Dual Lit Pear, 6x8, oil on panel, by Jeffrey Smith

Alla Prima Pear

Let there be light

More alla prima work this week, but this time I did something a little bit different.

The above painting was done using 2 different light sources. One, a standard 100-watt incandescent bulb. The other, a 60-watt incandescent with a subtle blue theater-light filter.

I attached the standard unfiltered lamp to the ceiling and directed it down onto the table.

My new blue light, on the other hand, was positioned directly on the table. This gave me a shaft of pinkish-blue light coming from the side.

It’s all about the north light

When I was in art school, my studio had amazing natural light. That school’s studios had giant north-facing windows and super-high, 15-foot ceilings!

During my time in school, I fell in love with that cool north light. I declared that there would be no other light for me.

I’m starting to rethink that. Crazy, I know. We artists have always been told that the path to artistic success was lit by north-facing windows.

Getting down to what’s important

The more I paint, the less I’m concerned about the perfect light source and more concerned about how the light is affecting the set up.

If the light is from a north-facing window, what impact does that have on the painting?

What about a fluorescent light? What colors am I seeing? What’s happening to the shadows? To the lights? Does it change the intensity of different colors?

I’m working with an incandescent light; how does that affect everything?

I think any light can be great to light your set up. The fun comes from experimenting.

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