A few weeks ago I dug through the archives of Jeff Hayes' blog (link in the list). Jeff had photos of a shadow box he built for the purpose of painting still life.
This was a revelation to me!! I could not believe I had never heard of one of these tools before. I looked very carefully at his photo and tried to find out more about the tool . . .but, alas, all he had was one post. Another artist also picked up on it and set up a temporary arrangement with foam core boards 'n stuff. I was fascinated.
After looking carefully at Jeff's set up, I made an emulation from a cardboard box painted flat black. Here's a photo.
Mind you, this is not intended to look like the Taj Mahal. Its purpose is to regulate light . . . . . . . . . ..especially reflected light and light coming from other sources. My studio has can lights in the ceiling and track lighting . . . .thus providing MANY shadows and no discernable pattern of light. As you can see here, the flood light shining into the slots above the subject and the ceiling of the box (and walls) make for one source of light and shadow. The recessive darkness into the back of the box gives the subject more depth and interest. Above is a photo of how the subject looks from my easel.
You can see that the subject receeds nicely into the dim light and the portion of the subject that I wish to emphasize is lit up like a Christmas Tree. Wow! No guessing here.
All I need to do is move the flood light (you can see the lip of it in the upper left corner of the shadow box photo) to the side, or the rear or forward to gain the kind of light I want.
I have spoken here of making the mundane extraordinary . . .and this tool does it! Thanks, Jeff, for being so generous with your information. Apparently, other artists have used similar arrangements if they paint still life paintings, but I sure had no clue!! There is a ton of vital information about almost any subject in the blogshpere. . .art in particular. Aren't we lucky to be granted this privilege of these accesible resources on the internet ?!
Labels: A Painting a day, Bailey's Paintings, daily painting, M E Bailey, M.E. "Mike" Bailey, New Oil Painting, Oil Painter, Oil Painting, Plein Air, Still Life, Studio Painting, Today's painting