Here’s the secret to bringing out the magic in your artwork: lighting. When hanging a piece of artwork, consider not only how it fills a space in your home or office, but how it will be seen, not only during the day, but also in the evening. Some aspects of displaying your artworks can’t be controlled, but lighting can often be adjusted, and the proper lighting will make a world of difference in how good your artwork looks.
Consider this photo of my painting of Milk Duds, hung in our family room. It is hung beside an outside window and a floor lamp. During the day, it appears that the sunlight comes through the window and casts the shadows from right to left across the painting, as the light was when I painted it. During the evening, when we have the floor lamp on, it appears that the lamp is casting the shadows. The lighting makes it look less like a painting and more like a “shadow box” that contains a giant box of milk duds.
We can’t always control where we can hang a piece of art, but when we can hang it in good light, or install accent lighting, considering how the light hits the piece of art can transform the art into something magical. Look to see where the artist painted the source of light, and try to use that to advantage. Good lighting is very important to showcasing a piece of art, but properly lighting a piece will enhance it even more.