Jun 20, 2009
Setting up your studio!
It is important to have a wonderful place to paint! A studio or a dedicated room for your art is so important for an artist. It is best to have a place where you don’t have to put everything away when you have finished painting for the day, this is one thing that will keep you from painting. If you have to pull all your supplies out each time you will it may discourage you from the “stolen” minutes you can find the just sit and paint.
It is fun to explore many products available to artists by contemporary manufacturers we have.
What are the basic supplies you will need for your studio?
Lets start with the way you work, do you work on canvas which would call for an easel. If you work on watercolors or decorative art you may opt for a craft table. An easel is very helpful when the size of your work grows, since it's very difficult to paint on a flat surface when your work starts to enlarge. Easels for tabletop are very handy, fold into a very small size and can accommodate up to approximately 20 x 24 inch canvases. Standing easels, either of wood or metal, hold works all the way to four or five feet. Some can be folded, but the most sturdy and dedicated are not portable and do not collapse. Their strength and ability to grip large-scale works make them indispensable. They can also hold smaller works and allow the artist to either sit or stand.
A work table for supplies is very valuable. Spreading out your supplies so that you can see all your materials is helpful. Brush caddies, paint colors, mediums, containers and the other miscellaneous tools, etc., take up a lot of room, and a table placed by your woking area where youo can store these will help you quickly find what you want.
Paint holders or racks are really needed if you have a lot of paints, it makes it easier to find what you need when you need them!
Lighting is so very important, I love Ott-Lights which give me “natural’ daylight to work under. They come in many styles from floor lamps to clip on lights that fasten right on your easel or table. If you try to work under bad lighting or the tungsten light bulbs your colors will not be accurate and will look very different in natural light.
Next you will need what you are going to paint on, canvas, wood objects, whatever. It is nice to have a few of these on hand all the time so when the creative urge strikes you are ready!
Now we come to our tools of the trade so to speak.
Basic supplies include:
Charcoal or pencil for sketching
Medium and brush cleaner for oils
Towels or old rags
Containers for brushes
The paints you might select can be anywhere from student grade to professional quality. Permanency and strength of pigmentation increase with price and, when possible, it is recommended that you select a professional grade of materials. This is so important if you are going to sell your artwork.
Craft paints lack the high pigment formulation of professional paints. Most national brands of paints are created with good qualities of pigment and permanency.
Brushes are crucial to your work. The type of brushes you select will depend on the type of work you like to create. Impressionistic and styles that use rich applications of color can be very well executed with bristle brushes, but these same brushes do not perform well on most portrait or other smooth realistic styles. Synthetic brushes do well with virtually any paints and are easy to clean. They make a great intermediate graduation between less costly brushes and higher costing sable or sable blends. For the best in smooth strokes, sable still rules, but the newer blends of synthetics or some of faux sables can almost perform like the real thing.
Charcoal or pencil work is usually needed to set up the scene or design on your canvas before you begin painting. Charcoal practically dissolves into the paint and does not create lines that will show through the painted surface. Pencil lines sometimes do show, but can be an interesting element in an acrylic painting. They can be removed with a little hair spray. Your drawing can also be “set” by spraying the pencil lines with hair spray. This prevents the paint from removing them and if you loose your way with oils you can wipe them off and your pencil lines will remain intact.
Sponges can be used to create a speckled or dappled texture when pressed into a pool of paint and gently rolled onto the surface of your canvas. Other found objects can be used to create textures too: grasses, crumpled newspaper, crushed foil, saranwrap etc.
Setting up an acrylic studio can be an enjoyable experience and need not be costly. Paints, brushes and canvas represent the greatest costs, but recycling can help save.
One thing I could do without is a CD/tape player. I love to listen to music and audio books while I am painting. I also have a TV near but often findit distracting.
Whatever you decide to do just be sure to make your "creative space" special!