The Everyday Life of a Working Artist

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Capturing Light in Your Painting Subjects

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"The Lemon Cup"
Oil, 6" x 6"
Click here to purchase.

My outdoor "photo studio". 

As artists we often struggle in finding the "right" subject to paint. I have always believed if there isn't a good light source on your subject then it's not worth painting. I often find my best subjects to paint in my own back yard. Literally.

In two weeks I am teaching a one day Open Studio class titled "Painting Glass". I was lucky enough to find these beautiful glass colored bottles and today I set up my outdoor photo studio to get ready for the class. Because I have multiple students I can't really create a still life set up for each student so I have to photograph them in advance. 

Capturing light is the most important element when it comes to taking good pictures. And sunlight is the best light source there is. Plus it's really cheap, as long as you can catch it on a sunny day! To photograph my objects, especially glass, I wait until the light is shining behind my photo source (which is morning in my back yard). I use a blank ampersand panel as my background. It's that simple!

The subject used for the painting titled "The Lemon Cup" was photographed in my studio using an inexpensive light from the hardware store. I used a direct light source instead of sunlight because I wanted to only show a strong light source on the right side of the objects.

Try to set up your own photos studio. You also don't need a great camera to photograph your painting subjects. I usually use my iPad. 

Check out my new remodel blog for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am now teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

1 comment:

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