Being organized before you begin painting or drawing will not only add to your whole painting experience, but it will also save you time and frustration. Knowing where everything is and having your materials on hand when you need them at your fingertips will allow you to concentrate on your artwork rather than stressing where something is or losing time and concentration rummaging around looking for it.
What you need and how to pack or store your art materials largely depends on the location will be painting at. I will try to break down my ideal check list for the most common scenarios for you.
In Part 1 I am concentrating on your ideal home studio. Take away what ideas you like and add ideas you may have on your wish list. For inspiration have a look at the book “STUDIO creative spaces for creative people” by Sally Couthard a Jaqui Small publication.
The Home studio
A home studio can be as little as a desk in the corner of your dining room up to a lavish purpose-built room or even better a free-standing studio in your backyard. Personally, I am lucky enough to have the use of a great room which has large windows and good ventilation.
No matter what your artistic ability you deserve to own your own space and you should give yourself permission to ensure you have an area for your artistic creations…you deserve it. This space will undoubtedly improve your artistic skills as it allows you to experiment and be adventurous and have the ability to reward yourself the OK to try new techniques.
Choose a space which has good natural light and is well ventilated. If your natural light is poor, consider the purchase of a lamp which has a daylight bulb. You could look at Verve Design 225mm White LED Gooseneck Dale Clip Lamp available from Bunnings for just $36.00.
Ideally the walls of your studio should be painted white or a close relation to white to reflect as much light as possible. Coloured walls can reflect the wall colour onto your painting creating distorted colours within your work.
A drafting table or similar which has a tilting facility would be perfect, however, make sure it can also be used horizontal giving you greater flexibility. For those of you who work standing at an easel the table can be utilized for holding brushes, paints, pastels, water etc and used flat for drawing purposes. When choosing a table or desk check the height to ensure it is not too high or too low compared with the chair you will be using. Ensure your chair has a straight back and gives good lumbar support. One on wheels is perfect.
Next you will need to select appropriate storage. There are a plethora of drawers, boxes and trays from which to choose these days with "Cheap Stores" offering great value for your buck. I suggest you take a sample of what you want to store, the quantities and sizes you have to accommodate to the store so that when you return you know everything will fit your new purchases.
Ask yourself do you want your supplies to be on show or do you need to hide them away when guests arrive?
Set up your desk and easel preferably with your back to the light source to prevent squinting and ensure you are not going to cast shadows over your work. Think about if you would like or could install a sink and running water, small kitchen and perhaps a loo…. these items are on a wish list but many studios will be lucky enough to include these items. I installed a second hand kitchen which was in good condition into my studio, sink and all. Works a treat.
Here are a couple of photos of studios I found to be interesting. Let me know how you go and I would love to see your photos of your studio. Let's share our ideas.