I was reading a conversation in a Facebook Botanical Art Group that artists were having a rough time deciding how to light their subjects and which direction the light should come from. This topic has always been open for debate and it is one of the subjects I love to tackle. Here are some things to think about:
1. Some artists just copy the light that is in the room at the time.
Problem: The light changes minute by minute, day to day
2. Some artists take a photograph and copy the light from the photograph.
Problem: If the lighting is too harsh or too dim or the person is not good at getting a good photograph it will be had to make the painting look 3 dimensional.
3. Some artists set up a consistent light source and work from it.
I think the best solution to getting the lighting correct and create the best 3 dimensional situation for your subject is to set up a DayLight lamp and place it at 11 o’clock/45 degrees from the picture plane. In this photo I show how I illuminate my subjects when I paint. I use a OTT Lite which can be found at many local art and craft stores. Click here for a direct link to where you can buy it.
I am still in the process of designing an online video class and this is part of the course content. If you would like to be on my mailing list make sure that you sign up for my newsletter and receive my “Free” Information on art supplies I use with Tips & How To’s!
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