I’ve been asked about the use of binoculars in figure drawing from the live model and yes, I do use them myself.

They are mostly useful for the later stages of the drawing, and especially for exact observation of smaller details, especially in the facial features.  Normally I’d recommend that we draw just what we see, and subordinate all those details to the bigger picture.  However,  those smaller forms in the head are sometimes those that we wish to accent, and so that calls for great accuracy.  Some schools allow students to move closer to the model and even touch the model for that purpose, but for me, binoculars from our original viewing position are the way to go.

Of all the binoculars I’ve tried in this context, the best in my opinion are the Pentax Papillo
6.25 x 21.  They are available online.  Try or I actually got mine from

© Mandy Boursicot 2013