Lighting Detail

I have employed two photography lamps that are covered with diffusers and placed onto movable arms made of wood and dowels. I can move and angle the lights in any direction.

Painting during the day, when there is plenty of light is an absolute joy. But, during days that are overcast and especially during the night time hours, everything is a completely different situation. Artificial illumination has always been a struggle for artists. I would like to share with you what strategies I have employed in my own studio to deal with lighting.

Artificial illumination has a two-prong problem. One issue at hand is that you need to simulate natural daylight. If you are working on a painting during the day time hours and want to continue into the night, you need to know that your color readings from your eyes are consistent. This relates to mixing as well as judging color on the painting surface itself. The other major problem is to solve the issue of artificial spot lighting and glare. When you use lighting from above in a studio and directionally focus it on your painting, you will get a spotlight effect which will also create glare. These painting conditions are not optimal whatsoever, making it almost impossible to work.

In my studio, my husband and I came up with an interesting alternative to track lighting and typical studio lamps. As shown in the pictures, you will see that I am using two photography lamps that have been placed onto movable arms made of wood and dowels that are screwed to the back of my easel. Each of the wooden arms can move inward and outward so that I can position them at 45°, based upon the size of the painting I am working on. The lamps themselves can also be moved and angled upward and downward as well as side to side. Attached to the lamps with metal clamps are photographic diffusers. These diffusers take the spotlight light effect that comes from the bulbs and alters it through its translucent surface. This diffusing of light creates the most optimal lighting situation for painting with artificial lighting.

The movable arms are adhered to the back of my easel and can swing both inward and outward with ease.

Since color accuracy is important, you have to make sure you purchase bulbs that simulate natural daylight. This will allow you to maintain consistency between your daytime painting sessions as well as your night. It is also important that you use bulbs that do not heat up, especially if you’re going to use diffusers. Lightbulbs that stay cool over time will ensure that your diffusers, which are mainly made of a plastic, do not melt. I work for many hours painting and this would be an issue if the bulb was a traditional bulb! In the studio, I use Duracell Ultra light bulbs, which are 5000 K. It is a 60W LED bulb that simulates daylight and comes with two bulbs in a package. It is also considered an energy Star bulb.

The movable arms are attached to a piece of wood that extends past the width of my easel to accommodate very large paintings. The center piece of beveled wood is my custom mahl stick that can swing in any direction as well as twist.

In addition, I also use light blocking curtains on the windows, allowing me the most control when it comes to creating an even and consistent light situation day or night. My lights are hooked up to an outlet that allows both the lights to come on at the same time when I use a singular light switch as I enter the room. An electrician can set this up for you. Because these are photo lights, they also have their own on and off switches connected to the electrical cords. I have not had a need to use this option.

Whether you are a painter by day or by night, setting up your studio with the appropriate lighting will allow you to work in a color consistent way in any situation. Give it a try!

To see more images of my studio, click HERE!

If you are interested in learning more about working in relief on the painted surface or working in experimental mixed-media techniques, check out my Masterclass on patreon!

A Unique Approach:

Masterclass is a unique approach to learning, where each artist works on their own projects, whether that be standalone works or works in a series. Unlike a workshop or an assignment-driven class, this online atelier supports each individual artist’s intent on creating works that they really want to pursue. 

There are approximately SEVEN Live Events every month. The Masterclass Saturday sessions (usually held on the first Saturday of the month) are from 11:00am to 1:00pm EST and the In the Studio sessions are from 2:00pm to 3:00pm on the same day. In addition, there is a monthly Paint, Draw + Create Together event (once a month) on Tuesday from 11:00am to 1:00pm EST and the weekly Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration Social events (3 to 4 times a month) are on Tuesday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.

Patron Art Feedback sessions for Masterclass are conducted four times a year, giving each artist time to create their works. Artists that cannot attend live can submit up to 3 pieces for a live session review. Each review is recorded.

Experimental + Traditional Techniques:

The Masterclass online atelier covers a variety of topics from studio best practices to a vast array of experimental and traditional painting as well as expressive drawing techniques. The instructor provides monthly assistance and guidance through live  demonstrations, lectures and group chats. ​If you miss a class, you can watch the recording at a later date. 

