At one time or another, we have all looked through that little window in our camera to see what would be in the picture. That window is called the viewfinder. But holding a camera up to your eye can become awkward and tiring. You can easily make your own viewfinder by taking a 3" X 5" index card or any piece of stiff board, and cutting an opening 2"x3". It's that simple. At right, you see one style of cardboard viewfinder with three different-sized openings. Adding an additional piece of board with a paper clip will enable you to adjust your viewfinder to a square and even vertical opening. Holding the viewfinder farther away shows a distant view and gives you a smaller portion of the landscape. Moving the viewfinder closer will give you a broader scope of the same view.
Below, you can see how to adapt your hands to form a view-finder. (You will be less likely to leave these at home!) With a little practice, using a viewfinder will become second nature, and in time you will train your eye to do the job of the viewer. However, don't expect to find the perfect picture to copy. Use the scene that stimulated your interest, and develop it into your drawing.
In a pinch, just use your hands as a viewfinder.
Holding your pencil in this manner is ideal for doing detailed drawings and small works.
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