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Thread: Lighting

  1. #1

    Unhappy Lighting


    I recently started using a daylight bulb while painting. Its great been able to see what I'm painting so much clearer, but everything just looks terrible as I'm painting. Then when I look at what I painted under natural or a normal bulb it looks alot better.

    Really struggling with painting confidence at the moment and I just wondered what people think of the lighting they use and if they have any advice about what type of bulb to use.

  2. #2


    Maybe something to do with the colors you're using? I used to paint under a yellow-ish light and when I was all done and would take the mini to show someone it looked a lot different. Now I only paint under daylight bulbs, it gives a much truer represenatation of what it looks like.

    Stick with it, once you get used to the daylight bulb it'll give you a better end result.

  3. #3

    Thumbs down

    Hi Stephen, seeing your work "for real" can be a little dispiriting at first can't it? Went through a similar thing when a friend gifted me my first lamp last year. Macro photography can be a bit of a shocker as well, paint a 13mm Snotling & post a pic of it 4" high & that super smooth brushwork can look a bit crap Just see it as the first step to really upping your game from army to "painter" standard (ignoring the tiresomely talented who can thrash out a stunning looking army in a weekend! There are lots of them round these parts ).

    Decide which element of your work is the most disapointing (neatness, blends, colour selection, metals, paint thickness, etc.) and pick that as the thing you're going to work on next. If you're not sure, post a pic & ask, you might not like the answer but I'd be suprised if it's not valuable advice Post pics & enjoy watching yourself improve (while we watch too!). Cheers, B.

    EDIT: does the thumb down symbol that's appeared at the top of my post mean someone doesn't like what i've written? Please let me know why?
    Last edited by BPI; 10-29-2009 at 09:23 AM.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up

    thanks for the responses, I'm definatly going to stick with the daylight now. Really need to work on my patience. I'm painting up some of the monsters from the old Heroquest game, there simple and I don't mind if they turn out bad.

    @BPI: The thumbs down is just an icon that can be selected to go by the title of your post when you reply, you must of selected it by accident I guess.

  5. #5

    Thumbs down

    Cheers Stephen, guess that's what happens when I post late & tipsy

    Have fun with the Heroquest but they're pretty rough figures, be sure to buy yourself a metal treat to put some serious effort into too! Cheers, B.

    EDIT: aaaaargh, it's done it again. Must pay more attention next time!?

  6. #6
    Consummate Brushlicker Jericho's Avatar
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    I use full spectrum fluorescent bulbs for painting. I really don't like incandescent bulbs because they have stark shadows, where the length and shape of the fluorescent bulbs (especially if you have two of them) really soften shadows for painting and photography. The only problem is that these bulbs are getting harder to find here in Canada for some reason. Daylight fluorescent bulbs used to be common in office supply places, but now you need a bit of luck and persistence to find them. I hope it's easier in other places.

    If you have a diffuser setup or light tent then this isn't much of an issue, but I say why bother when you can just use a fluorescent lamp that uses a fraction of the electricity and lasts 10x longer before you have to buy replacement bulbs.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Jericho View Post
    The only problem is that these bulbs are getting harder to find here in Canada for some reason. Daylight fluorescent bulbs used to be common in office supply places, but now you need a bit of luck and persistence to find them. I hope it's easier in other places.
    Try an aquarium shop. They will have or should be able to get in, true daylight spectrum fluorescents bulbs.

  8. #8
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    you say daylight bulb, but that has several meanings:

    The blue tinted bulbs that screw into a regular base? Not really daylight.

    HalogenA's that screw into a standard base? Better than the blue tinted ones, but not quite daylight. They do photo white though.

    Halogen desk lights - little bitty bulbs that put out LOTS of nice light but are very hot. They will dry your washes in a hurry and cure GS. They photo nice if they don't burn a hole in your photo tent.

    Daylite brand or OTT brand bulbs? Probably the best and closest as far as photography goes without spending a fortune on very short lived photography bulbs.

    Aquarium bulbs: They come in several temperatures that shift the spectrum one way or another depending on the fish and the type of aquarium. (fresh, salt, reef, etc.)
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  9. #9

  10. #10


    I just picked up an OTT desk light from Michaels on a big sale. Love it so far! The better lighting has pointed out how much more I need to improve but they're less suprises now when I take a pic under the daylight bulbs I use for pics. I think the bulb in the lamp is an 18w something or other. The pair of lights I use are 250W daylight thingies. It was real shocking sometimes going from the fluorescent regular old as dirt bulbs overhead in the garage to the photo tent for sure.

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