Plein Air Countdown T-11

Home Made Camera Obscura

I’ve been thinking about how to improve my perspective – the sketches, not my life, but maybe both..hmmm. In the shop I found the old windshield I made for my long gone Kawasaki 1000 – a thin piece of lexan that I removed when I sold the bike and put the factory windshield back on it. I taped a 9×12 inch frame on it and using a Sharpie pen and one eye I traced what I saw on the table. Then I traced that with sketch paper. Next up, a sheet of carbon paper, and a 9×12 piece of cheapo practice canvas. Another tracing – it was like the ancient past of my life, always tracing things before the days of CAD drawing made architects have to work ten times faster just to keep in the same place. After that it was a mere case of applying paint. Well, the perspective was fairly real. I’m also experimenting with “Golden – Open” acrylic paint, which dries much slower than regular acrylic. It was good to be able to use up all the paint on the palette before it dried.

the finished sketch

the finished sketch

Here’s how I did it. First the old windshield with tape. Then propping it on the edge of the table I outlined the scene with the black marker. The main difficulty here is holding the lexan up. Some kind of stand would be good for field use.

lexan with ink sketch

lexan with ink sketch

Then the ink sketch was traced onto tracing paper.

trace of a tracing

trace of a tracing

Then the paper tracing was traced onto the canvas support with carbon paper.

tracing onto the painting support (canvas) with carbon paper

tracing onto the painting support (canvas) with carbon paper

Then on with the painting. I taped the cheapo canvas sheet onto a plastic backing with double sided scotch tape.

painting taped to a plastic signboard backing

painting taped to a plastic signboard backing

Of course this sort of “camera obscura” works well at 9×12 and smaller. For larger works you’d need a really big piece of lexan!

1 Comment

Filed under Painting

One response to “Plein Air Countdown T-11

  1. Wizz

    What a wonderful tool for perspective. I love the results.

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