Painted Passages: This series of posts and videos on how to employ freeform painting techniques to create magical backgrounds and environments in mixed media.

Collage Techniques: This series of posts and videos on using collage techniques in mixed-media works of art.

Working in Relief: This series of posts and videos focuses on working in relief in mixed media, exploring self-expression through texture-building and bas-relief techniques onto the painted surface.

Studio Basics: This series of posts and videos on artistic best practices for the studio artist, from working surfaces, grounds, painting mediums, varnishes, drawing and painting media to brushes, tools and equipment.

Expressive Drawing Series: This series of posts and videos explores alternative mark-making using drawing materials to create expressive works of art. 

Conceptual Development: This series of posts and videos focuses on developing concepts for visually expressive works of art.

Masks, Props + Costuming: This series of posts and videos focuses on how I create unique masks, props and costumes for my figurative subjects.

Insights from the Natural World: This series of posts and videos explores using nature as an inspirational muse for creating artistic works

Just Imagine: This series of posts and videos explore working in a sketchbook as well as creating custom made books. Tactile surfaces, unique designs and engaging presentations stimulate brain activity, allowing artists to drift back to a playful state of mind.

Paint Pictures with Words Writing Club: This series of posts and videos explore writing about our works, creating poetry and prose and using the power of words to assist in the creative process!

Mixed Media Artist Series: This series of posts and videos includes insightful and thought-provoking profiles of leading artists, working in unique techniques and innovative approaches in art.

The Art of Promotion: This series of posts and videos cover artistic promotional strategies and practices.

Check out the complete Collection of Content already on the Navigating the Labyrinth of the Creative Mind site!

Behind-the-Scenes Access:

The artist brings you into her studio through live behind-the-scenes access and weekly posts and videos to current projects and creative endeavors.​

In addition, you have early access to the artist’s upcoming Shows and Exhibitions.

Creative Enrichment:

Discussions regarding artistic growth and development, nurturing the creative spirit, developing personal content, embracing a multidisciplinary mindset and creating message-driven art are also explored as ways to assist artists on their own creative path.

Throughout this online workshop experience, artists discover a multitude of ways to ignite creativity, opening the door for the artistic spirit to shine! Check out the testimonials above from artists around the globe!

Get weekly access to the Rediscovering Your Creative Self weekly podcast which focuses on developing a relationship with the creative spirit that resides within and making daily lifestyle changes that enhance creativity, building a more creative and playful mindset.

Throughout the audio program, topics such as battling the inner critic, handling creative block, working through anxiety and self-doubt and interrupting the patterns that bind are explored. Managing fears, seeing mistakes as rites of passage, knowing when to open and close doors, riding the wave of triumphs and tribulations, avoiding distractions and coping with naysayers that keep one from seeing the light that resides within are covered.

Every month on the Navigating the Labyrinth of the Creative Mind site, there is new Sketchbook Challenge prompt and directive, allowing artists to discover alternative ways in which to practice art that is more personal. Art created from this endeavor is shared on the private Community Chat with other artists.

Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration Weekly Social

Every Tuesday night from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EST, you can attend an open sketchbook night social event called Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration. We discuss the Rediscovering Your Creative Self podcast episode of the week, setting an intention for our work and making daily lifestyle changes that enhance creativity.

Artists use the Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration weekly get-together as a time to commit to working in their sketchbook, experimenting and discussing with other artists topics that will help in developing a relationship with the creative spirit that resides within. Recordings are available for Masterclass artists if they miss a session!

Build a Community:

Be a part of a creative tribe, interacting with artists and enthusiasts from all around the world who have shared interests in art. This is an opportunity to create a robust artistic community, broadening your horizons as a creative person.

Your membership also includes private access to the  Community Group, where patrons share art and works-in-progress, post the monthly Sketchbook Challenges as well as the weekly Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration Social art and work from the Paint Pictures with Words Writing Club. They also share inspiration, discuss new artistic tools, products and equipment as well as interesting and informative books on art and so much more!

Join Us:

The Navigating the Labyrinth of the Creative Mind Online Atelier has weekly posts and videos as well as several LIVE events each month.​

Join month-to-month for $25/mo US or save 5% if you join yearly!

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