Light boxes and opaque projectors are an essential tool to every artist especially sketch artist when you want to transfer any image to your drawing surface. In addition, this equipment can come in very handy in various other tasks.

At the Madison Art Shop we have one of the best selections of art projectors and ligtboxes, stocking only from the best manufacturers on the industry including Gagne, Artograph, Kopykake among others.

Difference between opaque projectors & lightboxes

Lightbox: They can only allow you to transfer images when you want a similar size on the copy. You just have to lay the two papers and trace your copy. This method works best for stained glass, quilting, cartooning, stenciling, needlework, viewing, and calligraphy.

Opaque projectors: A projector, unlike a lightbox, can change the size of the image to make it smaller or even bigger in size while projecting on quite a number of surfaces. 

If you have more questions on lightboxes & opaque projectors our Art Projector Tips & Techniques plus our Light Boxes Tips and Techniques page has a lot of information on the same.

Complete those sketches in minutes with our light boxes and opaque projectors.

PROJECTORS & LIGHTBOXES Art Opaque Projectors & Lightboxes to transfer images to your drawing surface. We specialize in Kopykake and Artograph Artists Projectors!

For New Artists: Light Boxes vs. Projectors

Before you purchase a photo lightbox or projector, it is important to understand the differences and uses for both. Lightboxes allow you to transfer same-size images from one paper onto another. Simply lay both papers over the lightbox and trace the image. This can be a rudimentary tracing for training purposes, or you can choose to transfer images and add your own artistic touch. Light boxes are best for applications including embossing, scrapbooking, quilting, stenciling, cartooning, stained glass, needlework & embroidery, calligraphy, and viewing.

Art projection has been a popular technique since the Renaissance (although now developments in technology make this task far less cumbersome). Unlike a photo lightbox, a projector can change the size of an image and project that image onto a multitude of work surfaces. Some artists argue that projectors give an artist more creative license because they’re more versatile than lightboxes.

Some artists prefer to use both machines in their creative endeavors by first tracing an image from a photo lightbox (all the while adding creative touches) and then projecting that image onto a canvas. Both are excellent tools; whichever product you choose (or perhaps both) is simply a question of your artistic needs.

For more information about light boxes and projectors, visit the Art Projector Tips & Techniques and the Light Boxes Tips & Techniques page.

Light Boxes

Madison Art Shop has an exceptional selection of light boxes and art projectors from industry leading manufacturers including Artograph, Kopykake, Gagne and more. We are committed to offering the best photo lightbox and projector products on the market for outstanding prices. Whether a starving artist or a master, an amateur or a seasoned professional, we carry excellent lightboxes for every budget and skill level.


Thursday, May 14, 2009, 3:24 PM

I am painting large work on canvas and would like to buy a projector that can project a 4 x 6 or a 8 x 10 photo onto the canvas.
Can that be done off a photo or do I have to convert the photo into a slide?
Which one do you recommend? How far away from the wall does it have to stand in order to project that big or bigger?
Do I have to paint at night with just the projector light on? How well does it project colors and shades of colors?

Hello Helen,

Our Artists' Opaque Projectors work from a photo or any image. (No need for slides.)

They generally work better in dimmed lighting. However, the higher-end ones will work in light too.

They all can handle a 4x6.
The Kobra can handle a 8.5x11. Otherwise, do portions of the photo at a time.

The more high-end that you go, the more sharper and color correct is the projected image.

Look for horizontal projecting (as opossed to overhead.) You stand a few feet away, depending on the size of the projection required.

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