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Dear Art Supply Company: Help Artists like Me and Make this...

A while back, I created a post about how to make a visualiser. I also mentioned my preferences for my visualiser to be separate from my easel. I talked about how there is nothing like this on the art market or art supply store. The most common you will find my happiest version of a viewfinder is in your large-ish city museums displaying these devices made most commonly in the 1700s to late 1800s.

Click on the link below if you would like to read this former blog post

For school, my final, I have to propose, and I can't think of any better one than my place for some company to take my renewed idea. So here goes nothing, here is my request: take this vital handy equipment from the dusty museum into the classrooms, field and studios of artist across the world. Revitalise this viewfinder and help artists across the globe make better art.

Maybe you work for or own an art company, or perhaps you want to make a business helping artists and handcraft these on Etsy. I don't know. But if you are reading this, someone could make a killing if they put a lifetime into making the best visualiser's possible.

If I were to take this to an art company, I think I may look at Sennelier or Caran D'ache (Well, cause I am partial to their paints and pigments.)

Want to check out their websites? Here are the links above. I normally attach them to the picture, but in the lower small gallery format, this Wix blog dose not have that option. Maybe this is better. Tell me your preferences in the comments below. 

Or Maybe Arteza (They are affordable, steady, and seem to be a creative company always coming up with something new). Another good shout may be Mabef, as their primary goal is furnishing artists studios, art classrooms and all that jazz.

Click on the picture below to look at Arteza's web page

Well, anyway, without further ado, here is my proposal. Maybe one day, I will take the time and flush out this idea into a formal design and bring it to an art company like the ones above. But for now, it's just an approach. Or more like a sales pitch as to why these should be made than an actual design.

Please give it a read and tell me what you think in the comments below.

Recalculating Artistic Vison:

The Creation and Development of the New Viewfinder

“The Van-Gogh Visualizer”


While it is true that artists often make their tools and materials to adapt to their style of crafting, it is also true that artists constantly rather be creating their desired work instead of drafting the devices or tools that aid them in creating their artwork. There are persistent gaps in furniture supplies in the Plein air drawing and painting market and indoor studio markets. Currently, no art supply company is outfitting artists, schools, and other untapped profit sources with unique viewfinders with features and options that cater to differing art styles or work environments. Thus, this lack requires artists to make such devices themselves, and art supply companies cannot capitalize on this potential profitable income.


After a thorough search of the internet and art supply shops, it has come to attention that viewfinders have limited features and lack functional furniture additions to aid artists in their creative process. If an art-supply company such as yourself standardized and created better viewfinders outdoor and in-studio, artists, hobbyist, teachers, schools, and universities would invest in such devices. Your art supply company would profit from developing and producing a better viewfinder product for an untapped market and commercial customer base. Enclosed are ideas and options to create a viewfinder product, and special addons unlike anything on the current market.


Pictured to the right I am at the Pissarro gallery. Pissarro is one of the unsung legions of the art world. He worked with and taught a lot of the great maters of the impressionist and early abstract movements. Unfortunately a lot of his work was destroyed in the world wars, especially by the German Nazi's as he was a Jew. He escaped to England and painted here where I live for a time. I always wish more people knew about is work.



“The Italian architect and sculptor Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 - 1446) is credited as being the first person to make a mathematical study of the laws underlying linear perspective but the art theorist Leon Battista Alberti (1404 - 1472) was the first to set them out in writing for the use of artists in his treatise on painting, De Pictura (1436). From the 15th century onwards, artists have learnt these rules as part of their training.” (Drawing Techniques, Web Article)

Pictured below Albrecht Durer’s viewfinder (Horie).

