My still life paintings are set up in various ways, using one of two shadow boxes, one left handed and one right handed. It is then possible to have the still life objects lit from the left or the right. The spotlight is movable and can also be adjusted for height, so I can have the light coming from any angle. With the larger paintings, ones that depict many items, it can take hours to set things up, adding objects and taking away, adjusting the light and trying different fabrics. Often the flowers are added towards the end of the process. Finally, I achieve a balanced composition, one that I am happy with. There is a movable mirror mounted on a swing arm behind me as I paint, and at this stage I check the still life setup in the mirror and see how it looks in reverse. Then I can begin blocking in with charcoal on the canvas. The mirror view is also useful during each step of the painting; seeing everything in reverse quickly shows up any object with a slight lean, or an ellipse that is out of plumb.
I have included a photo of nasturtiums in a shadow box, these flowers and their leaves are notorious for twisting and turning to face the light, hence the spotlight can only be on in short bursts!