If the lens focused its image onto a small, angled mirror, and the mirror was placed just between the painter’s eye and the canvas, by glancing back and forth he could copy that bit of image until the color and tone precisely matched the reflected bit of reality. Five years ago, Jenison tried it out on the kitchen table. He took a black-and-white photograph and mounted it upside down, since a lens would project an image upside down. He put a round two-inch mirror on a stand between the photo and his painting surface. He immediately found that “when the color is the same, the mirror edge disappears,” and you’re through with that bit. Five hours later, he had painted a perfect duplicate of the photo, an astounding proof of concept by someone who can’t draw and had never painted a thing. Then he used his mirror trick to copy a color photo. Again, perfect.
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