The Camera Obscura is a device in which a lens focused the image of the subject on to the canvas or paper, allowing the artist to trace the outline of the scene directly on to the support. The earliest versions, dating to antiquity, consisted of small darkened rooms with light admitted through a single tiny hole. The result was that an inverted image of the outside scene was cast on the opposite wall. The rapid development of optical science in the early-seventeenth century made possible a mechanical device which made the theories of perspective obsolete. Variously constructed as a room or more portable box, the device contained a mirror to compensate for the inverted image. Vermeer is believed to have been one of the first artists to experiment with the camera obscura, and it was certainly in widespread use by the time of Canaletto in the eighteenth century. Purists, however, deplored this mechanical aid. Sir Joshua Reynolds, founding President of London's Royal Academy, had his own camera obscura disguised as a book rather than invite the scorn of his contemporaries.
Transcript of "Art 1 rendering techniques"
Oak Hall School
Example of Rendering Device
Rendering and Measuring Techniques
Albrecht Durer’s Measuring Device (1538 A.D.) enabled the
artist to accurately render a foreshortened figure by looking
through a grid. The grid of the device correlated directly to
the grid on the paper.
Application of Durer’s Grid System
Transferring the image to paper.
Using this device, the
artist would render each
square of the grid onto the
correlating square on the
The result would be a
perfectly rendered figure
in the proper proportions.
Measuring by Hand
Consistency is the Key!
• View figure by sitting, outstretching your arm and locking the elbow for consistency.
• Determine figure proportions by comparing height and width.
• Imagine how grid would look around the object.
• Plot in points by relating the figure to itself and the imagined grid.
Relating Details to Proportions
• Plot in measured points and elements on your paper in relationship to
• Rotate pencil parallel to the
body like a steering wheel.
• With arm extended and
elbow locked, mark angle
and drop it on your page.
• All angles of this cube
should relate to perspective
Other Measuring Devices:
The Camera Obscura
• The Camera Obscura is a device in which a lens focused the image of the
subject on to the canvas or paper, allowing the artist to trace the outline of the
scene directly on to the support.
• Vermeer is believed to have been one of the first artists to experiment with the
camera obscura, and it was certainly in widespread use by the time of
Canaletto in the eighteenth century.
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