Monday, 4 June 2018

How to Make a Viewfinder a Drawing Aid for Artists

Using a viewfinder is a great way of making drawing easier. Composing pictures for oil painting is also made possible when the artist isn’t sure where to begin.

Finding inspiration from life can be overwhelming. What does the artist cut out and leave in? The viewfinder is ideal for editing out unwanted visual information in order to simplify what is seen in front. The viewfinder is simply a piece of card with a window cut in the middle from where the artist may view a particular aspect. Looking through the window is rather like looking through the camera lens before taking a picture.

Plotting your drawing is made easier because the image can be viewed through a frame. Here, I will show you how to create a viewfinder containing a frame that is compatible with most drawing pads. Plotting your drawing couldn’t be made easier.

Making a viewfinder is simple. Here is a step by step demo on making your own.

Demo on Making the Artist’s Viewfinder

The first image shows materials that will be required. These are:
A cutting mat or old magazines on which to cut on.
A piece of card measuring 11 x 8 inches (20 x 28cm).
Scissors, scalpel, a pencil, ruler, double-sided sticky tape and a piece of strong thread.

Materials needed for making a viewfinder

Making your Own Viewfinder

Firstly cut the piece of card in half so that each measures 5.5 x 8 inches (14x20cm). Lightly draw a cross in the centre of each card.

Cut the card in half

Scalpel a rectangular-shaped hole in the middle of each card. The dimensions of the hole should be 2.5 x 3 inches (6 x 7.5 cm). I have worked out these proportions to match standard sketchbook sizes. This will make sketching easier.

Cutting a rectangular hole in the viewfinder

Affix the thread via the tape across the ‘window’ so that it stretches horizontally across. The thread should be midway up the window, splitting it in two. Repeat this process with another piece of thread, this time, stretching it vertically. You should now have a window that appears split into equal quarters, like a cross.

Sticking thread across the viewfinder



This ‘cross’ can be used as plotting points for your drawing when looking through the viewfinder and transferring the image onto your sketchbook.
Now place the other piece of card over the first, sandwiching the sections of thread on the card. Use extra double-sided tape for more strength.
The two pieces of card should now be stuck securely. Trim off excess thread.

Stick the 2 pieces of card together

The viewfinder is ready for use.

Composing the underdrawing for oil painting is now made easier when the artist wishes to sketch from life.

The viewfinder is ready for use

My next article will show you how to use the viewfinder.

The images and text have been taken from my book Draw what You See Not What You Think you See



1 comment:

Nina Athena said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge on this topic. This is really helpful and informative, as this gave me more insight to create more ideas and solutions for my plan. I would love to see more updates from you.

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