Technically speaking, opening Microsoft Paint on your computer, frantically going around and around with the pencil tool, and then filling the gaps with different colours is digital art.
It is not very good digital art, but that’s why the word technically was used.
For those who are actually serious digital artists, technology has developed so much since the 1980’s that it is possible to do just about anything digitally.
Just look at how Pixar movies have developed over time.
The term ‘digital art’ is very broad and encompasses many different unique branches. But one thing is alike for all those who fall under the term and that is displaying the work.
Here we look at the best digital art projectors to do just that.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Do artists use projectors?
Artists of all levels use projectors. No matter the skill level, you will find artists using projectors as a tool.
Artists who are painting from a small image may use a projector to project the image onto a larger canvas.
Projectors do not cost anywhere near what they did in the past; therefore, they are a readily available tool for any artist looking to enlarge or trace an image.
LED projectors appear to be the projectors of choice for artists.
What is an Artograph projector?
Artograph is a company well known for its digital art projectors. Artists have been using Artograph projectors with their computers, smartphones, and other devices to project images, play videos, and all sorts of other files to help with their work.
With an Artograph projector, artists are able to enlarge images, change colors, and enhance images as they wish.
The brightness of these projectors is such that an artist can use them in a well-lit room.
Is tracing Art illegal?
Tracing someone else’s artwork is not illegal.
Reproducing someone else’s artwork without their permission and then attempting to profit from it by selling it is, however, very much illegal.
The whole area of tracing source material is a little bit shady. In many circles, it is widely accepted that artists trace a source image and then make their own adjustments so that it becomes theirs.
On the other hand, there are some artists who believe that even if significant changes have been made to a source image, it should still be illegal to pass it off as one’s own or make a profit from it without the original artist’s permission.
Is the grid method cheating?
No, drawing using a grid is not cheating. You are merely using one of the many tools available to you as an artist.
However, art teachers across the land will tell you that it is not advisable to use the grid method if you wish to improve as an artist.
When drawing with a grid, you are less focused on the subject of your art and more on the grid itself. Thus you will not learn to work with perspective, light, and shadow. Ultimately, you will struggle to do little more than copy images exactly as they are, rather than working with your imagination.
Do painters trace?
Yes, painters trace. Many artists throughout history have made use of tracing in the creation of their work. Some of the great masterpieces will have been painted by someone who has traced at some point in their life.
Tracing can be a natural part of the creative process. Not only that, commercial artists will often trace because it saves them time, and at the end of the day, time translates to money.
Comparison Table For 10 Top Digital Art Projector
5 Best Digital Art Projectors reviews
1. AuKing Mini Projector | Best Projector For Art Projects
This very reasonably priced projector from AuKing is best suited to use in small, confined spaces where light can easily be blocked out or turned off.
As an entry level mini projector, the native resolution you will get from this machine is 800*480. You would be hard-pressed to find a projector for a similar price that gives you a better resolution.
Do not worry that this projector will not be compatible with your work though, because it does support, and is able to convert, 1080p resolution.
The contrast ratio of 2000:1 is, again, likely the best you will get for a digital projector for art at this price.
It is enough, from a close proximity, to allow the shades you have used in your work to stand out. Moving this projector back from optimum range, however, will likely be detrimental to how the colour is perceived.
Projection distance ranges from 1 meter to 5 meters, with a 32” image size from minimum distance, and 170” image size from the maximum distance.
With 2600 lumens brightness, it is best to use this projector at somewhere close to mid-range with the lights off if you want to get the best image possible.
- Easily portable and lightweight projector
- LED bulbs give the projector longevity
- Dual speakers allow superior quality for work with sound
- Easily plug multiple devices including phones
2. VANKYO Performance V630 | Best Projector For Art
The VANKYO Performance V630 is a fantastic projector for serious digital artists who can afford to spend extra money on the equipment that they are using to showcase or help them with their work.
Straight off the bat you are looking at a high 1920*1080 native resolution that ensures you are getting clear, crisp vivid imagery from the projector.
This high resolution combines with a 5000:1 contrast ratio that ensures that the shading of your work transfers from your workstation, or device, to projection with the exact coloration and shading that comes with the original work.
It is claimed that this vankyo art projector has a 6500 lumens brightness which means you can project your work in a bright room whether that be daylight hours, or with artificial light on.
Just how sharp the image is will depend on external factors and also whether you are able to place the projector at the optimal performance distance. So, consider the brightness and how this translates to picture with this in mind.
Minimum image size from 5.15ft is 46”, with the projector still usable from up to 30ft away. A massive 300-inch projection is possible from the machine. You are also able to scale down images to 75% to fit your screen if needed.
- Low noise function to rid disturbances during showings
- Can be mounted or put on a tripod
3. Artograph EZ Tracer Art Projector | best mini projector for artists
The third projector on this list comes with a more specific usage than the other projectors we have seen, in that it has been created specifically for projecting a digital image of flat or small 3D art onto a wall, canvas or other type of media to allow it to be traced.
