Soft Sunshine

The post on this blog, and its brother on the Hein Academy Blog , “Archival and Transparent Oils”  are very interrelated today. Mainly because they came from the same conversations revolving around Jeff Hein painting on his large still life painting.

Light and Paint.

So please check both blogs to get both parts.  Enjoy!

While Jeff Hein was working on his still life painting today, I was quite enamored with some of the areas in his painting. It was just beautiful, and still unfinished.

detail of painting in progress by Jeff Hein

I asked if he had worked on those areas since last time I had viewed it, and he said no, it was the light coming in from the sky light that was allowing me to see it clearly for the first time.  That got me thinking about light sources and Jeff’s studio, and what he preferred.

I sat down with Jeff and asked him to tell me about his light sources.  He explained that he had two large sky lights placed at specific spots in the roof.  They were both certain measurements from one another, so that Jeff’s easel, palette, and painting in progress would have the light from one skylight, and his live model would be under the other skylight.  He has this ingenious and handmade lever and pulley system to customize which direction the light is coming in from, and how much of it. The glass on the skylights are not clear to allow a defused soft sunshine in.  Jeff Hein prefers to use natural light when at all possible, and will wait to work on a painting for that special day when the light is at its optimal brightness for some of his projects.

When Jeff  does use lights in his studio he uses a hooded full spectrum HID light.  It allows for great color compared to other lights, but has a tendency to gray down some skin tones to his trained eye, so he has to be aware of that at times and perhaps compensate for it.

He was also telling me that he almost never crosses light sources. In other words, to place his model under natural light and his painting under artificial light.  The only time he would ever do this, and it has to be done with caution because its risky, would be if he wanted to push the warms or cools of the subject on his canvas beyond that which he was looking at. It’s a cool trick to keep the eye from getting used to or adjusting to the colors that you are looking at for extended periods of time.

Another ingenious tip that Jeff was willing to share, was creating the same light as candle light on a model.  He said that when you are taking a picture, to use a candle. However for his paintings which are from life, it sometimes takes countless hours and days, which means a lot of candles. So he would use a light bulb and a piece of highly reflective copper sheeting to bounce the light back on to the models face.  He said nothing else, but the copper, would give him that flame like color and glow to simulate a candles light.

I hope you all enjoyed the blog for today, and learned as much as I did. Have a wonderful weekend, Ciao!


3 responses to “Soft Sunshine

  1. What a greag blog! You are bringing considerations to the table in such a full and generous manner. Your blogs are forcing me to think of light, set-up, etc more seriously. The blogs alone are
    “revamping my art!”

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