Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The New LUCY Drawing Tool: Most Versatile Camera Lucida Ever

LUCY Drawing and Painting Tool Inspired by the Old Masters' Secret Techniques—Designed for Today's Artists! Now You Can Draw Anything! Check it out! http://kck.st/1WTcO6X

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Camera Obscura is Back – Draw, Paint, or Photograph Using a Tool of the Old Masters

Check out this great new Kickstarter project form Les Cookson of Ancient Magic Art Tools: http://kck.st/1FaA5ML

Camera obscura consists of a wooden square box with a brass tube lens mounted in the center of one side. Images that enter the brass tube are projected through the spherical glass lens onto a first-surface internal mirror. The image is then reflected onto a screen of ground glass where the observer can interpret and capture the perspective, composition, and much more.

The camera obscura was also the great-grandfather of modern cameras. And with this project, we're creating a way to capture the camera obscura's magical image with a push of a button. And the result is truly breathtaking!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

CAMERA LUCIDA Reinvented The 'New' Old Masters' Drawing Tool

New Device Combines Ancient Technology of Old Masters with Your Smartphone

Inventor Bring the Camera Lucida Drawing Tool into the Digital Age: Making Anyone an Artist by Blending Old and New Technology to create a Vibrant Traceable Image.

Artist and inventor Les Cookson is excited to announce his Kickstarter campaign, which will shake over two hundred years' worth of dust off the camera lucida drawing tool, and make it relevant to today's tech-savvy artists. This improved artist aid packs all the mystery, magic and controversy of the historical art tool with the ease and usefulness of a modern device. The crowd funding campaign is running now through September 6th, 2014. 
Controversy rages within art history circles as to how early camera lucidas and similar devices were used by artists. While books like David Hockney's 'Secret Knowledge, and Penn & Teller's recent movie Tim's Vermeer throw fuel onto the debate that some famous centuries-old paintings might have been done with one of these cameras. 
The LUCID-Art, Cookson's camera lucida, works by reflecting a transparent "ghost" image of the scene in front of it down onto the user's paper, so all they need to do is draw over the reflected image to get an accurate sketch in minutes. 
And now with the all-new ProjectorARM, the LUCID-Art will be able to project images to draw right from a smart phone onto one's drawing surface. “This project will build a bridge across centuries bringing together the ancient technology of the camera lucida with the modern technology we carry in our pockets everyday.” -Les Cookson, projector creator.

Some camera lucidas in the past could copy or reduce pictures, but never before has a camera lucida been able to project images from a smart phone's screen, and enlarge those images up to 5x the original size. Find out more on our campaign page: DrawLUCY.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Camera Obscura! Reviving the Old Masters' Secret Tool

Making Awesome Camera Obscuras for Artists, Photographers and Anyone Who Wants to Own a Magical Piece of the Past!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Zoetrope Animation Toy! First Moving Image Reborn: ZOEFLIX!

Wheel of Life: the Beginning of Modern Movies! It's an Artistic Platform, an Intriguing Toy, and a Beautiful Conversation Piece!

Find Our More and Pledge at ZOEFLIX.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Introducing the LUCID-Art Drawing Board!

We have a brand new accessory for the LUCID-Art Camera Lucida…Introducing the LUCID-Art Drawing Board!

It turns your standard camera tripod into an easel and is designed to attach to your LUCID-Art Camera Lucida. Now you can easily take your LUCID-Art Camera Lucida on the go and use it on your tripod!

Sold at http://www.camera-obscura-lucida-shop.com/board.php use coupon code LAB15 during checkout to get 15% off your entire order! Code good through Nov. 20th 2010.

Also sold on our eBay store http://AncientOptics.com where our other items are on sale and you can make an offer on the new drawing board.


If you order a LUCID-Art Drawing Board or Camera Lucida and mention the free lens, then you will receive a free lens with instructions (while supplies last) that will enable you to copy and enlarge photos up to 2X larger than life with your LUCID-Art Camera Lucida!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Lost Secrets of the Old Masters:

This is a very interesting interview with David Hockney, where he explains and demonstrates the use of camera obscuras and camera lucidas in the artwork of the Old Masters chronicled in his book “Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters”.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Painting by Stu Dunkel made using one of our Camera Lucidas


Balance of Good, 12x16 oil on masonite

Paintings by Terry Elrod made with the help of his Premium Lucida


“I like to draw and paint en plein air. I purchased my Camera Lucida a year ago and modified it so it would mount on a camera tripod. [now you can buy a tripod mount with the Premium Lucida] It’s great for drawings of cityscapes to get the perspective right (even while sitting in a car), but it also works well for painting. A backpack carries my pochade box and tripod, so all I have to carry is the Lucida. I begin a painting by mounting the Lucida on the tripod and laying my painting panel on its drawing board. I adjust the panel’s position on the board to get a good composition, and then loosely draw key edges on the panel using a carbon pencil. In just a few minutes I’m started on a well-composed painting while my attraction to the scene is still fresh. Often I let drawn lines show through for an interesting effect.”

