Lighting for paintings

Some time ago I wrote about the arrangement of paintings and now I would like to share some thoughts about lighting them.

In general, not every artwork needs lighting. Sometimes the natural light is enough in order to make the artwork’s colors and details visible. However, in most cases in our homes/ offices there is not enough natural light and it rarely reaches the corridor, for example, where paintings are exhibited.

In my studio, I often meet clients who come to select or commission paintings after they have already finished renovating a home or an office space. At this stage either there is no lighting for the paintings or they have installed the popular spotlights for walls which I personally find meaningless. Usually the spotlights are installed too close to the painting and the effect is rather negative due to the lack of wider area of lighting. The result is a small glare at the top of the painting (most often only the frame is lit) and a dark lower part.

Thus, whenever possible, the best choice for lighting is a LED spotlight tracks installed on the ceiling at some distance from the wall. When the ceiling is made of plasterboard the tracks can be embedded. The spots can be added, moved and be with different intensity, but most importantly, they can be pointed towards the paintings.

If a track is not an option even the simplest IKEA type solution is more efficient than the spotlights.

And finally, a reminder, if you have a painting behind glass or plan to have one, regular glass is much more difficult for lighting as there are glares even from daylight. The solution is to use anti-reflective glass.

Photos found on Pinterest, copyright belongs to the rightful owners.

How to arrange paintings

Every now and then I need to visualize ideas for arranging paintings and prints for clients, thus I decided to put together some suggestions for home and office arrangements. The pictures in this post are from Pinterest and the rights belong to the respective authors.

A classic mounting of an artwork in the living room, above the couch. a common mistake is to place the painting too high on the wall. The height of the artwork should always be at the eye level when the person is standing:

When the setting allows it, asymmetry is an option for additional effect:

Artworks with different sizes which are aligned at the lower edge. In order to avoid glares as a mirror effect, one option is to use anti-reflective or museum glass:

An ensemble from same-size paintings framed alike:

Unorthodox approach towards framing – two relatively small artworks are placed in simple frames with large mat so that they stand out from the wall and become a serious interior highlight:

A space arranged with different-size artworks. The white frames and mats are extremely pretentious, but in this example, they harmonize with the interior setting:

A narrow shelf for placing pictures and paintings which is very popular in the Scandinavian interiors. Available in IKEA in three colors– white, black and wood:

Every artist would be happy to have a whole wall for his/her paintings. In this example, you can see three same-size canvases which don’t need framing:

The lighting of the paintings is a long and distinct topic, but the best option is when the lighting is installed at a certain distance from the painting in order to avoid glares. I recommend spotlights from the ceiling, pointed to the artwork:

Arranging artworks on color wallsis one of my favorite. I recommend Levis satin paints which are outstanding as cover and easy to maintain:

If you need advice on color solutions and arranging paintings do not hesitate to contact me – I will be happy to assist you.