Lighting Your Studio

The lighting you use for your studio and the color you paint the walls have an important impact on your work.

Use proper lighting, and paint your walls to minimize the color distortion that could cause your next masterpiece to appear very different in color from your original intent.

Wall Color To Enhance Your Workspace

Do not use vivid color on your studio walls. The reflection of the color will affect how you perceive your palette. Avoid dark colors, which absorb the light.

Use light neutral shades for your walls and ceiling. If white is too stark for your decorating taste, use very pale shades of off-white, grey or beige. If you prefer a hint of color, make sure that it is the palest of tints. If you have expanses of dark woodwork, such as paneling or a wall closet with doors, consider attaching a curtain rod above the area and hang neutral curtain across them to cover the dark area. This allows the light and shadows of the room to be consistent and maintain the overall temperature of the light.

Natural Lighting

The time-honored concept of northern light is great for artists who work during the day, as the light is generally consistent. However, this assumes endless days of dependable, unvarying weather conditions.

Most artists do not have that luxury. The day can turn suddenly cloudy, rainy and downright dark. A weather front comes in that remains for days and lighting is miserable.

Not many of us have the pleasure of wide north-facing skylights. We may work with tiny windows with lighting varying from morning to evening, or we may be relegated to a windowless basement. The theory of north light is great, but in actual practice it is more of a myth than a reality.

Since the artist must relinquish his quest for the mythical north light, he should replace that mission with one of finding illumination for his work area and his subject that will not detract from his work.

Lighting To Suit Your Studio Needs

Most homes use incandescent lighting, which produces a warm light. Office settings and office lighting equipment is generally fluorescent, which has a harsh, cold light. Neither one is the best kind of lighting to use for your workspace.

Full spectrum illumination is the preferable lighting to use for your studio. There is a lot of information to digest about lumens and Kelvin and watts, so dig out your physics hat and do some research on the proper particulars regarding full spectrum lighting if you want to make a project on the best lighting for your studio.

However, if you want proper lights to create a workable environment, consider your studio’s different workstations and set up suitable lighting for each area.

Lighting Your Painting Area

The lighting you use for your easel or painting table should not shadow your canvas or paper. Situate the light so the area is free of shadows or hot spots that impair your view of your painting. The light should also be positioned so the light and its glare do not reach your line of vision.

Lighting For Your Subject

Whether you are working from life, as with a still life or model, the light source or sources should be moveable to accommodate different lighting requirements. A plain wall or divider to act as a backdrop for shadows is important in producing believable shadowing on your artwork, so choose a space that can be modified to suit your work.

If you are working from reference material, make sure the piece is near your easel and is provided with the same lighting as your easel area. Differences in lighting could affect your color choices.

Whether you choose to incorporate natural illumination with your lighting scheme or rely solely on artificial light, be sure to look for consistency with the entire setup.

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