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Studio Lighting

I see the topic of studio lighting has been well discussed. I have the 5000k bulbs and I'm working on getting them mounted on the ceiling which I think will be the perfect height for a 40-45 degree angle. I have a south facing window. Is it best for me to keep the blinds shut so the room is as dark as can be? How do I know how much natural light to let in? My paintings are coming out way too light and I'm thinking its because the room is too bright. I can't seem to find anyone who addresses this online. I have a black curtain behind me. I get that we need the right bulbs but how about the rest of the room? I do enjoy my view and the natural light that comes in through but its most important to me to have better painting results. 
Thoughts and advice much appreciated!


  • MeganSMeganS -
    edited September 2017
    As long as the light doesn't glare or leave one side brighter than the other, I wouldn't worry about it. I have two windows in my studio and love looking out of them while painting. You'll know once you start painting, if it's a problem. I sometimes will put my reference photo over my canvas before I start painting. If that glares, your painting will too. 
  • jennie_art

    Natural light should be OK. However, it does vary quite dramatically and introduces an unwanted and unpredictable variable. I prefer painting at night for this reason.

    Make sure you are wearing dark clothing.

    Depending on what you are doing, you may be able to anchor your darkest/saturated primaries using a color checker and a standard color chart. Then step up your values from these reference points. Try to lighten with less white.

  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited September 2017
    Isn't 35 degrees the correct angle? @jennie_art ; I have problems with natural light and use room darkening shades but I know most folks don't like to be kept in the  dark so to speak. If the natural light is stronger on your palette than your light bulb while the canvas is lit primarily by the bulb that would be a problem. I think artists in the old days learned how to cope and compensate for changing light. Either that or they might wait months for the right conditions.
  • @BOB73 You were right... 35 to 40 degrees is what mark says. I guess this is where not using that color checker comes back to bite me! 
  • Very important to use the color checker often, I use 2 x 5000K bulbs @ 35 degrees, studio windows face south, I keep covered while painting. Like Denis I like painting at night as well (often), regardless, my paintings appear too dark without lights as my studio is dark. The lights I use are equivalent to professional gallery/ museum lighting, my paintings look perfect while under these and sunlight for photos.
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