I had one of those 'how on earth did I manage before' moments last week. After a winter of realising that I cannot mix decent basing shades of colour under the glowing eco-bulbs, I finally did what most of you seem to have already done. I bought a daylight lamp.
I have been meaning to do something about the lighting for a while. I did buy a daylight bulb to go into the main light, but I found that because it was on a dimmer switch, the bulb box said it was unsuitable....so back to the drawing board. I held off for a little while longer and tried to make do...until the frustration of opening the curtains in the morning again revealed that the paint shade I thought was pretty good in the evening eco-bulb glow, actually looked terrible and was way off when viewed in the cold light of day.
I had some reasons for procrastinating. Way back in 1991 I became short-sighted very suddenly and quite dramatically over about 6 months. I was painting ACW figures in my barrack room, perched over an MFO box with a standard 60watt fluorescent bulb not far from my face as I painted. When I discovered that I could no longer spot officers pips (on the real thing - not on the figures!), I realised my eyesight was not what it should be. The only thing I could put it down to was using that fluorescent bulb in the lamp. Glasses have been worn every since (unless i'm wearing contact lenses of course...or sleeping etc!). I still don't know what the actual cause of my sudden short-sightedness was, but it was probably natural.
Another reason for not getting a daylight lamp was my fear that I might become too obsessed with detail. If I can see the figure so much more clearly I would surely become tempted to paint more and more detail until a regiment would take a year to paint.
Well, despite these fears I read some reviews and and with an idea of what I needed, I made a purchase...and my goodness...I should have done it years ago!
This is going to sound like advertising blurb, and really, I have no vested interest in this but as soon as I set it up and turned the light on I was amazed at how clearly I could see. It really is as good as people say they are. I can't believe that I coped for so many years without one. How did I ever see in the evenings to paint any kind of detail?
I immediately set about black lining in and touching up a cavalry regiment. All of my original fears were unfounded. My eyes felt more relaxed using this light, and I although I could see the figures clearly, I found that I wasn't spending time obsessing over detail. What I did find was that was spending less time painting because I could actually see what I was doing properly and not making mistakes! :-)
A final shot above for scale with figures. No doubt for those of you who already own a daylight lamp, everything about how good it is will be so obvious. I am just amazed at how good it is and how useful it is going to be. This is probably the best £40 I have ever spent.
Anyway, I felt I had to share that...just in case anyone had any doubts about getting one. Normal blog postings will resume... :-)