Thursday, February 18, 2010

my lightbox reconstructed

My little 11" x 14" lightbox has been a handy part of my sketching process since before college, and I guess I expected it to last forever, but this was not to be. The switch had been aggravating for years. But, more recently it didn't want to stay on. A new bulb gave me another couple weeks of life, but then it refused to turn on at all. It has very few parts, so one would think you could just replace one or two parts and be back in business. My dad helped me diagnose the situation, but Radio Shack didn't have the correct switch, and the wrong one would deliver a continuous current that could cause a massive explosion! Danger! Danger! Radio Shack guy told me he had one that started a fire. Apparently, fluorescents are nothing you want to mess with. The problem also could have been the transformer, and I didn't know where to find the proper one of those.

So, I had to accept that nothing could be salvaged except for the box and the opaque cover, and I removed all the guts.

Sure, I could have bought a new one, but I didn't care to spend $45 - $100+. Instead, I found an UnderCabinet light at Meijer for $8.00. I fastened it to the bottom of the box, and it was a beautiful fit. Someday, I might be able to find a way to cut a hole in the metal box to run the plug through, but for now it's ok hanging over the top sandwiched under the cover.

For a skinny little bulb it is surprisingly bright, and as you can see I'm able to view my drawing through the sketch paper perfectly!

Currently, I'm working on a couple paintings for a local arts show. Updates soon....


6 comments:

Elena said...

Hi Angela! Good to see another frugal artist out there! I was just wondering how your process of transferring drawings works. Do you make a sketch first, then put it on tracing paper, then on canvas or wood? Or do you draw on the tracing paper first? I'm still trying to figure out the best process for myself without having to draw the same thing over and over....just thought I'd ask! I love your work!

Tricky Trev said...

Evil Transformer! Those Decepticons are always trying to ruin everyone's fun. Glad you got it to work. Goonies never say die!

life without novacaine said...

So clever you are! Love the little light box.

I left a little ray of sunshine for you on my blog. Come and get it when you can! : )

Angela Matteson said...

Elena-I use tracing paper mostly for moving parts of the drawing around. I find the Xerox copy machine more helpful as I'm always scaling up or down, and then I have my final sketch ready to transfer without ruining the original. (A scanner and a printer works well too, but my printer is too old to be much help.)

To transfer on watercolor paper I use the Xerox copy and the light table.

To transfer on wood I first cover a sheet of paper with graphite, (6B-9B works well), and then I tape this sheet, graphite-side down, on the wood, and tape the xerox copy on top to trace over my lines.

Angela Matteson said...

Thanks Deborah! You're so sweet!

Frizz said...

your whale turned out gorgeous - i like the square crop a lot!