Is it ” cheating” to use a digital projector to achieve the perfect outline?

I have been using a digital projector for many years as it gives me perfect proportions for portrait commissions, both of people and of animals. Once the outline is complete then the final outcome is based on my technique and understanding of the use of soft pastels and pastel pencils.

I used to feel a bit guilty about this technique until I saw David Hockney’s “Secret Knowledge” television programme and bought the book of the same. It is fascinating to discover that Canaletto used a camera obscura ( see below ) to paint many of his Venice scenes and many artists over the years have used mirrors and lens to achieve the perfect outline. You can see some of the programme at:

So many debates have been started after this programme was viewed but, regardless of this, I am happy to use projection techniques and feel it is essential to get the outcome for a commission that a client requires. An example of such a commission is below. It would be interested to hear others thoughts on this subject……

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