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Old 10-07-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
Joan Breckwoldt Joan Breckwoldt is offline
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question Help with new studio lighting please




Hello artists,
After painting for many years I am finally going to get a studio. I am using a room in our house, 16'x10' and today the contractor removed the ceiling. It's going to have a vaulted ceiling with two 2'x4' skylight on the roof portion facing north. There is also a standard sized window (30"x50") on the north wall of the room. Also a widow on the south side and TWO windows facing east. I'm planning on putting curtains on every window so I can control the light. Dark thick non-reflective curtains (velvet like) and the walls will be dark greenish gray.

Here is where I need the help: To paint my model I would like to have all the light coming from one direction: north. So, the skylights will be facing north and as close to the bottom of the roofline, and the north facing window, as possible. I feel like that will get me lots of north light. But I feel I also need some more lights for cloudy or rainy days. I am thinking of one or possibly two banks of 4 tubes for some daylight tubes. My gut feeling says I need to get them over there on the north side of the room too, maybe right above the skylights (by that I mean closer to the peak of the roof) or below, closer to the wall. That way I can supplement the natural light on dreary days.

What about the other side of the room? Should I have a bank of lights up on that sloped ceiling too? I can always turn whatever I don't need off. I plan to have a pretty chandelier hanging from the middle of the room, perhaps not the most practical but it's my dream studio so I'm adding that luxury. That will give me a little light but I imagine that'll be turned off during the actual painting time.

Before this remodel I would paint with a spotlight on my model, a little light leaking in through the blinds usually from the east, and a 60 Watt bulb in the overhead fan/light combo.

Any help with the configuration of the sky lights and daylight tubes will be greatly appreciated. As a side note, I don't generally paint at night because my models only come during the day. I live in Texas so we get plenty of light coming in all the windows.

Thank you!!!!
Joan
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:17 PM   #2
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Make sure the skylights are angled no more than 15 degrees or sunlight will enter. You may need to dormer them.

The fluorescent tubes could be between the skylight and the window or they can be placed in between the two skylights. Make sure you get 6500 degree kelvin tubes to match the color of the natural light with a high CRI. Lumichrome bulbs are the best.

Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:36 PM   #3
Joan Breckwoldt Joan Breckwoldt is offline
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Skylights

Thank you Marvin for your reply, I read one of your earlier posts about the artificial lighting, thank you.

Well, the skylights might be a problem. The pitch of the roof is close to a 45 degree angle. We already have the two skylights. Maybe the best thing would be to just build a dormer to hold a window facing north on the roof. That would be more costly and complicated and this job has already gotten more complicated than I thought. Probably the story of all remodels . . . .

If my model and easel are not directly under that skylight in any direct light, is it really that much of a problem to have some direct light coming in the skylights? I think tomorrow I need to test this by watching the sun and making a little model of a skylight to see how much sun really would come in.

Okay, you've got me worried about the skylights . . . .

Joan
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
Joan Breckwoldt Joan Breckwoldt is offline
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exclamation No skylights

Okay, thanks to the post by Marvin we have a better plan, I just talked to the contractor. We are going to build a dormer with windows facing north. Tomorrow the two skylights go back to the store.

Marvin, I can't thank you enough!!!

Joan
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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It was my pleasure.

Before you go forward you should do some serious research on artists' studios.

I did a search for Norman Rockwell's studio and found the following image of his north windows from the exterior and this link to a video: http://www.yankeemagazine.com/issues...l-studio-video
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
Clayton J. Beck III Clayton J. Beck III is offline
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Hi Joan and Marvin,

American Artist Magazine has just put out an issue called Studios. (I am one of the contributors to one of the articles on lighting.) It has a lot of good advice for studio set-up.

My advice is always to figure out the paintings you think you will want to paint and then build the studio to create that. Too many people build a studio solely on others strong advice and then find out that their paintings are all looking like the person's work who gave the advice. In other words, know what you are trying to create and then make your studio give you the closest set-ups to your vision. If your vision of your future work is weak, then you have a real problem because sometimes the studio one builds actually over powers their developing vision and makes it difficult to grow.

Good luck and I hope you will post photos of your remodel.

Clayton
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