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Lighting for Artists
Lighting plays an important role in the colors we use, how our artwork is viewed, and so much more. In this video I will share all my knowledge about lighting, my favorite equipment, and demonstrate how I use lighting in my studio.
Below is a list of equipment that I use, and budget alternatives.
Lighting Equipment I Use in my Studio
As I mentioned in the video, these play a huge role in my studio. I have two, and I mainly bounce the light off the ceiling and walls.
They can be positioned in many ways, and there are lots of accessories (Barn doors, soft boxes, and diffusors) to make the light softer or help bounce it.
You can purchase battery packs for them which makes them portable too!
My desk lamp has become a very important piece of equipment. I honestly never imagined wanting or needing a desk lamp when I got the Dracast studio lights. I thought everything was fine before. But as soon as I turned this lamp on, I realized it was a game-changer.
Having the ability to position it in any way I need, change the color temperature, and dim it as needed is a huge improvement to my workflow. It has made filming and photographing my work much easier as well.
BenQ sent me this lamp and I’ve been using it for a few months now, and each week I fall more in love with it. Thank you, BenQ!
This is the light bar I showed at the beginning of my video. I use it for tons of random office tasks and even in the shed!
It has a magnetic “base” that I keep near my charger for super easy charging and so that I don’t lose it.
It’s a great little workhorse light, and I love the fact that it’s so simple. It gets really bright, or I can dim it really low.
And I admit I’ve dropped it quite a few times, and it STILL works!
Budget Lighting Alternatives
This is probably the closest I can find to my Dracast studio lights. These have similar features and functionality compared to mine, at a fraction of the price.
I’ve used other Neewer products and found them to be quite good. I’m not sure about the build quality or lifespan, but definitely worth some research if you want a really nice kit!
Under £100: RICO240B 46cm (18″) Bi-Colour LED Ring Light
Ring lights are extremely useful for artists who make videos. A camera or phone can be mounted in the center of a ring using a standard shoe mount, and then filming yourself with almost perfect lighting becomes super easy. I used to have one before my international move and loved it!
When filming artwork, I recommend using the dimmable and color changing features to make sure your artwork is presented accurately.
Not only is this light small and portable, but it offers color temperature and dimmable options. This a good style of light for general office tasks and for people who move around in their space a lot.
There are thousands if not millions of lights out there for artists. Depending on what you search for, you’ll get a lot of variety.
When I search, I always look for:
- Color Temperature change
- Mains Powered vs. USB powered (I prefer mains, or rechargeable with minimum 2000mAh)
- Clip-on Options
When I first started on this journey, I would buy cheap stuff at thrift stores or hardware stores. Fore instance, under-cabinet lights can be clipped anywhere near a canvas or desk. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be very affordable. I used them for the first year or two of my journey.
Studio Filming Equipment
What I Use to Film my Art Videos:
The most magical piece of equipment I have for filming my videos (besides my camera) is this articulating arm. It can be positioned in seemingly infinite ways, and there are plenty of accessories.
You’ll also need: Manfrotto 035 Ftc Super Clamp to attach it to your desk. I also recommend metal plates between the clamp and the desk, especially if your desk is not solid wood.
This thing is perfect for phone filming, which I do about half the time. It has a standard 1/4 inch thread screw for standard tripod mounts, as well as a 1/4 inch hole on the top and bottom so it can be used along with other equipment.
I’ve been using it for about three years, and it has withstood countless plein air filming adventures!
I have used many flexible tripods / arms in the past, and NONE have ever been as sturdy and reliable as the GorillaPod. This tripod can be moved into any position. I often wrap it around my chair arm, tree branches, and other weird things to get the perfect filming angle.
I know there are cheaper options out there, but you get what you pay for (I know from experience).
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an extremely versatile tripod to film art videos.
Make sure you get one strong enough to hold whatever size camera you own.
If you already own a tripod, this add-on allows for overhead filming. I frequently use it both in the studio and outside. It is very easy to install and position the camera as needed.
For unique or tricky angles, I use this clip-on mount, especially for my GoPro (because it’s lightweight). Works especially well clipped to nearby shelves.
Cameras for Filming Art Videos
These are the cameras I use, and can highly recommend. However there are tons of options out there, and it’s very important that you do your research based on your needs.
Known as the “best vlogging camera” on the market, this little point and shoot is perfect for an artist. I use it for almost everything. Recording myself (hello flip screen!), recording the painting process, taking photos of finished work, plein air painting…you get the idea.
Bonus: I accidentally submerged this camera in a frozen pond and it still works months later.
This is my big boy. I use this camera for all of my photography, taking final images of artwork, and vlogging. I have several lenses as well (remember, I used to be a professional photographer, it has taken me years to accumulate my gear!).
Lenses I use:
More than half of my footage is captured with my phone. I specifically chose this phone because of the amazing cameras/video quality. Cannot recommend more!!
Super easy plug-and-play microphone for cameras. Improves sound quality a LOT. With the added windscreen it will help record in noisy or windy places too.