Using a projector to paint

I would like to try out using a projector. Does anyone use it and what would you recommend I buy? I am not looking to spend loads of money. I basically what to see if I like it and want to know where to start.

Why would you want to use a projector when you can draw? Save your money and continue drawing.

I don’t use one, but I suppose it depends how you want to use it. I’ve been thinking that portraits and pet portraits would benefit from this type of idea because the features have to be accurately placed to gain a likeness. I’ve heard that projectors are hot and noisy which wears you down over time. There is another artist’s tool called a camera lucida which I would also like to get feedback on because they are very expensive, but perhaps that’s another thread. The amount you spend on anything should really relate to the amount of use you will get out of it. A designer jacket may be $3000 but if you use it 3,000 times it’s a bargain.

I used a projector in my very early painting days but it felt not right for ME.
That’s mostly because I can see, feel and tell if a painting has been done with the help on a projector.
I also used an epidiascope / episcope at my work for a signage company which worked well.
And there were times, when a slide projector was state of the art.
To come to your initial question, I think it is okay to use a “cheap” projector for tracing purposes.
But I don’t think common mini LED projectors (very cheap ones) are bright enough to work wth.
Especially in daylight surroundings you’ll always have to darken the room more or less for best tracing of the picture.
Because if it is too dark, you won’t see your sketch anymore.
It’s good to have a projector with full HD Quality - but they are more expensive.
But the most important thing is to have a "bright, sharp and “crisp” image.
It doesn’t matter which brand you take. Anyway, they’re all build in Asia :smirk:
Can’t you just borrow one from a friend and try it out first?
Maybe you’ll find out, that drawing the outlines all by yourself is more personal and individual.

Why don’t you rent one or find someone in your neighbourhood that has one?
It beats having to pay up hundreds of $.

Unless you’re doing a large piece that you need accurate perspective and composition, I think a projector will hinder more than help. Get an old-fashioned hardwood Pantograph. Easy to use, inexpensive and works great.

I had an old Lucy back when I was illustrating. Picked it up from a designer who didn’t need it after everything went digital. They are large and limited. I got rid if it years ago, don’t know what possible use one would be now.

I have an update. Digital projectors do double duty because you can project slide shows of your work for demos, classes and shows as well as using them for painting. I recently went to a demo by an artist that uses her projector for all these reasons. Although the projector is a bit murky without a proper screen, she mounts her paper or canvas on a wall and traces bits from her photos onto them. She uses it more to introduce natural aspects to her abstracts like light on water or branches. I thought this was all quite brilliant as I like to get maximum use from my tools.