Tips on setting up an art studio
August 6, 2012 10:47 AM   Subscribe

Need tips on setting up my art studio

After a long hiatius I am setting up my art studio, initially for oil painting (mostly figurative). Besides the easel I need a small table that holds my paints/pallete etc. whilst I paint. Would love suggestions around what would be a good piece of "stand" that would hold my oil paints, brushes and a "table" where I can put down my palette to take a break. Hard to explain but those who paint might completely understand what I am talking about.

Any other suggestions for storage etc. in a paint studio would be greatly welcome. The goal is to make sure I have easy access to paints and work well with the stuff I collect whilst painting.

Thank you.
posted by pakora1 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You are looking for a taboret. Wood ones hold up better to oil painting than the plastic ones.
posted by jamaro at 10:58 AM on August 6, 2012

I don't have any specific recommendations, but thanks to a college roommate I know that what you're describing is sometimes called a taboret, which might help in your search. Dick Blick has a whole Taborets section in their catalog.

They're not much to look at, but Sterlite makes a lot of different inexpensive, small plastic drawers that have been great for storing various bits and bobs in my studio.
posted by usonian at 10:58 AM on August 6, 2012

There is a book, Inside the Painter's Studio, by Joe Fig, which is a series of interviews of artists about their workspaces - it's heavy on talk about painting tables and arrangement of furniture and cleaning and the like. Doubly interesting because Joe Fig is a sculptor who creates tiny models of artists in their studios.
posted by gyusan at 11:02 AM on August 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Follow up: Joe Fig's photographs of his models of artists in their studios. And his models of painter's tables.
posted by gyusan at 11:05 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here's a brilliant idea for paint tube storage. I did the easy version with pegboard and hooks, which is less attractive, but still keeps my paint from glomming together into a filthy, gummy jumble. Nick was my teacher and he has great ideas.

I still paint a little, and I use two stools-- a tall one for my palette and a shorter one for my solvent, rag, etc. Be careful ordering anything non-adjustable online, because height can make a difference in your comfort.

For storage I got a weird piece of old furniture off Craigslist. It is like a dresser with three drawers on the bottom and two doors on top that reveal a variety of small sliding trays, dividers, and so on. For storing rolls of paper and canvas and stretcher bars and other tall items, I use a big fabric garbage bin. I think it was intended to be used outdoors at parties. It's actually pretty! In my classroom I inherited two sets of card catalogs that are good for storing lots of small items-- pencils, tacks, etc. I mention what I use not because they are the Best Solutions Ever, but to throw out alternatives to buying something specifically marketed as an art supply, which can be expensive compared to other, equally functional pieces of furniture. (I hope that makes sense.)
posted by Marit at 12:24 PM on August 6, 2012

Oh, and my sludge goes into an old paint can. Once a year my community has free hazardous material disposal and they take the sludge. You may have something similar. I've heard of people saving their sludge and turning it into a gray paint. Sorcery, I say.
posted by Marit at 12:35 PM on August 6, 2012

If you have the budget a small fridge/ freezer is nice, so that you can just freeze your paint on the brushes rather than cleaning them (assuming you'll be working with similar hues next time of course).
posted by Cuke at 1:04 PM on August 6, 2012

I don't paint so much, but I draw/ink and have a lot of art supplies. I found a branch of to be really useful for a lot of art supply needs, including storage/taboret. Their shipping was the cheapest I found on the web (sometimes free, depending), great customer service, and they were able to coordinate with me on when exactly they'd be dropping heavy items of art furniture to my door.
posted by iadacanavon at 9:52 PM on August 9, 2012

Very late to the game, but if someone comes across this down the road, it's also worth watching the series Art21 to get ideas about differing studio spaces.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:37 PM on January 6, 2013

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