Good lighting and Space is Important


Hi Folks,

I can not emphasize enough how important it is to paint with good lighting and in a roomy space. Recently I volunteered myself to do a demo at a Sunday art event with the end piece to be sold as a fund raiser. Upon arriving I was disappointed to find it was being held in a poorly lit very cluttered space. I tried t make the best of it and after 2 grueling hours left my ‘piece of art’ to be auctioned off on a small local social media site. it didn’t sell! When I went to pick it up and brought it out into the daylight I was appalled at the colours. Instead of all the lovely bright greens I knew to be in the original photograph I used, the colours were dark , muddy and uninspired. It weighed so heavily on me to have even attempted this under such dire conditions and produce such a dark piece I could hardly wait to get back to my studio and repaint the whole canvas. Which I did! I then sold it in a silent auction to raise funds for my students annual art show. So in the end it found a home and raised money for a better cause.

If I had a nickel for every time a student said to me, ” I painted for hours last night and when I got up in the morning the colours were all wrong, they were so dark and muddy” I’d be rich! So good lighting is important and that mean day light ! I recommend if you can only find time to paint at night to invest in a day light lamp or purchase day light bulbs from a Home Depot or lighting store and put them into your own light fixture.

Best light though is good old fashion day light, preferable NE or NW light so not to get the harshness and extreme shadows created by a southern exposure.

What about space. It too is important. I can always tell when a student is painting in a small cramped space as the picture again will be uninspired and feel crowded. Painting in a closet is not a good thing , although it may be nice to be able to close the door and leave all your stuff out. Try and find a space where you can stand back from your work often so you can see at a distance what needs to be changed.

Happy Painting



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