Viewfinders are a part of that progress and have helped many artists with creating accurate perspective drawings. Viewfinders have been in everyday use since the late 1500s (The Drawing Machine Article). Famous artists such as Abreact Durr, and Vincent Van-Goh have used such devices in their paintings and etchings compositions (The History of Perspective Article). Viewfinders used to be more common as collapsible pieces of furniture and a vital part of the artist's tool kit. For Plein air painters and drafting technicians, these devices were considered and still are crucial to the practice of their craft. Many such furniture devices are now most common in museums. They were most accessible on the art market until the age of the camera overtook the more traditional pastime of painting sometime in the 1930s. Before the age of the camera, wood crafters and art supply stores made many such devices, but now art shops no longer create or supply such furniture for the handy viewfinder.

Historical Consequences

There are still and will always be plain air painters, art students and teachers who still need such devices. Creatives often use such devices as viewfinders for teaching perspective, creating exceptional compositions and many other methods that translate three dimensions into two-dimensional surfaces.

This forgotten market has become an untapped resource that could be novel support for the company that develops and creates such a machine.

Companies have become icons based on the quality and uniqueness of their products, and this line of furniture could be one such item your company is known for with a robust and loyal customer base.

Pictured to the left is Van-goth Viewfinder design.

(Heiligman, Vincent and Theo)

These Historical images provided in this proposal are such furniture items made for indoor and outdoor use. Artists who often find out about independent viewfinder furniture base their homemade tools on viewfinders such as these depicted. Because they are a few of the most recognized images available to the artist's research.

Pictured below Is Vincent Van Gogh's drawing of his visualizer

  1. Using Master Artists could be wonderful way to find a name for your viewfinder furniture and create well established branding tools to help your art supply company sell more units.

Example: Want to be like Van-Gogh? He used a Viewfinder, and our innovative viewfinder is based on his original design.

  • This sales tactic is a well-established one for a good reason. The company should use it because it will help increase sales of units. The foremost customer base will be interested in the historical significance of the rebirth of the viewfinder that they can own a section of history and use it to create their works of art just like the experts they admire.

Problems with Available Viewfinder Products:

  1. There are no available viewfinders in A series sized frames and limited availability in American Legal or Standard sized framed viewfinders. (A Paper Sizes)

  • The problem with current viewfinders is they do not conform to easily available surfaces sizes. Not conforming to the international standers of A-series sizes or American Legal sizes means:

  • Artists must adjust their papers and canvass to fit the size of the viewfinder if they purchase the viewfinders available on the market.

  • Adjusting surface sizes is time-consuming and often wastes the resources of the artist and the environment. Plus, art companies are losing a potential income resource this market would otherwise crate a demand for such products.

  • Artists must take time away from making art to create view finder machines that work for them and their art style.

  • None of the viewfinders are or come with such collapsible furniture devices on the market which do not require being attached to the artist's easel.

  • The problem with this set up is that it will limit the artist's view to draw or paint to what is immediate to the right or left of their easel because these are the only places in which a viewfinder can be attached to an easel. (Jackson’s: Viewfinder.) (Earlywish 2 x Artists Viewfinder).

Solutions to Creating a Better Viewfinder Product

The Van-Gogh Visualizer Collapsible Furniture The viewfinder can easily be broken down into a small bag of three parts. This will make it portable and great for Plein air artists, students, and artists working inside and out of the studio.

  • Tripod

It folds up into a small 13 inch tall by 5 inches round easily carried in a backpack.

  • Viewfinder frame

Frame breaks down into four easily assembled bars.

  • Bars at their smallest are six inches across and one half to one inch thick.

Insertable panes

  • Each pane will have graphs and modern composition devices on any of the individual transparent panes.

  • Pains may be made from a durable transparent substance like resin or other green materials. Advertising care for the earth with green sustainably made products will resonate with this demographic as many will be landscape painters who care their places where their craft is completed do not vanish.

Optional use of a "Buy What You Need policy."

  1. Create a viewfinder frame that fits any universal tripod.

  • Selling just the framing could mean an artist would buy multiple frames and who have no need for another tripod.

