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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    The Bay AREA!
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Ideal lighting conditions for traditional painting?

    Hey everyone, I searched and searched through the forums trying to find a post about lighting but I had no luck. Can anyone point me in the right direction? What is a good lighting set up when painting indoors? I want to be able to read the color of my paints and avoid weird cast shadows ON my canvas while painting. I guess theres not really any way to avoid it but the shadows of my maul stick and hand are just sooo harsh! My lights right now are so warm theyre distorting the colors im mixing.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Thanked 177 Times in 139 Posts
    Well for starters, if you're right handed- you will want your light source to be coming from the left or top so that your cast shadows will never interfere with the area in which you are painting.
    "A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanked 1,447 Times in 748 Posts
    Natural light is the best, so if you have a big north facing window then use that. If you have to use artificial light you can buy special bulbs that are meant to mimic sunlight in terms of the light they produce. I have that and I have a lamp that has both a fluorescent and incandescent bulb in it so when you turn it on they combine to create a better light.

    I guess if you are having problems with cast shadows your light might be too strong/direct. I think it is pretty bad to have a really strong light as in addition to the shadows it causes reflection off of wet paint (making it harder to determine colour/value) and if you are just starting the white of the canvas can be so bright from the light that it can affect your ability to see colour.

    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

    "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee

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