day of week

How To Start Oil Painting : The Studio

15 August 2007

The Studio

Launching into the world of oil painting is rather tricky to begin with.

We don’t have room in our house for a dedicated “art studio”. So we doubled up the office as the computer room and painting room.

1. An “art studio” needs to be WELL VENTILATED.
Working with oil paints, turpentine, oil mixes, artists mediums, means that there is a lot of toxic fumes in the air. So we leave the windows open all day and all night. Which is tragic, because I’m sitting here typing this, dressed like an eskimo, and I’m freezing!

2. You need a TABLE to lay out all the painting stuff you use.
And there’s a lot of it! I’ve got stuff EVERYWHERE – on the table, under the table, stuff on shelves, on chairs, up against the wall. I probably will need a shelf to store everything.

3. You need to cover everything up!
(That’s if you’re like me and work in a dual purpose room.) You need tablecloth for the table. Old rug for the floor. Newspaper for chairs. Plastic bags as bins. Containers for dirty brushes. And the most important thing – gloves for your hands!

4. Set up a place to clean your brushes!
The first day of painting, I foolishly went ahead and painted, without anticipating the clean up at the end (and without gloves!). As I fumbled through the house with dirty fingers, I left finger prints on light switches, door handles, soap dispensers, the sliding door, the kitchen bench, the newspaper rack, the laundry tub, my face, my shoes – yeesh, it was everywhere! The oil paint stayed on my hands for 4 days! (I refused to use turps on my hands).

5. Storage. You need some place to store your paintings as they dry. Preferably somewhere with some kind of rack, somewhere dry, not dusty or humid. Plus you might need some place to store your clean canvases, boards and clean paper.

6. Good lighting.

7. An easel. A chair.

8. An inspiration section.
Some place to pin up your sketches, photos and visual inspiration. And a place to play music!