Masterful drawing in minutes!

"In love with drawing again!"

Whether you're drawing on paper with a pencil, or cookies with royal icing, Camera Lucida will help you to be a better artist.

Unlike hundreds of apps that enable you to create digital art, Camera Lucida instead enables you to create amazing physical art! Our app works by having your iPhone or iPad's camera pointed at your drawing surface. By watching your screen as you draw, you will be able to to see your reference image superimposed with your drawing - guiding your hand as little or as much as you want while you create your art. Better than a projector and more versatile than a light table, Camera Lucida has been fine-tuned for a decade to provide artists with the features they need to be accurate and creative.

For over a century, artists have made use of the camera lucida optical device to superimpose a live view of their subject onto their drawing or painting surface. Allowing the artist to trace what they see in front of them, the camera lucida is an invaluable aid in creating a lifelike and realistic drawing. Our app is truly a camera lucida for the 21st century!

With our Camera Lucida iPhone/iPad application, artists and non-artists alike can now draw anything they have a photo of. When looking at your screen, you'll be able to simultaneously see the image you want to draw as well as your drawing surface as you create your work of art.

Additionally, Camera Lucida has image processing filters that can be used to simplify the drawing process further. Functions such as posterizing, color reduction, comic book effects, edge detection, etc. help tremendously for guiding your hand while producing your next masterpiece.

Our app also supports professional features you won't find in other copycat apps such as:
- Time-lapsed recordings of you creating your drawing you can share on social media.
- In-App purchases to support computer vision based camera view correction for use with a front mirror or any tilted setup.
- Support for external bluetooth keyboards to aid in creating large art through mirroring your display.
- Advanced tools such as vertical split screen sliders, timed image fading in and out, etc.
- Video tutorials you can watch from within the app or from YouTube.
- A full user manual available from within the app.

- Customer support that you can count on and much, much more.

To use our application, you just place your iPhone or iPad between your drawing surface and your eyes and trace what you see on the screen!

A ton of fun for artists young or old, amateur or professional, the Camera Lucida app makes a great addition to any artist's toolbox.

IMPORTANT: To use Camera Lucida, you need to fix your iPhone or iPad in place above your drawing. We use a stack of books or a flower vase to do this. Tutorials are included in the app to help you get started.

Splash art by Carolyn Hall Young, 1953-2016.

What’s New

Version 13.0

The highest rated app for drawing on real world media just keeps getting better! Camera Lucida version 13.0 puts powerful new color palette tools at your fingertips. Now with just the press of a button, Camera Lucida will analyze the image you want to draw and show you the best colors to use to draw the image. You still can control all the details - how many colors you want to use, the fine tuning of the colors, and even setting the colors from a photograph of your own paints, markers or colored pencils. Camera Lucida will then enable you to work on the colors layer by layer, giving you complete control over what color layers are displayed over your drawing surface.

With version 13.0, you can also make use of Apple's newest ultra-wide angle cameras to create very large art without having to place your iPad or iPhone far from your drawing surface! With sophisticated corrections for barrel distortion, you can do this without creating any fisheye or other unwanted effects. To use this feature, you'll need one of the awesome new iPhones or iPad Pros with these lenses.

Also included are many updates that come directly from the suggestions of Camera Lucida users. A new slider, for example, enables you to control the transparency of your overlay while you're composing your image. This is super helpful when you are compositing multiple photographs into a single drawing.

These days there are lots of apps that try to copy Camera Lucida, but even the best of them only have half the functionality of Camera Lucida. Our pledge to you is to continue our 11-year commitment to create the richest drawing app with the best technical support possible. We do it while continuing to support iOS versions all the way back to 9.3, which means our app even runs on an iPad 2!

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
348 Ratings

348 Ratings

Patty99pilot ,

Great Tool

I decided to learn watercolor painting but have no skills for drawing. Choosing my own photos to work from I was spending way to much time trying to make an accurate light sketch. The sketch is minimal but so important to perspective in the composition. I was reading about the camera Lucida when I found this app for my iPad. I figured out a way to use it and am so disappointed I had only grabbed scratch paper. My line drawing took very little time and the very quick painting atop that drawing was terrific! This takes so much pressure off and allows me the pleasure of experimenting with the paint and it’s effects without the very hard and tedious task of making an accurate sketch. Thanks for coming up with this app! It will take a little practice getting used to how to set up for accurate size overlay. I do need a stand but so far I have managed. Patty

Ps. I despise apps with “in app purchase” so I appreciate the way you marketed this. Reviews were positive and you were clear about it takes a little getting used to. But that is the case with all the camera Lucida options. You are drawing without looking at the paper. Kind of weird but great results.

Jill-Cincy ,

This is so useful

Camera Lucida solved 2 problems for me: getting my drawing onto my painting paper (resizing if needed), and getting proportions and perspectives correct. That was very hard for me. I’ve tried tracing paper, tracing by impressing, light box. This app lets me get either job done quickly so I can get on to painting. I can set it up, draw my layout and be ready to paint so quickly that I hardly notice the task I used to dread. In the earlier version I had some trouble getting the calibration correct when working on an angle, but the new calibration module resolved that. It worked perfectly the first time I used it. I usually use the OSMO to hold my iPad because my granddaughter wasn’t using it any more, but one time I put the iPad on a kitchen step stool right over my drawing, and that worked just fine, too. Literally, the setup and prep to use Camera Lucida takes about 30 seconds. And, it’s way cheaper than buying a light box, projector, or any of the other devices people have tried over the years and centuries.

JohnMickus ,

Best app for drawing, period

I use this app to get my size and perspective correct before painting. I am retired. I wanted to learn to paint but my drawing skills were marginal. I had taken a couple of botanical art classes at the local arboretum and these stimulated my interest even more. My problem has always been perspective. My drawings are always a little off and it makes my paintings look the same. I have been using Camera Lucida for a number of years and it has solved my perspective issues. I so enjoy using it. This newest release makes the setup for drawing simple. I have so benefited from using this program. It has not only kept my interest in painting alive, it has enhanced it. I can honestly say I am able to draw better because the app helped me get through the initial struggling phase. Thank you Peter for investing so much time in this app. You didn’t abandon it after you released it. You improved it immeasurably. If you want to draw, get this app.

App Privacy

The developer, Peter Moeykens, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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