Studio Set-up

I though some of you might be interested to see how my art studio is set up.
I will edit and add to this page as I go. 

I paint in a good sized room in my basement. I have very little light coming in. At first I though that might be a disadvantage, but actually I have learned to like it. When you are painting still life set ups, you can direct your own light and decide where you want the light to be.
I actually love it in my basement. It's my own space and I can leave everything set up. I have heating and a bathroom and a utility sink down there so actually it's ideal.

Here's my basic set up. I have two tables - they are both trestle tables - two trestles and a worktop.
One has my computer and the other is where I set up my still life. To change the background I simply drape a coloured cloth over a large piece of foamcore and lean it against the wall. I used to tape the cloth to the wall but I find this method more effective for staying-in-place.
The trestle table can be lowered or raised as I need it.
I have a couple of spotlights on a stand to light my set up. - Although I usually only need to use one of them (two lights can cause a double shadow, which you don't want).

I have my easel in front of me. Then arranged around me in a semi-circle, two carts and a metal bin with lid, all from IKEA.

On one cart I have a board resting on top, on which I have my disposable palette, my paintbrushes and my linseed oil pot.

In the other cart I have my paint and spare paper towel rolls.
To my left I have a metal bin into which throw my used paper towels. A metal bin is absolutely essential for paper towels that are soaked in linseed oil. They can actually spontaneously combust if left to the air - very dangerous. It is vital to have a metal bin with lid to reduce this danger.

At the back of the studio I have a bookshelf containing my collection of still-life props. On the bottom shelf I keep my rucksack and plein air easel packed and ready to go.

To one side of my studio I have an old IKEA kitchen table. Underneath I keep paper, palettes and art materials. In the drawers I have patterned and plain tablecloths and napkins.

Above, I have shelves where I stack all my smaller paintings.

Here's a simple still life set up and ready to go.

And starting to paint....


  1. Hello, I just found your blog and have been inspired by your knowledge and set up. Thanks so much for sharing your studio area, its helpful to see for someone like me, who is increasing my time and interest in painting. I want to post daily work fairly soon, even though it will be skill building studies. Your work on the white roses was so interesting, as I can identify with your process very much. Your examples were in themselves, just lovely!

    1. Thank you so much Mame! I did finally paint a white rose that I was happy with. I haven't got around to posting it yet, but will do in the next few days. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I find recording my progress as I go so useful - it really helps to clarify things in my mind. It's good to know that others may also find it useful.

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