WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Watercolor > The Learning Zone
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-21-2018, 11:15 PM
SteveBerry's Avatar
SteveBerry SteveBerry is online now
Veteran Member
Vallejo, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 692
 
Hails from United States
How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

In an effort to expand the hours in which I can paint, Ive done some research and set up some lights in my studio space. In the day time, the light is great- north side of the house, with a big window in front of me and French doors to the east. Great light. But at night, Ive had issues. Ive gotten new 5000k lights and the color on the work is much better- not so yellow anymore. However, Im getting glare now.

Ive got lights up above, behind me in a fixture, so unfortunately they cast a shadow from my body on to the work. As such, Ive picked up 2 clamp lights which Ive mounted on some nearby bookshelves- one on each side just in front of me. The volume of light is good (its bright), and its color, is good. The issue is glare, whcih makes it hard to paint- just for a new reason now!

All the videos I am finding are for oil or acrylics, so all the easels are vertical. I often paint standing at an easel too- and when I do there isnt as much of an issue. But I also like to paint sitting at the table, with my work flat or near flat. This makes almost all the advice I get about light positioning non-applicable.

Does anyone have any experienced input on this? Should the light come from my non-painting side at a low angle? Should I find a way to get the spotlight(s) (with 80w equivalent 5000k LED Hyperikon bulbs) straight up above the paper? Should I use a diffuser strapped over the spotlight lamps?

Im experimenting, but more educated input would be helpful. Thanks!
__________________
www.seamlessexpression.com
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-21-2018, 11:43 PM
indraneel indraneel is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Kolkata
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,369
 
Hails from India
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

It's a difficult problem if you want to be comfortable painting at an assortment of angles and also sitting and standing. And if the paper buckles too, then there is no solution. LEDs are definitely best, in theory, as they are point sources of light, so reflection angles are predictable. However, LEDs come with huge diffusers.

The problem is actually not the point source themselves, but the intensity required to provide diffused lighting. The eye is sensitive to contrast, and glare is only an abrupt change of contrast on a surface. Think about this: sunlight is much more powerful than a glare on a specular surface in candlelight, and yet we may see a glare in candle light, but no glare even on a bright sunny day.

Uniform lighting on the paper will not have a glare if the contrast difference between what the paper reflects specularly and the diffused reflection is minimal. This means perfectly scattered lighting. This is difficult for any flat diffuser to achieve. However, larger diffusers would definitely be better. So, I suggest bouncing the light off a nearby white wall (or a wall of some sort, maybe foamcore, or a curtain). A hemispherical wall would be even better. I have never experimented with umbrella bounced light for painting, but it may be a nice experiment. An easy way to check this is with a mirror. If it does not reflect any dark spots, then there will also be no glare... as the eye will adjust to the uniform brightness of it's reflection. Far easier than trying to check with wet paper.

PS: remember that northern light in a temperate zone is bounced and scattered to no end.... all 100% of it.

Last edited by indraneel : 01-21-2018 at 11:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 03:06 AM
shadye1's Avatar
shadye1 shadye1 is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,208
 
Hails from United Kingdom
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Big softbox diffusers are very good, I would look more to photo lighting/copying for ideas
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 08:20 AM
MarialenaS's Avatar
MarialenaS MarialenaS is offline
A Local Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5,654
 
Hails from Greece
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Your light must be placed on the opposite of your painting side and on the front. I have one of these desk lights that you can attach on the desk and I move it according my needs. I'm left hander so my light is attached on the right side of he desk.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.― Andy Warhol
https://www.marialenasarris.com/

Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 10:15 AM
Johndk Johndk is offline
Veteran Member
South Africa
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 979
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Hi Steve. I have the same problem - so thanks for this thread. I read with interest...
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 12:39 PM
ArtL ArtL is offline
Enthusiast
New York
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,236
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

I'm using a four foot fixture with two 5000k LED tubes. I have it in front of me over the table and have not experienced any glare. I usually work flat, but at times use a length of 2" square wood to get some tilt on the painting surface. I also have a table top easel that I can use, but I can't tilt it up more than about 40-45 because it will interfere with the light hitting the painting surface.

__________________
Art

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." ...Benjamin Franklin
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 03:33 PM
oldey oldey is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,026
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

What Marialena said. I have a similar light and 2 smaller ones placed in front of me. I often paint at night. The room also has flourescent ceiling lights that have a clear panel over them. I usually paint flat on the table or slightly tilted. The lights were from Ikea so nothing fancy.
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 03:49 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
Enthusiast
Pawtucket, RI
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,214
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Maybe you are using a lot wetter paper and more washes than a number of people in the thread are who are using lights that could definitely cause glare. I myself paint often at night but have few problems with glare because I paint pretty dry in wc; I had problems mostly with glossy acrylics but have a photography light on a floor stand that I can move around and my easily is very adjustible. I think the idea of diffusers is a good one, either a soft box or a real reflecting umbrella, which cost more, from what I have seen.
__________________
http://www.haroldroth.com/
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-22-2018, 11:27 PM
SteveBerry's Avatar
SteveBerry SteveBerry is online now
Veteran Member
Vallejo, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 692
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

I've actually been trying out two lamps in front of me, facing down from the front sides (perhaps 30 degrees to my side), but this has definitely been causing glare. I've tried turning them up to reflect off the ceiling, and of course this solves the glare issue, but you also lose a lot of the light because they're no longer aiming at the paper. Thus, I've been pondering getting higher wattage LED lights- more like 100w or 120w equivalents, instead of 80w- and trying the vertical lighting again. More wattage aimed at the ceiling ought to compensate for the lack of direct light, right?

