"In love with drawing again!"

Our Camera Lucida application can make an artist out of anyone!

Although there are hundreds of apps that allow you to draw on your screen, Camera Lucida is different. It's the best app specifically designed to assist you in creating art with traditional materials such as pen and paper, charcoal or paints. With Camera Lucida, you don't draw on the screen, you draw on paper!

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. Essentially 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.

With our Camera Lucida iPhone/iPad application, artists and non-artists alike can now draw anything they can take a photo of. Our application will superimpose your image of choice with a live view of your drawing surface. 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.

Our Camera Lucida application allows you to choose any image stored on your device. It even allows you to specify the amount of transparency between the live view and the image you're drawing.

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.

To use our application, you just place your iphone 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.

This app is dedicated to Carolyn Hall Young, 1953-2016 who created the splash art and inspired us all.

What’s New

Version 9.1

Version 9.1 brings better support for the iPhone X's notch as well as for devices without a home button.
Additionally, the software has been updated to prevent stuttering of the screen when recording on newer hardware.
Also, a new setting has been added to the app to allow for using the full camera's field of view enabling art that is a bit bigger.

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
158 Ratings

158 Ratings

Hutch376 ,

Fabulous Artist App!

Ever since I purchased the Camera Lucida app four years ago, I have been using it to make pencil drawings onto my painting surface before painting from a digital photograph - no more transfer paper, no more inkjet printer! I've probably saved hundreds of dollars not buying ink. While I am painting, I turn on the posterize feature and refer to it in order to guide my color/value choices - the app helps A LOT to identify the light and dark areas of the photograph. It's also great to zoom in on details, like eyes, and draw them accurately. For most paintings, after making the initial drawing, I do not attempt to paint while looking through the app/ipad - just have it next to me as a reference. Sometimes, however, I do the whole painting using the app, and skip the pencil drawing altogether, especially if I am using pastels. There is a Facebook group for Camera Lucida users, and I've learned a lot of tricks there, including ideas on how to build a stand to support the iPad. I love this app!

Bus Collector ,

Great app for artists!

I bought this app as a Christmas present for my husband. The app is phenomenal! It allows him to line up the picture he wants to draw from, and lets him get the general placement of what he is drawing, such as the eyes and the shape of the head. We are older, and I must admit, it was a bit confusing at the very first. However, I reached out to the Camera Lucida community I follow on FaceBook, and received the help I needed. Also, the apps developer built in a help section right into the app. It even has the e-mail address of the developer himself. I e-mailed him and he got right back with me. His tips were exactly what we needed to use the app to obtain the desired results. Couldn’t be happier with the app and with their customer service! If you can’t figure out the app, reach out for guidance instead of leaving a negative review.

TedK. ,

Really great app for anyone who wants to draw!!

I love being able to draw pictures from my photos. Really let's you overcome fears if you are, like me, drawing challenged...
Have made many lovely pen and ink drawings of some of my favorite photos of my daughter that I put in my journal. It is fun, plus they won't fade over time like photos might (given an archival ink)...

I have always wanted to make pen and ink drawings that look good and this has been an absolutely fabulous tool. I just got an Osmo stand and front camera mirror and am looking forward to using it as it seems like it will be more convenient than the standard setup of putting the iPad on a stack of books. I set it up with the Osmo but have yet to actually draw with the Osmo in use. That said, it certainly seems like it will be more convenient to have the iPad and drawing both easily visible while you are drawing, instead of basically 100% looking "through" the iPad.

I very, VERY rarely purchase apps (I think this is my second in history) but have absolutely no regrets. It really is a wonderful tool to help ANYONE draw well and I am thrilled!


Peter Moeykens
22 MB

Requires iOS 9.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Peter Moeykens


  • Family Sharing

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

You May Also Like