Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tippette #32: Paint in the Dark (sometimes)

We're always told to paint with good, natural lighting in our Studio.  Sometimes, though, I paint in the dark.

Work in progress. Watercolor on 300# Arches.
At times, I reach that stage in my painting where I feel it's got to be PUSHED into a higher level. Needs more oomph.

Observing, and painting, in the dark.
I wait till it's dark out, and turn on only secondary lighting.  Nothing overhead.   (My phone camera shows my room to be brighter than it actually was.)  I add my next layer of color in this low light setting.  The low light level really helps me see where I need more darks, compared to my reference photo.
Note #1: You may also, of course, use a red acetate value finder, but then you have to hold it up to your eye.
Note #2: I only paint in the dark when I believe it to be my LAST layer of color. I don't find myself doing it in the middle of a painting.

"Backlit III" (Image size:  6"h x 6"w)
by Helen K Beacham
Watercolor on 300# Arches
This is the result, shot with my phone camera the next day, in the light of day. I'm happy with it. Maybe give this technique a try and do let me know if it works for you!