Marian (aka Azure11) has been working as a professional artist since 2006 and has sold over 600 paintings in that time.
A Professional Artist's Viewpoint
I have been a professional artist for over 5 years and over that time have had a few different studio spaces of varying sizes. The biggest studio I had was a large warehouse space in Dubai and I found with that you basically buy enough stuff to fit into the space you have - however, not everything I had was needed and I certainly had too much paint!
Currently I have one art studio in Dubai and one in the UK so I pretty much have to double up on everything! Both the studios that I have are in a spare room of the place I am living so they are spacious enough without going over the top!
As I work mostly creating modern abstract art in acrylics the contents of my art studio are geared towards that but I think what I have could be appropriate for a lot of artists with a few additions and subtractions.
Masking Tape, My Most Essential Item!
If you were to ask me what the one thing was that I couldn’t do without (obviously not counting paint and canvases!) in my art studio then I would say masking tape. It has so many uses and for some things there is really no substitute. I use it to wrap the paintings in bubblewrap, to make lines and marks on the paintings by masking off areas (did you know that you can put masking tape on a painting and then use a blade to cut a pattern in it without cutting through the canvas?), to using it on the edges of a canvas to stop the paint coming off when I am using watered down paint. So I always have a supply of masking tape of different widths to use for different projects.
So, other essential items for an art studio are:
Wooden spoons and cake slice (or similar) – I use old wooden spoons to mix up my texture and a cake slice to apply it – I also have many other spreaders, some with grooves or patterns etc and most of them have come from DIY or homeware shops. Tools that you use to apply grouting or plaster are ideal for applying texture to your canvas.
Brushes – well, pretty obvious really although i don’t always use brushes to apply paint. I do buy a lot of brushes also from homeware stores particularly for when I am painting big abstracts and I need a good sized brush. They are much cheaper than you get from the art shops and I have a few handy so that I can use one for wet painting and one for dry brushing. I also buy some really cheap brushes from pound shops which I use for applying gold size or varnish or materials that i know will ruin the brush anyway. I do have some good quality brushes for finer work but only where it is going to matter.
Sponges – I use household sponges – the ones with yellow sponge and then a green thin scourer attached – to apply paint as well, particularly if I want to apply a wash. You can also use the scourer side to remove some of the paint you have just put on and get a weathered effect.
Sandpaper – useful for sanding down texture or aging a painting.
A Sturdy Studio Easel Is A Must Have
A Quality Studio Easel
A Good Quality Studio Easel – this is one thing you just can’t skimp on as you need a solid easel to paint on. OK so you are going to have to pay a bit more for a really solid easel that will last you for a long time. If you get a cheap flimsy easel and it starts shifting around when you are painting that is really not going to help so unfortunately you have to fork out what can sometimes be big money on something sturdy.
I also have other easels in my art studio that I use for exhibitions and art fairs. I try to keep these free of paint and if necessary I put masking tape on them to keep them clean and tidy.