Friday, March 19, 2010

The Perfect Evening

Case in point: Lighting is detrimental to a painting's success.

I began this painting of my friend Susan last fall, and she would sit for me in the evenings, reading her book aloud while I worked.  Painting at night was both good and bad. It was good in that my studio, which lacks north lighting of any kind (north light is, of course, ideal!), was able to stay controlled with one light source as opposed to being bombarded by light coming in from all over the place through the windows. The bad part: I was literally painting in the dark! I had a small light to illuminate my canvas, but this caused issues with glare on the wet paint, so I had to move it back quite a way to see what I was doing.

I started the painting using a cool light, but decided it needed to look more natural and warm, like she was actually reading next to a lamp. So, after switching out the light (I didn't have a real lamp), I was much happier with the warm colors and deep shadows. Below: original lighting...

The Perfect Evening, original lighting
Here it is with the lighting I eventually switched to:

The Perfect Evening, better lighting
And the final painting, which you can find on my website with detail shots here:

The Perfect Evening, 24x36, oil on linen


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