-Terry Elrod


Friday, July 31, 2009

Local stores selling the LUCID-Art camera lucida

Monday, June 8, 2009

Art work with Camera Lucida by Les Bruder

Here is some art work done with the help of one of our Camera Lucidas, thoughts and a testimonial by Les Bruder. He is working on a website in which artists share their ideas, techniques etc, so that traditions can develop and veer off in creative directions. We will post a link when his site gets up and running.

Friedrich Nietzsche by Les bruder

“The Camera Lucida is suited to reducing panoramas and natural scenes to the size of a large drawing pad, and its portability makes it ideal for such image capture. You don't have to rely upon electricity as with projection systems, and the filters help one deal with all manner of natural lighting.

In my portraits and the movie screen shot [Below] I managed to use small photographs placed very near the aperture and mirror, together with a light near enough the image to allow me to view clearly the faces and figures on the paper. The enlargement of the image was about double.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Les Bruder

You really learn a lot about light and seeing when you begin to play around with such an instrument. You feel like part of the camera, in fact you are a part of the camera; the mirror reflects the image onto a surface, the artist plays the part of the developing chemicals which fix the image on the paper. Another and perhaps greater instruction one gets from using the Lucida is practice in seeing and manipulating proportion, which, as Leonardo Di Vinci said, is divine. “ –Les Bruder

Kenneth Burke by Les bruder

Monday, June 1, 2009

Art Work by Lynne Hurd Bryant using her Camera Lucida

Lynne has a BFA in art, and has no problem with light, color and shading but had trouble drawing anything to her satisfaction. She found our eBay store (AncientOptics.com) after watching a National Geographic documentary, and ordered a Camera Lucida immediately. Here is her reaction to her Camera Lucida:

“I LOVE THIS THING! I am so pleased and so excited and it is like MAGIC. My grammas were artists and I am sure they would roll in their graves to know I use one, but they would love it if they were here. This will add to my art degree training and expand what I can do.

I got an opaque projector to work from photos and I am less than impressed. Part of the problem is that they are photographs. The lucida will not have this problem. If anything, it seems to increase the depth of things.

I researched online about lucidas. Yes, you can sit in front of a computer screen with a digital image and use the lucida to draw it. I tried looking at some digital images through the lucida and view is 100% better than with an opaque projector.

Also, I drew a pot outside with the right oval shape and appropriate shadow. It was effortless. Perfection!

I found the instructions useful, as far as distance and adjustments were concerned. I didn't feel lost at all and I love the results. VERY HAPPY HERE.


The girl is my daughter and it is VERY like her, an very good likeness. Keep in mind, while I have a BFA in art, I never would do a portrait in school. This of her is about 8th or 9th portrait I ever done, period.”

-Lynne Hurd Bryant

We will undated you with more of her art work as she continues to use her Camera Lucida.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Student-reenactors at McLean High School, VA

Camera lucida in uses.

Student-reenactors at McLean HS using one of our lucidas. It was demonstrated at an outdoor event at Carlyle House in Alexandria, VA. It is the historic home of a prominent 18th c Virginian and was the site where General Braddock planned the campaign (with young Geo Washington serving under him) to Ohio in the French & Indian War. The students roamed the grounds to set the "historical atmosphere"...and the lady in the photo above showed how sketching was done in that period. It was a hit.

Their performance season is just now heating up, so we plan to use the lucida and obscura that they got from AncientMagicArtTools.com a lot. Updates will be coming!


The obscura with the silhouette we made using it.

About.com: Painting five start review of our Premium Camera Lucida

Please read the About.com: Painting five start review of our Premium Camera Lucida by Marion Boddy-Evans, About.com




Welcome! More posts will be coming. If you have any question or comments about our Camera Lucidas, Camera Obscuras or other historical art tools and techniques, then send me an email (noushles@hotmail.com) or post a comment.

Also we’d love to see any art work done with our art tools, hear any stories about using them in the classroom and/or hear any testimonies.