Creating Successful Portraits...

From Photo to Sketch in MinutesWhen photography first came onto the scene many artists thought it would signal the death of painting, but the reality is that photography plays a vital part in painting. Many artists paint from photographs and this is where a projector can be of significant help too.


Some artists mistakenly believe that using a projector is cheating. Nothing could be further from the truth...

Painting from photos is something all artists do but often it is the source of much frustration - a process that sometimes takes many hours. Most of this time is the preparation - drawing the subject in perspective, proportion or the correct scale.

Some of the Masters are believed to have used projector-like devices to create some of their highly acclaimed masterpieces. After all, the creativity of art is more abundantly displayed in the painting – just because you have an accurate sketch doesn’t mean you can produce a successful painting.

A projector should be seen as a tool to help creativity rather than hinder or diminish it.

Click here to read other on how a projector can help you succeed with your art

Irish Setters and Girl

     Take, for example, this photograph of two pedigree Irish Setters
with the girl.

     This is a standard 6”x4” photograph so the dogs’ heads are only
     about 1” high
– not much to work with in producing a good size painting.

     Turning to our Kopykake 300XK projector we can enlarge the photograph until the dog’s head is the desired size (we worked on one dog at a time). Of course, for this painting we’re only interested in the dogs and the projector allows us to disregard the girl in the photo.

Enlarging one dog with the projector

Projecting the image directly onto our watercolor paper we can determine where to position the dog’s head for the best compositional interest; we can also determine how much of the dogs’ neck and body we want in the image.

For this project we concentrated on the dog to the right of the picture first. Enlarging the head to the desired size and position on the paper. Then we set about drawing it – getting all the elements of the dog’s head in the correct position and proportion. To do this without the help of a projector (either by eye or by squaring off the photo and the paper) would have taken at least 1-2 hours. With a projector we managed it in about 10 minutes.


Then we tackled the second dog. This is where the projector really helped us get the proportion relative to the other dog absolutely correct. Without a projector it would have been so easy to draw this dog’s head too small or too large in comparison to the other. With our 300XK projector we managed to get the image correctly sized and positioned within about 10 minutes.

A total of about 20 minutes to draw this sketch – how long would it have taken without a projector?

And how many times would we have attempted it before getting a sketch we were happy with?

Completed Sketch that took about 20 minutes with projector

Consider now the position you would be in as the artist who has created this sketch.

The next step is to paint it.

Imagine you have drawn this sketch without a projector. Let’s say it took you 2 hours to achieve a sketch you were happy with. Now you’ve got to paint it. How confident are you going to be when putting paint on to the paper? What happens if you make a mistake that ruins the painting? You have to start all over again – that’s another 2 hours and you’ve still yet to paint.

No wonder so many artists who don't use a projector give up in frustration! But you don’t have to give up if you have a Kopykake projector to help you.

Reasons for owning a projector

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