One of the things I'm seeing from these photos and the conversation people are sharing is that the lamps people put in front of them are __directly__ in front of them, pointing down. I don't currently have a set up that allows this, but if I had my lamp(s) on some sort of simple arms, way up high, I could swivel them out to be more directly over the paper. That seems like it would help stop glare as well... as long as I didn't cast a shadow from my own head onto the paper instead!!

Unfortunately, I can't get the kind of broad lamps that have tubes. That's just not an option where the studio is.

I wonder what would be better-
1) lamps on arms that I can swivel out to be above and in front of my canvas? or
2) lamps that are brighter in wattage, but aim up to the white ceiling and only create reflected light? or
3) lamps that aim directly at the paper from a slight distance in front of me and to the sides, but have some sort of cloth diffuser on them so I don't get glare?
__________________
www.seamlessexpression.com
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2018, 08:34 AM
Johndk Johndk is offline
Veteran Member
South Africa
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 979
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

I found this interesting:

http://www.willkempartscholle.com/ar...ighting-design

Last edited by Johndk : 01-23-2018 at 08:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2018, 08:34 AM
MarialenaS's Avatar
MarialenaS MarialenaS is offline
A Local Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5,654
 
Hails from Greece
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Or perhaps something similar to this:

http://www.arttime.gr/index.php?rout...oduct_id=26431

Two on each side of your easel or desk and slightly on the back . As these lights can be adjusted up to 2.10 meters height and you can turn them their hat on whatever direction is more convenient for you, they will probably eliminate any glare problems that you might have no matter if you work flat or at an easel etc.

ETA: Click for the English version of the page on the upper left corner of the website. I don't want to read that these are Greek to you...
Attached Images
 
__________________
Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.― Andy Warhol
https://www.marialenasarris.com/


Last edited by MarialenaS : 01-23-2018 at 08:38 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2018, 09:38 AM
SteveBerry's Avatar
SteveBerry SteveBerry is online now
Veteran Member
Vallejo, CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 692
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johndk

John,
Thanks for sharing the link to this article. This was one of the most useful resources I found last week, while pouring over things. I'm sure it'll be useful to others as they consider things. I couldn't get the link to go through, so I thought I'd try and share it again. When I looked for it through google, it worked, so the site is live, despite the link not working.

http://willkempartschool.com/art-stu...ghting-design/
__________________
www.seamlessexpression.com
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2018, 10:46 AM
virgil carter's Avatar
virgil carter virgil carter is online now
A Local Legend
Boerne, TX USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,943
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Steve, I can't open the link, but as others have suggested if using a normal reflector puts too much direct light on the surface of your paper and causes glare, have you considered photographic diffusers, soft boxes and umbrellas?

Bouncing the direct light off the ceiling in just another way to achieve the same results as using diffusers, soft boxes and umbrellas I believe...

Sling paint,
Virgil
__________________
Virgil Carter
http://www.virgilcarterfineart.com/
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2018, 10:50 AM
Watercolour lover's Avatar
Watercolour lover Watercolour lover is offline
Enthusiast
Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,835
 
Hails from Canada
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtL
I'm using a four foot fixture with two 5000k LED tubes. I have it in front of me over the table and have not experienced any glare. I usually work flat, but at times use a length of 2" square wood to get some tilt on the painting surface. I also have a table top easel that I can use, but I can't tilt it up more than about 40-45 because it will interfere with the light hitting the painting surface.


Almost identical to my set-up and one a lot of commercial artists use. I frequently prop my project vertically at the back of the table and use a camera on a tripod to photograph the image. My layout desk tilts slightly, and this seems to help in preventing glare. I also have the light 24" from the wall and level. I have one daylight cool tube and one warm tube to balance the colour spectrum. I also have a two-tube fluorescent lamp. I should add I have two adjacent windows, the bigger one facing north. As I'm long retired I rarely work at night but with the dark winter nights here in Ontario, it often seems the dead of night!

Last edited by Watercolour lover : 01-23-2018 at 10:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-23-2018, 11:06 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
Enthusiast
Pawtucket, RI
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,214
 
Hails from United States
Re: How to stop glare on wet watercolor paper while painting at night?

I have my floor light in the upper left-hand corner of my easel, since I'm right-handed. The lamp has a ceramic base so it can take much higher wattage, but a 32W CFL daylight is plenty even with no other lights on. It's a sort of raking light rather than coming from above. Not expensive. I got it from B&H Photo.
__________________
http://www.haroldroth.com/
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:22 PM.


2014 F+W All rights reserved.