Thursday, December 18, 2014

Living in "Darkboro"

I do enjoy a grey winter day. Fields of dry grasses with bits of left over red colors, stand out beautifully against the greys in the sky. Dark green accents of pine trees mixed in with bare branches complete the palette. It's a pretty palette, meditative and subdued. But a steady diet of non stop grey darkness, wears thin pretty quickly.
It's dark up here in this corner of New Jersey where I've spent the last six weeks. Really dark. I've counted 5 days of sunshine since arriving. Each day that dawns with the promise of sunshine, quickly clouds over. Painting inside has been just about impossible. 

It's so consistently cloudy, that virtually all of my family members living here have been put on Vitamin D. Thinking a D deficiency was a family trait, I got myself tested. My Florida doctor must have thought I was nuts!

Absent my Florida sunshine, the next best thing for indoor painting is daylight light bulbs. I use them when I travel and also have them installed overhead in my studio in Florida to augment the northeast light in the room. 
So, what do I look for in studio lights? Currently I have 5000K florescents with a CRI rating in the low 90's. You can find these numbers on the tube. 5000K is the Kelvin rating. In plain language, the Kelvin rating is the the color temperature. Candlelight is a 2000K yellow light while a clear sky sunny day is an 8000K blue light. Studio lights should be between 5000 and 6500. The bulbs I've been using with desk top lamps while here, are 6500K. Personally, I don't care for them. The light they give off is too blue for me.
CRI stands for color rendering index. The closer you can get to 100, the better. Over 90 is good. Having a high Kelvin number with a low CRI won't give you an accurate color read.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get good studio lighting. Mine are Philips bulbs that I bought at Lowes. An artist friend of mine who has looked extensively into studio lighting has recommended these particular Philips florescent lights as affordable good lighting: Philips TL90 F32T8/TL950. He buys them on Amazon.

So, Happy painting- even if you live in Darkboro!

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