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Has anyone used a large tv or computer monitor in the studio to view digtal photos while "tweaking" paintings done in the field? If so which did you prefer tv or computer monitor?

Computer or tv monitor for use in the studio? What experience has anyone had?


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Hi William. Have used both. When I do use digital image references ( or "photos") its usualy the laptop . I think its probably the quality of the screen/monitor that counts. On my last venture on to the beach  I brought my camera but as all plein air painters do, forgot something,, the memory card. I did some good work that day but it would have been very useful to have more reference material , particulary of people at the beach. I am one who needs and takes all the help I can , to get the job done. Regards Paul.

Hi William,

I would use a laptop monitor, but not that often, simply because it can be very harsh on your eyes. (my eyes are very light sensitive anyway).It's the same train of thought that looking too long into a bright sky, can change how you view the colours your trying to observe - so generally when looking into a bright light source, only glance for a few seconds..

Macpherson ( american plein air artist) ,writes that he uses a slide projector, that has the capability to project onto a t.v like screen or a wall. He sets the projector in from of him and responds as if on location.

Ideally I  try to get the most information down outdoors as possible, as a photograph, particularly for landscapes, can flatten an image, the depth of field and nuances of colour can be lost.But for reference material,or a bit of tweaking  they're extremely helpful.. 


I have used the lap top screen, but it bothers me. I have bought a 15 inch digital photo screen -- like you would use for your family photos and love it. Those few things I need to tweak are easier to do from this type of screen. And, when painting from photos when I can't get outdoors (and those photos I take when on a trip), this is what I use 98 percent of the time. It is better than printed photos. There are several brands - one I use is called "Pandigital".
I have used PC and Laptop but not TV. I have used them on close ups of parts which are of particulur intrest, usualy i print of a copy of the image , knowing that the quality of the printer and paper has limits, so I do not rely on this for colour, but it is another helper in rembering the place/thing of intrest. I say use all but do not rely on any one thing in the creation of your art.

Thanks all.

Since so many high resolution TVs now have usb ports for loading dig. photos and these can be very large suitable for mounting on the wall and be viewable from some distance thereby reducing the potential eye strain ( Karen ), I wondered if anybody had used these in the studio. Say 30-34 inches. So maybe better than a PC?

Thanks William, certainly sounds like a good solution...I think we tend to have our pc's or laptops close to where we're working. It's a disadvantage to see too much detail at times, so having a tv screen hanging at some distance, is probably the closest to real life response, in the studio..

I'm thinking of moving in the direction you are suggesting William. I have used the slide projector and think this is the nearest thing to being on location. The drawback is that you need to have low light conditions in the studio and because you have the projector on the same slide for long periods of time the light/heat from the bulb begins to affect the slide.


So we continue....large TV monitor vs. large PC monitor for use in the studio. Experiences, anyone? Second hand information?

Just use your memory! its more creative that way


I always take a photo of the scene, but usually only use it to post on my blog along with any paintings. I used to use them to check things afterwards, such as the shape of distant mountains, but the more I realised the inadequacies of the camera, the less I did this. If you think about it, 

photos don't capture anything like the colours the human eye sees, so they are useless for that,

they can only differentiate between mid-scale values, overstaing most lights and darks (shadows have little or no value variation and are usually too dark, while bright areas such as skies and water come out looking white), so they are no good for that either,

and they don't even capture the shape of things accurately (unless you ave a few grand to spare for a high end one) - most cameras tend to stretch things horizontally, understating things such as the height of distant mountains.


I'm totally in agreement with Paddy on this. Forget the camera and you will inevitably produce more creative work, which will increasingly be more about you than the scene.



I have never used back up in this manner. It is tempting especially when one is dealing with the winter landscape. However I think one would have to be careful of "edges"

I agree with Paddy & Michael more creative to work from memory .. I do however take photos to refresh my memory but try not to slavishly work from them. Have used PC & Laptop just to skim through photos but never the TV (mine's quite old compared to the laptop/PC monitors).

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