Fiona writes: Hi Lisa,

This may seem a very silly question, but I would love to know what you recommend in terms of the type of artificial lighting you use and the best position for any lighting, when working with colour pencils?

I specifically refer to lighting in relation to colour pencils, because I struggle with the reflections given off from both my Polychromos and Luminance colour pencils, when having to work under artificial lights. This is a problem I obviously don’t have when working in watercolour or gouache.

I currently use a daylight lamp which can be positioned almost anywhere above my artwork, but no matter where I position the lamp, the reflections created by the oil or wax in the pencils, causes me considerable visual difficulties.

I would welcome your advice – thank you!

This problem is two fold for me. First I need to be able to see my work without shine.  Second, I need it to record on video without shine. I used to work flat on a table and the shine was a huge problem for me. I also started having too much pain in my back so I had to find an alternative. I got a table top drawing board/easel sort of thing and started working sitting upright. My light (I use ottlites) was at about a 45 degree angle from my artwork. This both solved the problem with my back AND the glair from the light.

I will say it took a bit to get used to working upright like that. I was SO used to drawing flat. In the end it was totally worth it though. Now if you aren’t interested in drawing upright, you can use a clamp on light or one of the adjustable floor ottlites to position the light from the side of your work.