Silk Painting How to

How To Set Up Lighting For Silk Painting and Display

The protein fibers of silk are translucent. In a silk painting, the dyes are bound to the fibers. Because of this, light passes through the silk much like a prism, giving the silk painting its lustrous glow.


This also has some consequences for lighting a silk painting. More than in the case for oils or acrilics, silk paintings are impacted by poor lighting. For example, flourescent lights have a spectrum that is heavily biased into the blue range. A silk painting lit by a flourescent light will seem to lose yellow and red colors. This can be devastating.


Halogen lighting has the broadest spectrum, and will bring out the largest range of colors. Incandescent lighting (normal light bulbs) has a spectrum that falls slightly into the yellow range. This will bring out warm tones over the cool.