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How would you light a live model setup?

Dear friends,

I'm looking to paint a portrait from a live model and was wondering about the setup. More specifically, how to light the model in a way that allows me to work with Mark's method in a dark studio.

There are a lot of photography tutorials out there, and they all seem to utilize a softbox. Would this also work for a painter, or would the resultant lighting be too 'photographic' and artificial? Are there any studio light sources that have been tried and tested by artists for life work?

Any advice, especially first hand experience, is greatly appreciated!

-Sam

Comments

  • I wish I could help you with this but I have only worked from photos I have taken.  The photos were from natural light and sometimes with additional light source.  No one I have painted had the time to sit for a painting.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited June 24
    a soft box would be ok for a portrait if you wanted there to be no shadows it would be like a model in a catalog or a year book photo. If you want a more moody or even dramatic portrait, a single light source with hard or soft shadows would be better. Most famous artists painted there subjects in natural light either head on or at a angle to the light with a shadow side an a light side.
  • Mark talks about this in one of his videos.  He doesn’t use lights with a live model.  He has the person move room to room and within the room until he finds a good light and space.  Then he would adjust his position such that he can color check a white swatch and get a balanced source of light where he sits.

  • VirgilVirgil -
    edited June 26
    GTO said:
    Mark talks about this in one of his videos.  He doesn’t use lights with a live model.  He has the person move room to room and within the room until he finds a good light and space.  Then he would adjust his position such that he can color check a white swatch and get a balanced source of light where he sits.

    Can you point me to the video? Is it one of the Q&A's? I tried finding it on Mark's website to no avail.
  • @virgil I will try to find that video, but it may take a bit of digging to locate it.
  • @Virgil. I found a video clip from a video he called Painting Portraits   This is only a short clip I have not found the full video but there should be one out there.

    heres a link to the video clip

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A6moXhD1vZU


  • GTO said:
    @Virgil. I found a video clip from a video he called Painting Portraits   This is only a short clip I have not found the full video but there should be one out there.

    heres a link to the video clip

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A6moXhD1vZU


    Thanks, man! Funnily enough, I happen to own the full length portrait video, it just never occured me to rewatch that section. I have to say though, photographing the model is quite a bit easier than painting them from life as you don't have to worry about getting sufficient light on your canvas. It doesn't look like those any of those interior shots have the light to make painting viable.

    @kaustavM Thanks a ton for this image! It's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Now the challenge is figure out how to shield the model from my studio lights.


  • Thanks @kaustavM that's the chart that I was looking for to recommend. BTW Mark does his portraits from a photograph. 
    kaustavM
  • edited June 26
    @virgil 19th c way isto use curtains to obstruct light :)
  • BOB73 said:
    Thanks @kaustavM that's the chart that I was looking for to recommend. BTW Mark does his portraits from a photograph. 
    I try to paint portrait from life as much as possible. After that for refining  from photos 
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