Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting
Where to Paint and the Light You Need
A studio is a space to work where stray paint will cause no harm that has good light and is a safe place to keep wet paintings. The space should be large enough to accommodate you and your easel and have some room to back up and look at the painting. North light over your left shoulder is preferred. (Over your right shoulder if you are left handed.)
Lighting for Painting
Natural North light is the standard by which all other color light is judged. If the colors in your painting are right in North light, they are right.
Incandescent light is yellow-orange so your violets and blues will appear less intense. A painting painted exclusively in incandescent light will seem too blue when seen in daylight.
Fluorescent lights are blue-green making your reds and oranges seem duller. A painting painted exclusively in fluorescent light will seem too hot when seen in daylight.
Color corrected versions of incandescent and fluorescent lights are available and should be used especially if you are painting at night. Place the lights behind you at a 45° angle to the painting on the left and right. Your palette should be in the same light as your painting.
It is best to paint in light brighter than the light your painting will be shown in.
Combinations of artificial and natural light work well where the artificial light is used to brighten the natural light.