Lighting for Artists: How To Reduce Glare

Can we talk about the struggle with glare on acrylic paintings?

Oh man, the struggle is real. I was having so much glare on a recent painting that I could not see the difference between my paint colors!

Photo showing the difference after glare is reduced on acrylic painting canvas

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Not everyone is lucky enough to have a perfect studio space. I recently purchased an easel light to help me reduce glare on my paintings so that I can actually see what I’m doing – without having to contort my body in weird ways to make sure that I’m blocking light.

I’ve been trying out the Ottlight Easel Light and it seems to have helped quite a bit, but it’s not perfect. Here is a photo showing what the painting looks like with the light on. Keep in mind this picture was taken at night:

Photo of an acrylic painting of a border collie dog showing how the Ottlight reduces glare

For instance, I need to turn off the other lights in the room if I want to reduce glare. (Keep in mind that I still just have regular lightbulbs in the room). Depending on the time of day, I’ve also needed to move the light up or down to avoid glare from windows – or the shadow from the top of my Easel.

The good news is that the amount of the painting that is affected by glare is much less than without the light. The light is on a flexible arm so it is really easy to move around to get it in a better place to reduce any glare.

Since using the light I have not run into problems with not being able to see my painting while working.

Here is a photo showing a recent painting with and without the light. You can really see here how difficult it was to see what I was doing prior to getting the light.

Photo of an acrylic painting of a Border Collie dog showing glare on the painting from room lights
Close up of painting shown without Ottlight
Picture of an Acrylic Painting of a Border Collie dog showing no glare on the painting
Close up of painting shown with OttLight

And here is another example without the light:


And one more with the light:

Photo of an acrylic painting of a Border Collie dog showing reduced glare

Here is a picture of the painting outside during the day. All of the above pics were taken at night inside.

Picture of an acrylic painting of a dog in natural lighting outside.

I read a few Amazon reviews prior to purchasing this and saw complaints about the cord. I haven’t had any issues. It is a two piece cord so I suppose that could be annoying, but I’m not really moving it around so I don’t see this as an issue at all.

One really great benefit of the light is that my indoor pictures look better than ever! I often finish paintings at night and am super impatient about taking pictures, which results in some pretty drab photos. This light helps my pictures look pretty similar to how they look when I take the picture outside (see above for comparison).

Do I recommend the light? Yes, I have found the light to be pretty helpful. I have a tight space and would prefer not to add any tripod lights to the space since it is already pretty difficult to maneuver around the area.

The light clips onto the top of my easel. The cord is pretty long as well, which is convenient. My outlet is pretty far from my easel though so the cord was going across my wall in a strange manner, so I did end up getting this extension cord for it. This also let me put the switch in a convenient spot (behind my easel to the right a bit) – so that I can easily reach to turn it off and on.

The cord is completely out of my way. I have no concerns that it will come apart or anything like that.

You can purchase the Easel Ottlight on Amazon.

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