Drawing freehand, while exciting, can be quite difficult. Even great artists need help from time-to-time, especially when they’re working on a big or large project that requires a lot of detail. Projectors help with that by enlarging the image you’re working on so you can see it more easily.
However, not every projector will give you the high-end image quality you need when drawing or painting. Rather than forcing you to blindly search through a ton of models to find the right one, this guide goes over the best artist projectors and then analyzes them to help you understand what they bring to the table.
- The BenQ MH535FHD is a great projector thanks to its 3600 lumens and stunning resolution. Those two features make it a great option for artists who like to work both inside and outside.
- Artists who need to work for long periods of time should check out the DPPower T20. This small device never overheats, allowing you to draw as long as you need. It is also inexpensive, making it good for those on a budget.
- The iDGLAX iDG-787 is the projector for artists who want quality at a low price. This affordable machine works exceptionally well in dark environments thanks to its 1080p display and 640 x 480 resolution.
Who Should Get This?
Any artist at any skill level can make use of a projector. Enlarging an image or projecting it onto a wide surface has a lot of applications that cover many different disciplines. Newbies will appreciate the ability to trace the art, as it gives them a better feel for how to draw, while more advanced artists will appreciate how the larger image increases their general productivity and leads to better results.
Best Projector for Artists: What to Consider?
While projectors used to be big, bulky machines, times have changed. The items are much smaller now, with many being compact enough to fit inside your pocket. However, while a tiny device is handy, it does come with a few setbacks. Namely, it runs on a smaller scale. As such, your image may not be as bright or clear as it would be on a larger device. Always take that into account and try to get a model that’s portable but still gives you the results you need.
Projectors, like any electronic device, are only compatible with specific brands or machines. Before purchasing yours, think about if you’re going to use it with an Apple, Android, or Windows device. Every system is different, and will likely require specific plugs or connecting ports. Getting a projector that doesn’t match up to your other devices is a waste of money.
Projectors measure their brightness in something known as lumens, which denotes how much light they emit. That is key for artists because, the more lumens a projector has, the better image quality it will produce. Always look for projectors with at least 150 lumens. That cuts down on ambient light and also enables you to work in outside environments if you so choose.
Best Art Projector: Our Picks for 2020
The BenQ MH535FHD is a solid all-around projector that works well for both art and non-art projects alike. The 3600 lumens provides exceptional quality and allows you to work in just about any ambient light environment. This model works well inside, but is also good for artists who like to bring their work outdoors into the yard or open studio. That brightness also means you can easily display your own pieces in a gallery if you so need.
Beyond the high lumen count, this projector also gets marks for its image quality. The HD 1080 display works well with the high contrast ratio to deliver great color distinction and ensures everything displayed will be in crisp, stunning detail. You’re never going to miss an important line or overlook a key element with this one. And, as mentioned above, you can also kick back and watch a movie on the device when your work is over.
What We Like:
- HD resolution
- Long-lasting lamp
- Competitive price
- 3600 lumens
- Great picture quality
- Works well in ambient lighting
- High contrast ratio
- Versatile, works for other uses as well
What We Don’t Like:
- Only uses HDMI connectors
2. DPPower T20
While large, powerful projectors help you see your art in exquisite detail, they can only run for so long. The DBPower T20, though small, fixes that issue. This model comes with a unique cooling system that prevents it from ever overheating. In that way, it is best for artists who like to work on a project for hours on end without interruption. The images it projects are also crystal clear and shown in a stunning amount of size and clarity for such a small machine.
Another bonus of this model is that it is a compact device that’s easy to carry around from space to space. That it gives it extra portability for artists who want to work in a range of different environments. The device is also incredibly bright and comes with 1500 lumens. Add that to the incredible number of connection ports, and you get a versatile projector that can be used by just about anyone.
What We Like:
- Connects to a range of devices
- Incredibly durable
- Large screen
- 1500 lumens
- Very bright
- Cooling system prevents overheating
- Delivers clear image quality
What We Don’t Like:
- A bit noisy when used inside
The iDGLAX iDG-787 is a great projector for artists who often find themselves working in darker spaces. This bright machine can handle 1080p and comes with a 640 x 480 resolution. That is more than enough power to handle any project. On top of that, the device is incredibly reliable and can last up to 14 years. While you may not need it that long, that shows you’re buying a quality product that will last.
This model also comes in at an incredibly low price point, especially considering its exceptional quality. It performs well over a long period of time, uses an LED lamp, and has 2-built in speakers if you need sound. Though it can struggle in the light, making it not ideal for artists who want to work outside during the day, it is small enough that you can take it with your to different places with little worry.
What We Like:
- Extended use time
- Built-in speakers
- Stunning resolution
- Various connection ports
- Cheap price point
What We Don’t Like:
- Not great in bright environments
Useful Tips and Information
As mentioned above, there are many different aspects to consider when getting an art projector. However, this guide only touches on a few. If you want a more in-depth discussion on different features to consider, this video is a good place to start.
There are many projector types out there. Though they all serve the same purpose, they operate in slightly different ways. This video breaks each one down and explains the best way to use them for your art.
Art projectors aren’t for everyone. In fact, many artists do not like them and actively stay away from the devices at all costs. However, modern drawers and painters know how handy they can be.
If you’re someone who wants to take their art to the next level, or who simply wants to make their life easier, a projector is a great way to go. Every device in this guide will give you great results and extra help. The one you pick is completely up to you.
Do you use an art projector? What do you commonly use it for? Let us know below.
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.