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Art Instruction: Assignment 5

Updated on August 30, 2012

Create View Finders

The use of view finders is the key difference between the latest version of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and previous versions by Betty Edwards. She goes on at length of how various artists have used different versions of of view finders to train themselves to draw what they see. In this lesson, you will create the view finders you need to complete the next lesson.

Materials Checklist

1. You'll need a sketch pad (or at least know the size you will use to draw with)

2. A sturdy piece of card board. I use the back of old sketch pads as it is a very sturdy board.

3. Sharpie.

4. Clear plastic transparency paper.

5. Ruler.

6. Xacto Knife.

7. Pencil.

8. Clips

More Materials

I used the back board of the one of my bristol board sketch pads for my view finders. Feel free to substitute.

Step One: Figure Out the Sizes Needed

1. The size of the two view finders you need will depend on the proportion of the sketch pad you are using.

2. Draw a diagonal line from the lower right corner to the upper left corner of your pad.

3. With a ruler, figure out where 3 3/4" intersects the line if drawn parallel to the bottom of the pad.

4. Draw a line from the intersection to the bottom of the page, creating a right angle, and measure the line.

This will give you the dimensions of the window of your small view finder. Note that the measurements are in orange in the above image.

Repeat the steps by intersecting a 6" line with the diagonal line (see area in blue in the image.)

NOTE: If your sketch pad is of different proportions than the one I am using, your measurements will be different than mine. That's fine. Relative proportion is more important than absolute size.

Step 2: Draw Dimensions onto Your Board

Add a two inch boarder to the size of your desired window.

Step 3: CAREFULLY Cut out Your View Finder

If you have a mat cutter, there is probably an easier way. If you do not, place your ruler on the desired line and cut. Be sure to keep your finders behind the edge of the ruler. The exacto knife is sharp enough to take off parts so BE CAREFUL!

Step 4: Finish

Cut your plastic to size and draw cross hairs on the plastic with permanent marker. Once that's done you can attach it to your view finder with clips.

View Finder Demonstration

Betty Edwards using the view finder.

If you are following along. Post pictures of your viewfinder on you blog and link it here to get feedback.

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