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Old 03-29-2004, 05:25 PM   #1
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Colors in artificial lighting




Inspired by the very technical information on artificial lighting, I would like to contribute with a, hopefully, very simple question on how artificial lighting affects our perception of color.

The setup is: A photo in color to be painted in a warm (orange) light.
All the colors will be more or less orange, but you paint it as you see it. The following day you take it out into the cold (blue) daylight. Would the colors, on the canvas, not have the same relative values as on the photo? I think so.

I normally paint my portraits in the daytime, from live or photo, so I have never really paid attention to the problem before.

But after thinking about it most of the day, I have come to this conclusion:
If painting a LIVE portrait then there vil be a problem about how the colored light "colors" the skin. You will see the exposed side as orange and the shadows as brown.

The following day, in the daylight, you will still see the colors as orange and brown although they are colder.

Besides the fact that it is tiring to work in bad light, you don

Last edited by Allan Rahbek; 03-30-2004 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 03-30-2004, 05:27 PM   #2
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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Metamerism

Allan,

I do have trouble jumping between artficial light and daylight, when painting from a photo reference. This is because I am using photographic prints from the best inkjet printing technology available to me (Epson Stylus Photo 2200), and just like all other inkjet prints, they have a visual phenomenon of colors shifting in hue, depending on the source of light. This is known as Metamerism.

In general, prints will appear greener in daylight and redder in artficial light. I use a RIP by ImagePrint (raster image processor) with my 2200, and it greatly improves the printer output. This RIP software gives me the option of optimising the print for viewing in either daylight, tungsten light , or two choices of fluorescent light (cool white fluorescent, or high-color-rendering flourescent).

So if I want to paint from a photo reference in daylight, the RIP will adjust the colors in the print for daylight, and if I want to work in artificial light, the RIP will adjust the print for viewing in that light. There is a big difference to me, and I may paint wrong colors if I am using the reference photo print in the wrong light.
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:02 PM   #3
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Hi Garth

I see what you mean, it
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:19 PM   #4
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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I love this machine. I just went inn to correct my terrible spelling - but it was already done, thanks.

Allan
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Old 03-20-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
Adriano Maggi Adriano Maggi is offline
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"Inspired by the very technical information on artificial lighting, I would like to contribute with a, hopefully, very simple question on how artificial lighting affects our perception of color."
Hi Allan
When I use pastels, I'm very carefull to avoid yellows,becouse artificial light have a yellow component. Otherwise the next day in a daylight the painting would be full of yellow tones,unbearable to see.
Ciao
Adriano
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:28 PM   #6
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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I don't know, Allan! I tend to avoid painting at all in artificial light because I can't really see the colors well enough. I know exactly what you're saying/asking, and I've often pondered it myself, and it short-circuits my brain every time
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:28 AM   #7
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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I try to keep painting to daylight hours too. . . especially for skin tones!
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:49 AM   #8
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriano Maggi
"Inspired by the very technical information on artificial lighting, I would like to contribute with a, hopefully, very simple question on how artificial lighting affects our perception of color."
Hi Allan
When I use pastels, I'm very carefull to avoid yellows,because artificial light have a yellow component. Otherwise the next day in a daylight the painting would be full of yellow tones,unbearable to see.
Ciao
Adriano
Hi Adriano,
When we paint in yellow artificial light all the colors will be affected by the light.

The reason that we can see colors at all is that things, and skin, reflects the light that shines on them. In full spectrum daylight you will see a green apple as a green apple, right?

What happens if you paint the green apple in a yellow studio light ?
Two things will happen. Because that the color balance of the light source is weighted toward yellow and therefore contains less red and blue, the green apple will appear more yellowish green and relatively lighter in value than if it was seen in full spectrum daylight.

But it is not only the color that changes when the light is out of balance, it is also the amount of light that is unbalanced. So if you see something that is multicolored, you will see the yellows as lighter than they are and the red / blue as darker than they are.

Allan
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:56 AM   #9
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra Tyng
I don't know, Allan! I tend to avoid painting at all in artificial light because I can't really see the colors well enough. I know exactly what you're saying/asking, and I've often pondered it myself, and it short-circuits my brain every time
Alex,
Daylight is so much stronger than artificial light and playful and inspiring

Allan
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:14 AM   #10
Adriano Maggi Adriano Maggi is offline
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Hi allan
what you 've said is perfecly right
The only mistake I would be worried about,when looking the day after in a daylight, is that the painting would'nt show a strong yellow colour. For this reason I use a daylight lamp (a blue one) or I avoid previously cadmium deep yellow from my box.
Ciao
Adriano
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