top of page

The crazy technique used to paint "Normanducky"

The original Normanducky from 2016 was one of the first TABBY oil paintings and the crazy technique that was used has never been revealed until now.

Like the Mona Lisa, this piece is smaller in person than one might think from a photograph. There is a good reason for this and its because of the strange "Camera Lucida" technique that was used.

In short, you build a little mirrored device that reflects a photograph in front of you. Placing a canvas (in this case wood) underneath lets you see a reflection of what you are trying to paint. Bobbing your head around perfectly shows exactly what you want to trace/ color match.

Below you can see the 1x1 inch mirror, how it reflects the photograph and shows exactly what needs to be painted and where.

If any of you have seen the documentary "Tim's Vermeer", it shows the whole process of how this technique can be used to create perfect paintings of anything in front of you. In the case of this documentary, it suggests that Vermeer used this technique to create the incredible details in his paintings.

So the secret behind this piece, is that it was actually a study of the Camera Lucida technique. Since the original Normandy image is very old, grainy and blurred, the painting was purposely made to have a similar look, instead of trying to add in extra sharpness and detail. While close up you can see almost every brush stroke, but once youre further away it begins to look very much like the photograph.

Theres many other ways of replicating images, such as projecting or tracing, but this was definitely one of the more interesting methods that I will keep in my inventory for another time. Its a fun little setup that I havnt seen used a lot, so I thought it might be worth sharing.

Finished original 20x30cm piece (2016)


bottom of page