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Lamps for Drawing: A bright Guide

Lamps for Drawing: A bright Guide

The Importance of Proper Lighting for Creating Art

Having the right tools is essential for creating art, but while many artists focus on selecting the perfect brush or pencil, few consider the importance of proper lighting. The right lamp can significantly improve your drawing experience by enhancing visibility and creating a more comfortable working environment.

In this article, we’ll explore different types of lighting and how to use them effectively for drawing. Whether you’re an amateur artist or a student, this guide will provide valuable insights on how to illuminate your art.

Different Types of Light

There are three main types of light: natural light, artificial light, and mixed light.

Natural light is by far the best kind of light for drawing as it provides a soft, even glow. However, it’s not always reliable since it changes with the time of day and weather conditions.

Artificial light is the most common type used in studios, classrooms, and at desks. It’s easily controlled and available in various colors and intensities. However, prolonged exposure to artificial light can strain your eyes and cause fatigue.

Mixed light combines natural and artificial light, offering versatility and adaptability to your needs.

Drawing in Natural Light

When is the best time to draw with natural light, and how should you position yourself?

The best time to draw with natural light is from bright morning to late afternoon. As evening approaches and the sun sets, relying solely on natural light can strain your eyes and cause discomfort. For example, I often get headaches and need to stop drawing when it gets too dark.

A north-facing room is ideal for drawing as it provides plenty of indirect light, reducing harsh shadows and evenly illuminating your space. Ensure you draw when the sun is high and sit near a window, making sure your drawing hand doesn’t cast a shadow on the paper.

Natural Light for Drawing

Photo from Denys Striyeshyn on Unsplash

Drawing in Artificial Light

Artificial light is essential when daylight is too dim or the sun has set. It simulates natural light and can be easily controlled.

To avoid eye fatigue, use daylight lamps rather than cheap artificial lights. High-quality daylight lamps produce a natural light that is gentle on the eyes. These lamps are available in various stores or online. You don’t need a lamp specifically for artists; for instance, I use a daylight lamp designed for video recording.

Previously, I used a standard lamp from a Swedish furniture store, but its awkward positioning and warm light made it unsuitable for drawing, especially when working with colors. In contrast, my Raleno daylight lamp provides neutral light, perfect for both drawing and video recording.

Drawing in Mixed Light

When natural light alone isn’t sufficient, supplement it with artificial light. Position your artificial light to prevent your drawing hand from casting shadows on the paper.

Combining artificial and natural light allows for better control of lighting conditions, creating a more comfortable and even illumination for your eyes. For the best results, match the artificial light to the natural light.

Final Tips

Now that you understand the different types of lighting and their effects on drawing, here are some final tips:

  • Experiment with various light sources and levels to find what works best for you.
  • Take frequent breaks when using artificial lighting to rest your eyes.
  • Sit or stand near a window when drawing with natural light.
  • Add artificial light when it gets too dark outside.
  • Match artificial light to natural light for the best results.

Photo from Johannes Plenio on Unsplash