  • Selling the framing separate from the tripod could also be a wonderful way to earn more profit and increase customer loyalty.

2. Selling pane replacements would ensure recurring customer business. Also, producing new measurements and sizes and graphs in the pains could significantly boost customer loyalty. This also allows artists who like their viewfinders to the emanate right or left of them these panes as well, creating even more income.

Viewfinder Construction

  • Viewfinder frame once assembled will attach to the tripod by the bottom bar which will screw onto the tripods top insert screw.

  • View finders frame will consist of 4 bars that are joined together using a L joint.

  • In the topmost bar there will be an accessible hole which the interchangeable panes can be slid into place.

Pictured left is a rough draft concept drawing. Design choices and improvements need to be made concerning martials and overall appearance. A distinguished art company such as yours, will have the freedom to create a design that fits your art company values and customer base. This formal proposal recommends that such furniture should be created based on books potential profit margin and aid to the global artistic community. Ideas shown are based on options artists care about while out in the field or require treasuring the product on a regular basis.

The Inner Frame

The inner frame of the viewfinder is made with an adjustable bar. These bars can change up to or down in physical size and collapse into smaller, more compact peace for storage and portability.

Inner frames will fallow standardized canvas and paper sizes. This will feature as a main selling point to the customer because they will never have to resize their papers to fit current viewfinders out on the market.

Fallow A standardized international sizes OR Fallow American standard sizes

Create an interchangeable slot within the structure of the viewfinder.

  • The slot will provide a space to place transparent pains which the artist can change at will with:

  • Interchangeable slots can be sold as part or separately from the viewfinder. Selling pane replacements would ensure recurring customer business. Also, selling with new grafts, sizes and grids in the pains could significantly boost customer loyalty.

Varied kinds of grids: Size of panes: Graphed pained segments should be measured in:

  • Three quarters view

  • Golden mean

  • One point perspective

  • A standard size

  • American standard sizes

  • Inches

  • Centimeters

  • Millimeters

  • Segments found on Architect's rulers


  • Often artists must carry their furniture with them when going to their drafting site. Making viewfinders out of products such as Bolsa wood or aluminum would ensure that the viewfinder was not too heavy.

  • Create a stronger, more heavyweight version for in-studio work or for those artists who work in challenging weather conditions such as wind, snow, or unruly terrain. Materials such as hardwoods or no corrosive metals would be great choices.

Insert a Level into the viewfinder and the attachable tripod legs.

  • Having a level or square viewfinder will help ensure the artist that the viewfinder is correct and coordinated with the desired view inside the viewfinder.

  • Small features like this help artists if they are drafting or creating their works on-site because they will not separate one.

Retractable spikes

  • When working outside, artists often need to make sure their equipment can stand the weather. When working in windy weather, knowing one's equipment will not tip over is essential to a positive working environment. Such experiences can have positive or negative associations with your art supply companies' equipment and other supplies. Placing retractable spikes that will pierce the earth to ensure the viewfinder is secure will be a handy design feature. It will also create a name, and preference for your products because these kinds of details make an artist working environment particularly pleasant. Pleasant work environments reinforce the quality of your brand. I suggest placing an emphasis on these architectural choices as they will make the device profitable and create a steady income for years to come.


The average cost of a Research and Developer salary is 60,000 dollars a year. Development of such an item may take up to 2 months to create, get the kinks out, find and define the martials needed to create such a product. The work will also need to be tested in the field by a sample of artists and allow time to change the prototype according to their feedback. If the work took a team of three R&D two months, then approximately 30, 000 dollars would be spent on crafting such a device.

Depending on the how units are sold, packaged or packed as grouped units' items sold together, individual items, or all as one unit. All these options will create differing price points. Art supply stores would have to descanted on price points, and package systems that fit them, and their customer's needs.

