This post features one of the presents I received for Christmas from my hubby. It is an optical aid for drawing, reinvented through a kickstarter project called the NeoLucida XL. The project is based on the old French Lucida camera “Chambre Claire Universelle” from 1925, with predecessors going back to the early 19th century and being related to the even older camera “obscura” from the 17th century.

The NeoLucida XL is created for drawing landscapes and still-life, or for enlargements or reductions of whatever is in the focus of the painter. My drawing skills are not so bad, so  I looked at the present as a sort of drawing tool to be used for fun, but then I realised the potential of optical aids when it comes to drawing. You probably know for yourself that drawing can be either fun or rather frustrating, depending on the art piece that you want to create. Although I’m often skipping drawing in my watercolours, when it comes to more complex compositions, drawing becomes an inevitable step. So, I decided to put the NeoLucida XL together and to try it out (see the video!)

The results of my very first drawing experience with the NeoLucida XL are shown below (click on photos to enlarge). I selected a silvery jug on a white background for the scene, that turned to be too bright and thus, its projection hard to see on my sketch paper when looking through the NeoLucida. So I simply moved to dark paper, and that worked well.

The simple drawing below took about 20 seconds.


I did it once again 🙂


Drawing with the NeoLucida XL is definitely fun! Next days, I will experiment with the changing of drawing size (by adjusting distance between the eyepiece and the paper), creating more complex drawings, and will also try to illustrate repeated patterns by drawing seamless motifs over existing hand-drawn areas. More to come!


@neolucida (Twitter)