Light Through the Artist’s Eye.

William Nicholson’s
Primulas on a Table

When we look at great paintings or photographs executed by talented artists we are looking at interpretations of light, dark and shadow. Light is crucially important to artists because it sets the tone of the painting or photograph. In painting or photography the quantity of light is referred to as value without which we could not see a painting (or anything else for that matter). Three important properties of light to an artist are: 1.) Where the light source is, 2.) Does it lend texture and 3.) Does it give the subject volume.

Both these still lifes have the same light qualities, one is in color the other is black and white. Obviously Nicholson painted this in color, but it is interesting to note that the subject still has texture and shape and you can still determine the source of the light when the color is removed. 

Primulas on a Table
Without Color

So when you are deciding how to light your home or office think like an artist. How much light do you need, where should it come from and what kind of texture to you want your home to have. Your house is your palette. Use proper brush strokes and you will see and appreciate the results. I try to think like an artist when I design lighting plans for my clients and customers.

Please visit my website to see how we can help you. Be sure to download the Underwriters Laboratory app, LightSmart, from the app store for lots of useful lighting information.