Wait? What? How does this work?

The app works by having your camera pointed at your drawing surface. Instead of looking directly at your paper when you draw, you instead look at your screen.

The screen shows you both your drawing and the image you want to draw at the same time.

Here’s an introductory video that explains it all!

How large can I create my art?

The size of your final art is mostly determined by how much of your paper your camera has in its field of view. The rule of thumb is that the size of your final drawing’s largest dimension will be about equal to the distance your camera is from your paper. This puts a limit of about 12 to 14 inches on your drawing. Unless you want to create large art by mirroring your display!

Is it available for Android devices?

Sorry, no. This is for Apple iOS devices only.

Does the app project an image onto your paper?

No, there is no projection going on. The app is creating a virtual display that combines your drawing surface and your reference image. With the exception of working with a photograph as a reference rather than a live subject, the app works very much like the original optical device with the same name.


Isn’t this cheating?

What a dividing topic! The war over what is cheating and whether there is even such thing as cheating when it comes to art has been raging for centuries and it’s not going to end anytime soon.

Because the app can show you precisely where to place your drawing’s features, art created with the app can easily reach photo-realistic levels.

For thousands of people who want to create art without spending decades in art classes, the app certainly gives them an advantage!

This looks like tracing. Is it?

Camera Lucida is a tool like any other artists tool. And it can certainly be used to trace photographs, text, etc. Many artists will start by tracing the outlines of the features they want to draw or paint. For watercolor, this is a great way to start your painting.

Users who try to create portraits by just tracing the features of a reference photo quickly realize there is much more to creating a compelling portrait and graduate to using value, texture, etc.

Ultimately how you use the tool is up to you!

How much does it cost, etc?

Camera Lucida’s price may fluctuate a bit in response to the market, but it has always been cheaper than a decent box of pencils, a good sheet of cold press watercolor paper, etc. Click on this link to get the current price:


The app is designed to be an artist’s tool. Because of this, there are no monthly subscription prices or pop-up ads. One in-app purchase is available that enables automatic camera corrections if you’re using tilted or mirrored setups, but there are also manual controls if you don’t want to use that in-app purchase.

You buy the app once and you never pay again! Also, you and your entire family can use the app on every device you own for that one price. And, you’re entitled to free updates!

Educational discounts for schools are available for bulk purchase at 50% off.

To allow your family members to use the app, check out Apple’s Family Sharing program. It’s free and easy to use: https://www.apple.com/family-sharing/

I have a problem with the app. Who do I contact?

The app has a dedicated button for contacting support.

You can also email lucidaPete@gmail.com for support of any kind!