How to set up a painting studio for the DIY Artist!

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Earlier this year we moved out of a huge three bedroom house into a cabin in the middle of the woods. We built a gorgeous little 8’x8′ studio we share. I literally work in an 8’x4′ space! Marc salvaged a skylight from a construction job and installed it right in the middle of the studio brightening our space and opening up the ceiling to a beautiful view of trees and sky!

I had no room for my studio easel, so I designed one I could mount on the wall. I got rid of my huge palette table freeing up my much needed floor space. Instead, I mounted a clip board on the wall to hold my disposable palette. To steady my hand while I paint, I mounted an attachment with a 1″ stick to the top of my easel.

The white box on the wall is for a still life set-up. There are great benefits to having my still life next to my easel at eye level. One being, I can sight size and the other is not straining my eyes. The advantages of having my palette right next to me is I can match colors more effectively. It’s preferable to have a neutral toned palette which I will make with a piece of glass. I’ll show you later when I make mine. I do intend painting the inside still-life box another color, probably a darker color, something more suitable for still-life painting.

Not everyone is blessed with a skylight and and sometimes when the skies are too grey, I’ll switch the light on to brighten things up. I found this awesome light I want to show you. The color of the light 5000k which is perfect for painting. Kelvin is the color of the light. A kelvin over 5500 is too blue and less the 4800 is too yellow and can mess with your judgement and optically mess up your palette colors. That’s why it’s best to stick with 5000k, it’s not yellow nor blue, but right in the middle. I’m currently using GE Power Source…. It’s a skylight without a skylight. the best light I’ve ever used! I can’t remember how much we paid for it. Under $200 I think. Well worth it!

Mount on the ceiling behind you at 35% as high as you can, and about 4′ from the top of your canvas. This way you can illuminate your work without glare.

I attached a door with hinges to a little book shelf, turning it into a drying rack for my painting panels. This way I reduce the dust and kitty cat fur off my freshly primed panels. I will update with more images when I’m done tweaking.

Let me know what you think of my Shabby chic studio!

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