Projecting an Image onto Canvas, Especially for Portraits
There are very few artists who don't use a projector to trace out an initial sketch of a portrait onto canvas.
If you want an accurate projection of any size from a small canvas to a wall, don't just buy a projector, buy one that:
- Is a digital projector specifically for art purposes (it will last a lifetime)
- Has keystone projection
- Has accurate focus adjustment
The keystone projection allows for the perfect centring of an image.
If the projected image isn't in the centre of the screen or the canvas is at an angle, keystone allows you to adjust the picture so that it will not be distorted.
Measure along the horizontal of the image projected on the canvas.
X needs to be equal to Y, otherwise adjust the digital projector.
Measure along the vertical of the image projected on the canvas.
W needs to be equal to Z, otherwise adjust the digital projector.
When the projection is square and you have dimmed the lights a bit you can now begin to trace out the image as much as you require.
Digital keystone correction is done by moving a dial on the edge of the digital projector (or more modern ones have a remote control) to make sure your projection is square.
If you have the following problems:
Needs horizontal keystone correction.
Needs vertical keystone correction.
This is what you want.
You can check the image you have projected with a tape measure or long ruler.
Once the image is correct you can begin to mark out the image.
Use a very light touch on your pencil lines, which makes it easy to cover them with paint or erase them if necessary.
Note: You can use a piece of card and black out the light from the projector to see if the tracing is detailed enough.
The final result will give you a correctly proportioned starting point for a portrait.