Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Newly Pimped-out Workspace!

For the longest time I've been painting using a halogen lamp. It cast white light, it looked neutral to me. But it wasn't very strong. Also it was very hard to position; the goose neck is on the short side, and the base is very light, meaning that the lamp would tip over easily if I tried to position it better.

In addition to the terrible light source, streaming on Twitch was pretty difficult to do at times. The one webcam I have ( a Logitech C920) was terrible at focusing in such a low light. And it was really hard to position too. I have a tripod for it, but where do you put the webcam? Between my single light source needing to shine on what I'm doing, the webcam being able to capture it, and myself being able to see it too, something's got to give.

So here's my new setup!

I've been painting and streaming for the last few days and I'm really happy with this. Here's what's going on:

  • Two long, swing arm lamps. They are easy to move around and stay steady. I can position them right next to my head as I'm painting, if I want. And because there's two of them, there are no shadows to worry about.
  • Two Philips Hue White Ambient lightbulbs. I have these in the bedroom and love them, so that choice was a no-brainer. You can change their temperature (orange/yellow/white/blue and everything in between) and intensity. And because they're "smart", they can be controlled remotely. That means that I have a single switch that controls both (you can see it on the picture, just under the base of the right lamp) and I don't have to fumble to reach two light switches to turn them on and off. The same goes for setting up light intensity and temperature; the two bulbs are in perfect sync.
  • Another webcam! You can see it on the left lamp, taped to it with some black electrical tape. It's a Logitech C922. It captures great, especially in low light (although that's not a problem anymore). Since it's attached to the lamp I can move it around easily, it's never in the way. The light source is right there for it so it really makes a clearer shot compared to what I've been doing before.
  • My webcam is now to my left, not to my right. It makes sense since I'm right handed, so my hand was always in the way.
  • The old webcam is still on its tripod, but used as a face cam now.
I'm very happy with this setup. I'd like to spend some time watching my streams to optimize my camera and streaming settings. For example, I'd like to try streaming at 20 frames per second but offset that with a higher image quality. That seems like a good idea for streaming painting, but we'll see.

Hope this inspires you to reevaluate your painting environment. Thanks for looking!


  1. Nice workspace!!! Do you announce streams on twitter?

  2. No, I don't use Twitter. Maybe I should change that.

    I believe Twitch has a few ways to notify users too. I think you can setup email notifications, and possibly phone app notifications too. But viewers need to opt in for those. Still, no reason not to notify more people via other networks.