246: Best Studio Lighting

Northern wall of studio model

I HAVE  struggled with lighting in a variety of locations over the years including a basement studio. I’m currently building a new studio and I really want to get the lighting right. I need both good daytime lighting as well as optimal night lighting (I can be a night owl sometimes). For an overview on how to achieve optimal studio lighting click here.

After struggling to imagine where to place the windows in the future studio I was inspired by the book Imaginative Realism by James Gurney to build a model replicating widow placement. Using my iPhone I filmed the model at various times of day to see how light would illuminate and reflect throughout the space. This level of previsualization is critical to get a real world idea of how light reacts with the environment. If you need tips and inspiration on how to use modeling for previsualization I highly recommend Gurney’s book.

The model helped me avoid several errors–not enough skylights and not enough light toward evening–which I remedied by adding two extra skylights and a tall window on the north end of the western wall. The model also confirmed that the eastern windows, placed at about ten feet off the ground, would allow the exact amount of light needed during morning painting sessions.

The video below shows how I observed and improved the lighting possibilities at different times of day.

Brad Teare –August 2015

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Updated: 3rd February 2023
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