Visitors to my gallery and studio are sometimes curious about my fluorescent studio lighting. “You paint under fluorescent lights?”
Back when I had a studio with a north-facing window, I appreciated working in the cool north daylight (as artists have done for centuries). Plus, since I also do a lot of plein air painting, I was already used to painting outdoors in natural daylight.
However, the light from my relatively small studio window needed a bit of a boost, especially on cloudy days and morning or evening painting sessions.
I did some research and discovered that GE offers some good fluorescent options. By combining their warmer 40-Watt “Sunshine” tubes with their cooler 40-Watt “Daylight” tubes, I found that the resulting light seemed to mimic the north daylight coming through the window. (I combined six “Sunshine” tubes with two “Daylight” tubes in four two-tube fixtures.)
Don’t tell the Old Masters, but my current studio has no north window. However, the four two-tube fixtures still seem sufficient.
I find that painting under the cool fluorescent simulated daylight gives me good color results for later viewing in either cool or warm lighting situations. After all, it’s important for the colors in a finished painting to read well wherever the client ends up placing it.
What lighting works best in your studio?