Studio Tips for Painting Part 1


 Armand Cabrera

A dedicated and organized studio space can help ease some of the problems encountered when creating your work.
Whether your space is large or small there are some things you can do to help prepare the space to make sure your focus is on your painting process. Over the next few weeks I will post some tips and show how I have my studio setups from traditional to digital.


The most important part of any studio is your easel. Make sure it is the best you can afford to buy. If you work outside a lot you may want to have an easel you can use both places. An A frame or Gloucester easel is a good solution as is a full French easel. Both of these setups will allow you to paint small to large canvases with little trouble. What you give up in weight you gain in efficiency. A pochade box is only useful outdoors requiring you to purchase another easel for inside if you want to paint larger canvases. If you can afford another easel for indoors and have the space  I recommend having an easel large enough that it allows you to stand when you paint. I have a Hughes easel now but for many years I had an inexpensive stand easel that worked well in my tiny apartment or room depending on my living situation over the years. It would accommodate my smallest to largest canvases with ease.


Your palette setup is the next thing you want to decide on. I have my studio palette on a wooden baby change station I bought for fewer than 90 dollars. I leave off the front top edge and place an 18×24 piece of tempered safety glass I purchased at a glass store.  I have a vertical paper towel dispenser and my brush washer. I recommend the kind that have an air tight lid which I keep on the washer when I’m not working inside. Some people like their palette in between them and their easel, I prefer mine to the side, I’m right handed so I have mine on my right. Make sure your lighting covers your easel and palette when you are painting so nothing is ever in shadow while you work or mix paint on your palette.


In part 2, I’ll cover storage.

4 thoughts on “Studio Tips for Painting Part 1

  1. How funny that I just had my eye on two baby-changing tables that we surplused. I was going to scrounge around for glass, but may follow your lead and go buy a couple pieces.

  2. lol….armand, that is a good idea. Baby changing table, that will work. I will definitively look into that in the near future, I cant now because I have no space…:(

  3. My palette is on bathroom sink cabinet that we bought for a rental property only to discover after we installed it that the door wouldn't shut! I place a piece of plywood painter medium gray on the top with glass on that. It is a perfect height with tons of storage. I'm so glad we couldn't return it.

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