Artists need their art studios to create an atmosphere that cultivates and caters to their creativity. While artists are typically very talented in the art spectrum side of things, lighting their art studio is often another thing altogether. It can be downright frustrating because the light is often too bright or too dim. But you need to get your lighting right in your art studio for one simple, obvious reason: it’s the source of light that you’ll paint under. And, that’s what determines how you’ll view the colors in your paintings. In return, every artistic decision you make will be based on the light in your studio.
Setting Up Your Art Studio
It pays to get your lighting right in your art studio. After all, you want the full experience of being an artist.
Some artists make the mistake of thinking more light is better. They open the windows, place lamps throughout the room, and install bright overhead lighting. In some cases, that might work. But, often it takes more than that, or we should say, less than that because sometimes less is more.
Flooding your art studio with light is likely not the answer you’re looking for. What is optimum is to have good, quality light that makes it a joy to pursue your art.
Now, here’s the tricky part. Sometimes when you’re under the light, nothing seems amiss. The problem is that your eyes adjust to their surroundings.
That’s why many artists bring in lighting designers to help their art studio reach its full potential.
In the meantime, here are some things you can do.
Take stock of your current lighting inventory.
Before thinking of incorporating new lighting, see what you already have to figure out what you really need. This might mean looking beyond your art studio in other areas of your home or business. Once you’ve learned more about art lighting, you may be able to simply tweak your lighting scheme.
Try a different angle.
The angle of light is just as important as the light itself. Your primary source of light should be directed from behind you, and you’ll want it at a 35-degree angle towards your art. Ensure that the light is evenly covering your artwork or work area. Once you’ve done that, evaluate it. Is there enough light on your artwork? Are there any glares? If so, more adjustments are needed.
Pay attention to the distance of the light.
You don’t want to place the light too far away because there wouldn’t be enough light source near where you work. On the other hand, if it’s too close to your artwork, the light would be uneven. Remember also that you could always move your easel or work area for better lighting.
Choose the right color temperature of the light.
All lights have different color temperatures. Consider how different your art looks when the sun streams through the windows of your studio versus how it looks on an overcast day. Color temperature is measured by the Kelvin scale. The ideal range to look for is 5,000K to 6,000K. Anything lower and the colors of your art will be too cool, rendering more blue than you want it. If the color temperature is too warm, you’ll get orange casts to your art.
Purchase lights with a color rendering index (CRI) over 80.
Color rendering depicts how well light reveals the colors of your artwork. Natural light during the day has a CRI of 100. Artists prefer light that is closer to natural light. So, when purchasing light bulbs, buy some that have a CRI of 80 or higher.
The best art lighting solution is probably the single most important factor in creating the perfect setting for your art studio. In an ideal environment for our studios, we’d have huge windows that faced North, and natural light would flood our art studios. Unfortunately, most of us rely on artificial lighting to give us the light we need to create our art. Besides, many of us paint during the nighttime.
The great thing about artificial light is that it’s consistent. You can paint during the day or night, and you can rely on getting the right light you need at all times.