Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Creating a From-Life Stilllife Light Environment Box

My first box for setting up environments for painting
small postcard size still lifes was made of cardboard,
and felt it was time I had something decent to use.
A box that would last over time.

Its intent is to shelter whatever everyday simple
objects from the direct influence of light in the art
studio environment, alter surface colors the objects
would sit on, and control sources of light from top or
one side. Here, for example you see this near spent
tube of viridian paint and a small bottle of copal
medium as an example that could be painted-

Here then is the construct and break down of my new

This is cut from birch veneer in dimensions of
h=16" w=14" d="14 ...assembled with wood glue
and finishing nails. I had one of my students
quite willing to make this for me. (thanks
Ethan!). I then painted the interior of the box
black using acrylic paints...but, I left one
bottom with nicely stained birch veneer exposed
giving me an option of one surface for objects
to rest upon...

This next picture of one corner angle shows I
had Ethan cut two holes (this being one of them
to the left side near top, near front. Thru
these two holes I purchase and insert a nitelite

I then replace the nitelite bulbs which may be only
4-5 watts or less with a frosted appliance 15 watt

Lastly, I know I have to plan on blocking the glare
of the lights themselves from my easel position, so
I cut a piece of hardboard and nailed it on the front
of the box at the top position, which then further
helps to block all light downward...

The beauty of this box is I can now paint in a
fully lit studio space that is fitting and proper
on my eyes and the easel, while having a subject
to observe in front of me existing in another
separate light environment!

I have a short YouTube video that demonstrates a
brushwork exercise...but what you'll note is how
having a pack of colored construction paper on
hand allows you to quickly change the foundation
and influence of color for your subject within the
light environment box. And as has already be
said, you need no colored paper at all if you'd
prefer the warm wood look.


Dean H. said...

Thank you, Larry...well done.

Larry said...

a practical and useful simple furniture..

appreciated, Dean...

Jason Seiler said...

This is really neat Dad, fun to watch!

Anthony Mckeown said...

I really enjoy looking at your paintings. i've only just started painting this year, and your video demos have helped my understanding so much.

Barb Novak said...

Thanks so much, Larry. maybe I'll give oil paint another go after this demo. it helps tremendously to see how the paint is handled.

Larry said...

glad you found it helpful, Barb...thanks for the time to say something. Very kind...

Rose said...

Loved this ... sorry I'm so late, but this helped so much! Best to you, Larry!