Communications, 2008, Oil on Panel, 18x24
So the lighting in my new studio is about a million times better than any studio space or room that I have ever worked in. In fact I don't recall ever having worked in a room with much if any good natural light (certainly no north light) and so over the years I have gotten quite used to working in a pool of light. And at this point I prefer it. Using lamps creates a stable light, one that I can depend on at any time of the day or night.
But now I have north light! Since I am not sure what to expect with that though, I decided to just go ahead and do my usual set up. I have three lights clamped to my easel. One is just a 60w bulb in one of those crappy metal lamp fixtures from the hardware store (I have a bunch of those, they come in handy). The middle one is a clamp on desk light, also 60w. The halogen light is my favorite. It's easily adjustable and I like the intense and warm color of the light from it, although having another bulb to even it out is important. I used to have a stronger halogen light but the switch broke on it and when I went to buy another one, I found that all of the halogen light were of a lower wattage. The new one is 100w and I think my old one was at least 150w. With the higher wattage halogen, I only needed one other lamp, but after I got the new one I had to had a third light to compensate.
I have another clamp light on my other easel, which is the one I used for larger panels in my old studio. Now that I have so much more room around my easels though, I don't know if I will do much painting at the second easel. But if I do, I have a bunch of extra clamp on lights and a good light stand.
The fixtures in the attic itself are fairly minimal. We put up two track lights, each with four lights. At first we put in halogen bulbs but I found the spotlight effect to be irritating. So I stood up on a too short step ladder the other day and put in 60w bulbs, which do a much better job of providing overall light in the room.
The south end of the attic is quite a bit darker than the north end. Mostly because of the historically accurate, yet small and impractical oval window that has a louvered exterior. Luckily though, I have a handy dandy floor lamp (you can see it in the photo above) that I picked up at a yard sale for five bucks a few years ago. It can take a 300w bulb which really lit up my old studio downstairs and now it is great for the dark side of my new studio. I won't need that lamp on when I work at my easels, but it will be good for when I have to prep panels on the south end of the room.
I know that I really should be using energy efficient bulbs, but I gotta say that I really hate the color of their light! We put one into a few of our can lights in the kitchen and their cool light on my nice cozy warm yellow walls bothered me so much that I finally changed them. So I will use the incandescent bulbs for as long as possible and I may even stockpile a few thousand. I keep hearing that they may soon be extinct and that we will have to use the fluorescent energy savers.
No great words of lighting advice here, I am afraid. I like my lighting, but would never recommend this wacky set up to anyone. I suppose I will change things up at some point and it won't be the end of the world. For now though, I do not plan on messing up what has worked for me so far.
More about moving into the attic tomorrow. It is filling up!