LUCY Drawing Tool

Sometimes all you can do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, shake the pea soup off your shoes and walk away with as much dignity as you can muster. That’s what Les Cookson did his first time on Shark Tank after an ill-fated, and sloppy, presentation of his invention, CarSik Bib. He wisely went right back to his original business, LUCIDArt, making beautiful replicas of historical devices used by the Old Masters who painted from the Early Renaissance through the Romanticism Movement—artists such as Vermeer, Caravaggio, da Vinci and Ingres.

Les became interested in the techniques of the Old Masters while taking a painting course in college, particularly the camera lucida (Latin for “light chamber”) that superimposes a subject onto canvas or paper to facilitate drawing. He had been drawing, painting and woodworking since he was a child, and his replicas of the camera lucida were very successful and very lucrative. Around the world, artists, universities, museums, and the prop departments of major television and movie studios display his creations.

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With his profits, Les could turn to solving the problems of the old camera lucida: image was small, dim and unsteady, and it was prohibitively expensive.

After much research and experimentation, Les transformed the Old World camera lucida into the modern and versatile LUCY Drawing Tool. He retained the device’s exquisite characteristics, while making it able to provide images that are larger, brighter, and more stable at an affordable price.

LUCY Flex and LUCY Pro

Les created two models of the LUCY. They both superimpose the subject onto the painting surface (e.g., canvas or paper). When you look through the view hole, optical mirrors reflect a transparent “ghost” image of the subject.


  • Made from fiberglass-infused polycarbonate.
  • The two-foot-long flex-neck arm clips onto a table or easel.
  • Creates a stable image up to 19 inches by 27 inches.
  • Brightness is adjustable.
  • Lens copies photos or enlarges them up to 300%.
  • Includes two optical filters and microfiber cleaning cloth.
  • Mirrors and filters are made from shatter-resistant acrylic glass.
  • Comes with a custom carrying bag.


  • Made from lightweight aluminum alloy.
  • The two-foot-long flex neck-arm secures to work space with the powder-coated steel clamp.
  • Has a solid mechanical arm with a diagonal cross support.
  • Creates a stable image up to 20 inches by 37 inches.
  • Brightness is adjustable.
  • Photo enlarger enlarges a 4-inch by 6-inch photo up to 16 inches by 24 inches.
  • Mirrors and filters are made from shatter-resistant acrylic glass.
  • Comes with custom carrying bag.
  • Both travel well, since no plugs, batteries or electricity are needed.

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Using the LUCY Drawing Tool

  • Clamp the LUCY to a table or easel.
  • Place your subject in front of you
  • Look down into the view hole. The optical mirrors create the “ghost” of your subject on your painting surface.
  • Adjust the brightness of the image.
  • Draw or paint over the reflected image, as much as you want to capture or as little. For instance, mark the outlines, shadows and highlights and get the correct perspective, proportion, position, shape, etc.
  • Then set aside your LUCY and enjoy finishing your masterpiece in whatever medium you prefer.

The LUCY is for beginners and professionals. If you are a purist, put all thought of “cheating” out of your mind. Surely if, say, Vermeer could use such a “magic tool,” so can you. Besides, for those less skilled in drawing, the LUCY is an effective teacher. Going through the process strengthens your hand-eye-brain connection. You’ll be able to produce impressive sketches with or without LUCY.

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Les felt much better entering the Tank this time than the last time when he left behind the pea soup mess. The Sharks laughed him off the last time, but this time, he’s the one laughing—all the way to the bank—with his millions of dollars in sales.

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Shark Tank Air Date: 04/08/2022 – Season 13 – Episode 19




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