Any 4×4 inch media can be placed under the projector and projected from between 2.5 to 5 times larger onto the surface of your choosing.
This device is great for beginners who want to create murals, do their own takes of famous works, or perhaps do a project based on photos they have taken.
When you buy this projector, it will come without a bulb, but for getting the most out of the device you should look to purchase an LED bulb that gives at least 1600 lumens of light.
It should be possible for you to take a piece of digital art on your smart phone, project it to another form of media, and trace it to make your own piece of art.
Not only is it incredibly useful, but it is easy to travel with weighing only 2 pounds, so you can take it anywhere in order to begin some work.
- Ideal projector to copy existing images to a new form of media
- Enlarges 4×4 inch media to 5 times larger
4. DR J Professional HI-04 | Best Digital Projectors For Artists
The DR. J Professional has almost four and half stars from roughly 10,000 reviews on Amazon – people who have used this device for varying reasons including digital art projection.
As a projector for digital artists, for its price, it has many advantages over its competitors at this level.
A sharp 1280*720 native combined with a 2000:1 contrast ratio will get you a truer to life coloration than other mini projectors can manage.
This projector is supposed to have 2000 lumens of brightness, so for best image projection you will need to ensure that you work in a space that does not have too much ambient light. Darkness is the best option here.
This projector is the perfect fit for a more confined space, with a 32” image possible from 1.5 meters and a much greater 176” from 5 meters back.
Obviously, with the other specs this projector has, the further back you move it the more you will lessen the possible image quality.
A lamp life of 40,000 hours will ensure that you get years of great usage from this projector before having to do any maintenance or replace it. This device can be the best projector for artist.
- Comes with 100” projector screen
- Can connect wirelessly with smartphone using a wireless HDMI dongle
- Easy to connect to a tripod for convenient placement in a room
5. TOPVISION Mini Projector | Best Art Projector For Tracing
The final entry on this list of the best projectors for digital artists is this mini projector from TOPVISION.
If portability is important as part of your work, then this projector is reasonably easy to carry with a weight of 2.75 pounds. It is not particularly bulky either with dimensions of 7.36×5.87×3.07 inches.
Being a mini projector, you are naturally looking at a lower native resolution and this projector is no exception coming in with 800*480 and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. You will get a fairly vivid image which will be better the closer you are to the projection screen or wall.
Even though this projector has a maximum screen size of 176 inches, for an optimum image you need to set the projector to get a smaller screen.
The 3600 lux brightness that this projector emits may allow you to get a reasonably decent image in a low light setting, but for best image projection you will most definitely want a darkened room to do your digital artwork justice.
This projector is absolutely for use in a smaller room, with a minimum throw distance of 1.5 meters, and a maximum of 5.2 meters.
- Easily connects to mobile devices through USB rather than HDMI cable
- Projector runs quietly to avoid distracting noise when presenting digital artwork
Digital Art Projectors Buyer’s Guide
It is only natural for a digital artist to want to display their work to get maximum impact. Therefore, a projector with the highest resolution possible is the most desirable.
But the higher the resolution of the projector the more money you are going to have to fork out.
When looking at projector resolution make sure you have understood the difference between native and supported resolution.
Supported resolution is telling you the maximum resolution media the projector can convert into its native resolution. Native resolution is what you actually see projected.
For example, even if a projector supports 1080p, if the native resolution is 480p, what you see is that larger number converted down to the lesser resolution.
This is often the case with mini projectors which, though having a lower native resolution, still give a good image so long as everything is set up for optimum image projection.
For any artist color is important. If you have deliberately chosen to shade your work a certain way, you want a projector that is going to do justice to the subtlety that you have used.
That is where the contrast ratio comes in.
Even a mini projector will provide you a 2000:1 contrast ratio. That means your white is 2000 times brighter than your black.
To really do justice to the intricacies of your work, the higher the contrast ratio that you can find, the better.
The brightness of your best art tracing projector, either measured in lumens or lux, will determine the type of environment that the projector can be used in.
Most mini projectors have a lower lumens or lux, which means that anything other than a completely dark room will see an impact in the projection quality.
If you want to project in a dimly lit room then a lumen of over 2000 is needed.
Start looking towards the 4000 lumens mark, if you want to present your work in a room with normal lighting, and higher still if looking to effectively present outside.
4. Lamp life
You do not want to be regularly spending money replacing bulbs on your projector so be sure to check the lamp life of the projector you are seeking to buy.
LED lamps tend to have a fantastic lifespan usually above 30,000 hours on the projectors that support high resolution, while also having a reasonable contrast ratio and lumens.
The best digital art projectors will enhance the quality of your work when they project the images onto screen.
The projectors we have listed offer both longevity and quality so that you are getting the most for your money should you choose to buy one.
We have also listed some projectors that allow you to project a digital image in order to draw it, because we understand that there are various forms of work through the digital medium.
Whatever form of digital art you need a projector for, we are certain the right one for you can be found here.
All that leaves us to do is wish you well for the future.Enjoy producing and displaying some fantastic digital art.