I see in the last post I had intended to talk about studio lighting next. Not perhaps a very exciting topic but important for those that spend much time painting in a studio situation. And I do love my studio - it is a place of sanctuary away from the rest of the world where I do what I want to do.
Most writing on the topic of studio lighting will say that north facing window light is ideal as it gives a good source of natural light during the day without the effects of direct sunlight on your work. Obviously this is not always available depending on your studio circumstances. In my case we built a double car garage attached to our house about 10 years ago and chose a design that included an upstairs room with dormers built into the roof that I could use as a studio. Since our house faces south, I have one main wall in the studio with the dormers facing south and the other wall with built in skylights facing north. One of these skylights is the opening type with a screen so it also helps to provide cross-ventialtion in the summer months. So I get a mixture of south and north light which provides for a good source of diffuse lighting during most days.
It is still necessary to supplement the natural lighting most days (we get fog sometimes here on the east coast) and so I have multiple sources of electric lighting. My main source for watercolour work on the drafting table or the rolling cart is a "daylight" lamp. This can been seen sitting on my drafting table at the right side edge in the picture in my previous posting and also in the third photo below. This is about all I need for close-up work like watercolour painting. It uses a 20W daylight spiral bulb which is equivalent to a 100W incandescent bulb but produces a very natural light. I have noticed that similar bulbs are now available at hardware stores as well as for fluorescent lights. These day light bulbs are a great improvement over the cool white fluorescents or the yellow incandescents as they do not bias the colours you are painting.
Aside from the daylight lamp I have 2 overhead fluorescent fixtures each controlled by separate switches and also in the centre of the room an overhead fan/light combination which admittedly produces an incandescent yellow tone but it mostly gets washed out by all the other light sources. Overall this lighting set up gives me enough flexibility that I can adapt to most conditions through the year.
Here's a few photos to accompany the descriptions. If you have any other lighting solutions I'd be interested in hearing about them. Thanks for viewing.
|One of the studio dormers looking south|
|An opening skylight facing north|
|My Daylight lamp with storage in the base|
|The view from the other studio skylight looking north across the Kennebecasis River.|