Sale of induvial item Sale of units Tripod Tripod, Frame, and One standard Pane Viewfinder Frame Tripod and Frame Insert panes All available Pains

If an artist where to make such an item from wood, plexiglass, and an available tripod; Had a studio with available tools capable of making such an item, it would cost 45 dollars for the tripod (Faith, K&F Concept). Wood (Balsa Strips) and fittings would be around 30-60 dollars and the plexiglass- 10 dollars for one sheet of plexiglass (Green 6T21 Glass, Perspex Sheet.). So, for the average of 100- 140 dollars plus 3-6 days' work which they would lose if they made such a device themselves. If the average minimum wage is 15 dollars an hour, and they worked only for three days they would spend 450-490 dollars making such a device.

Whereas if an art company made such an item, they could get the supplies wholesale, or even use some of their already used equipment and make it for much cheaper. According to Kohlbach, one can take on average “40% off the retail price.”. Making the cost of martials of a viewfinder 40-60 dollars or less then of an artist made such a device. If the average art supply store sold each viewfinder with frame, tripod, and a standard pane, for 130 dollars the artist would save 320 dollars and the company would gain at least 60-80 dollars per sale of each unit.

This is not including each pain with its graph, grid, or scale. Nor with or without retractable spikes. The add ones to such a device are endless. They could even do bundles for the full package say for 250 dollars and the artist would still be saving money and valuable time.

These items can be sold in bulk to schools, community centers, universities, or teachers. Since they can be safely used by older children as well as adults and senior citizens there will be lots of opportunist to gain profit and create a family friendly brand worth keeping.


Although upfront costs of research and development of a quality viewfinder with furniture may be high, the profits would outweigh the initial costs to make such a product once units are sold. Since there is nothing like it on the market, an art supply company could enjoy the patent, a short-term monopoly, and change how artists create compositions. Also, if an art supply company would invest in such a device, artists would not have to spend their time making and designing their own and or paying a crafter higher fees to make such a device as a one-off, uniquely crafted for that artist. This viewfinder with furniture would be an investment for both artists and art supply stores and equally profitable for each party.

Citations And Resorces:

“A Paper Sizes - A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10.” Paper Sizes, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

“A Very Brief History of Perspective.” Miira Artist Tools, LLC, Accessed 1 Feb. 2014.

“Balsa Strip 13Mm X 13Mm X 91Cm.” Hobbycraft, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Clarke, Jason. “James Watt Perspective Machine by John Miller.” Antiques Atlas, Jason Clarke Antiques, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Dürer, Albrecht. Draughtsman Making a Perspective Drawing of a Reclining Woman, 1525

“Drawing Techniques - Victoria and Albert Museum.” Victoria and Albert Museum, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

“Earlywish 2 x Artists Viewfinder for Painting Sculpting Drawing Sketching Painter Tool Aid: Amazon.Co.Uk: Kitchen & Home.” Amazon, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Faith, Kent. “K&F 70"/177cm Travel Tripod Compact Aluminum Tripod Monopod with 3-Way Swivel Pan Tilt Head Cellphone Holder Smartphone Clip.” K and F Concept, Kent Faith, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

“Green 6T21 Glass Look Perspex® Tint Sheet Disc Shape | Cut to Size.” Perspex Sheet, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Horie, Toshiyuki. “Chapter 3: The Viewfinder—Transparency and Voyeurism from Albrecht Dürer to Ai Weiwei | Columns.” WINDOW RESEARCH INSTITUTE, Window Research Institute, 8 Oct. 2020,

“Jackson’s: Viewfinder.” Jackson’s Art Supplies, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Kohlbach, Josh. “Wholesale Price vs Retail Price: How to Calculate Wholesale Price.” WooCommerce Wholesale Suite, 22 July 2020,

“Research & Development Cost.” Lumen, Boundless Accounting, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

“The Drawing Machine.” National Portrait Gallery, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

“The History of Perspective.” Essential Vermeer 3.0, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Heiligman, Deborah. “Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers.” Reprint, Square Fish, 2019.

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