes with a powder coated attachable steel clamp that secures it to a work space.
It easily changes back and forth from right-handed to left-handed. Comes with a very helpful illustrated users manual and online technical support is provided.
It works a lot like an art projector, except that you don’t have to sit in the dark with a loud hot projector, you’re not limited to working from photographs, the LUCID-Art works without electricity and it’s light (1.8 LBS) and portable!
It uses the same basic principle that was used to make transparent ghosts in movies before the advent of computerized special effects and is still the way Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion makes their ghost.
Who Might Want One
The LUCID-Art has a wide range of appeal within the art community and is the perfect gift.
The feedback that we have received ranges from excited patrons that couldn’t draw at all, but bought a LUCID-Art because they always wished that they could draw or had been meaning to learn, to professional artist with art degrees and/or careers who want to take the frustration out of drawing and painting and/or need a little help to make their art what they always wanted it to be, and everything in between.
Any artist or art enthusiast who would buy an art projector, wants to improve his/her art or make it simpler, is interested in the techniques of the Old Masters, uses the grid drawing method, is looking for a camera lucida, or just is intrigued by the almost magical effect of the LUCID-Art would likely be interested in buying a LUCID-Art.
Artists who refuse to use an art projector because they think that it is cheating, do not necessarily have the same feeling towards a camera lucida because it is not just a machine that copies pictures-it aids an artist in rendering art from life, and many of the old Masters of the past used camera lucidas and other optical devises, which legitimizes their use today. Click here to go to our History page and watch an interview of David Hockney talking about his book “Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters”.
The LUCID-Art is about 5in (12.5cm) wide, and the height is adjustable between 16in (41cm) to 24 ½in (62cm) to fit the height of the artist.
It also folds together nicely for transportation and storage.
It only weights 1.8 LBS (0.8 kg).
Clamp opens wide enough to clamp to tables, notebooks, canvases or any other works space up to 2 ½in (6.4cm) thick.