Turn your photos into hand-drawn masterpieces with Lucida! Lucida is a small web app or Progressive Web App (PWA) that mimics a camera lucida. It lets you set up an image on the screen, which you can trace with a pencil while looking through it. Because it’s a PWA, you can add the app to your Home screen and access it without an Internet connection. I was inspired to create Lucida after the Hockney’s Eye: The Art and Technology of Depiction exhibition in Cambridge in 2022.

Is using a Camera Lucida cheating? Not at all. The Hockney–Falco thesis argued that grandmasters since the Renaissance have been using camera lucidas and other optical instruments to produce their epic artworks.

There is something intimate about artworks produced with Lucida. They look small akin to a polaroid. We take so many pictures with our smartphones but seldom look at them after the shoot. Lucida lets you pick a photograph and study it meticulously by tracing it. The exercice of tracing creates a deeper connection with a visual memory that is the photograph.

Want to try it? Head over to Lucida.

Looking for more? Other advanced applications exist—for example, Camera Lucida App, and Da Vinci Eye. And if you are ready for a real camera lucida, Neo Lucida, and Draw Lucy are great choices.