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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What a Difference Lighting Can Make

Aglow by April M Rimpo
Ever notice how you feel better when you are getting a lot of sunlight? I don't mean necessarily sunbathing in full sun, just being in a space where you get a lot of indirect light from outdoors can do the trick. 

Sometimes you hear about the "perfect" North Light for a studio. The goal of Northern lighting is to have fairly consistent light throughout the day without direct light causing glare on your canvas or paper. Most people aren't lucky enough to have a studio in the Northern Hemisphere that is perfectly positioned to have Northern Light.

However, you can achieve great consistent light with the same light spectrum as the sun using the proper light bulbs. Touchstone Gallery changed out its lighting this year and the result has been amazing.  The artwork seems to really jump off the walls because the lighting is so great. This change at the gallery inspired me to research and obtain some new lights for my studio.

Since we weren't going to install new fixture I have two recessed lights that are located a little be behind my slanted painting table. Perhaps a third light just in front of the table might have been nice, but there is also a sliding door to the left of my table that also lets in some pretty nice light around mid-day to late afternoon.

In addition to have two fixtures above my painting table, I also have two over a table where I varnish my paintings.  These new lights have made it so much easier to see whether I have a good even coat of varnish on my piece. 

So what bulbs did I install? 
Hyperikon PAR38 LED Bulb, 14W (100W equivalent), 1260 lm, 5000K
(Crystal White White), CRI 90+, Flood Light, Medium Base (E26), Dimmable,
Energy Star. Although these happen to be dimmable, I have no need to dim them for use in my studio. 

These bulbs are available in a package of four (4) for just under $48.00. Being LED bulbs their lifetime should be excellent.

Side Benefit
To photograph my art I had a set of lights on stands with pretty bright incandescent lights that were always set up in my studio so I could photograph my paintings. I can set my camera for incandescent light to the colors came out pretty true with that setup.  It was inconvenient because the lights were in the way, but since I photograph my paintings each time I work on them it was not practical to take down the lights and set them back up every day.

I found with the new studio lights that I could set my camera light source for direct sun and photograph the work under my new studio lights. I have put away my light stands and now have that space back in my studio. I think color in my images of my paintings are actually a little truer, requiring less editing in a photo editor to adjust the colors to match the painting. A nice side benefit I hadn't anticipated.

For those wanting to understand more about lighting I found this website useful .

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

Copyright April M Rimpo 2016 All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution, but all other uses are prohibited.


  1. 'Aglow' breaks all the rules - and sometimes an artist just has to do it - to make a painting work. Because the shadows on the front most bag tell the eye that no way could the spokes of the umbrella be in full light. But consistency sometimes has to give way to interpretation. And so it goes.

    1. Actually the spokes were lit up, but white on white bags was confusing, so a little shadow was needed.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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