What Every Artist Needs to Know: Setting Up our Home Art Studio

When we start out painting, we may think - a home art studio? Why do we need a studio?

We don't all need a formal art studio, but we do need a special place to do our painting. Art is exciting and we are anxious to get started.

A dedicated space where our supplies are available, puts us into an artistic mindset whenever we go there. That makes it easier to get the creative juices flowing.

How artists set up their studios is as diverse as our imaginations. But the basic requirements remain the same. Artist studios include space, light, ventilation, supplies, storage and organization.

What do we need for our home art studio?Our Home Studio

How much space do we need in our art studio?

We don’t need a whole big studio for creative painting. We just need enough space for us and our art supplies.

A dedicated painting space makes our painting more convenient. Plus, when we have our own space, we are more likely to paint often.

While visiting a fellow artist, I saw her art supplies out on the short part of her ell shaped eating bar, approximately 3 feet long. She told me that she paints there every evening.

It was amazing that she turns out so many lovely watercolor paintings from such a small space. She said she enjoys painting by the rest of the household, instead of being away in a separate room.

where can we paint our artwork?

If there is an extra bedroom, a dining room, the attic, basement, garage or any other unused space, go for it. Even a walk-in closet will make a great home art studio.

We can paint on a desk, a fold-up table, a roll-away cart, an easel in the living room or even part of the eating bar.

When my husband and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment there was no extra space for painting. When it was painting time, my portable easel got set up in the middle of the living room floor. It worked just fine. We use what is available.

One time my high school counselor mentioned that she paints every evening. Looking around her living room, I asked her where she painted. She told me she paints in her basement. She goes there in the evenings to paint and unwind from work.

Painting takes total concentration and gets our mind off of everything else. Relieving stress is one reasons we paint.

light and ventilation in the home art studio

Good light and ventilation are imperative for our special painting place.

What is the best light for our art studio?

The ultimate light for a studio is north light windows. Most of us don’t have that luxury.

Even with north light windows, there is still a need for artificial lighting on overcast days or for painting at night.

What kind of artificial lights are best for the art studio?

Artificial lights need to be a combination of warm and cool light rays. Daylight bulbs give the correct balanced light for painting art. They are the next best thing to painting in natural light.

Why can't we just use regular light bulbs?

Regular incandescent bulbs provide only warm light rays. Their light is good for daily living, but not for painting art. The painted colors will look dull in natural daylight.

Daylight bulbs have a balance of warm and cool light rays. They make our paintings look like we painted them in natural light.

Where can we find daylight bulbs?

Daylight bulbs are available at most local building supply outlets and many art stores.

Are florescent bulbs good for our home art studio?

Regular florescent bulbs are too cool for painting. Their bluish light skews our color perception. The colors will be off when the painting is viewed in natural light.

However, "daylight" florescent light bulbs are perfect for painting in the studio.

Make sure our painting area has adequate ventilation.

A window is great for both light and ventilation. If there is no window available a fan will keep the air moving and pleasant.

When I was living in Florida, we installed a range hood exhaust fan in the exterior wall of the art studio. It could be switched on at painting time. It kept things moving and exhausted the studio air.

Good light is the most important part of our studio.Good light makes painting fun.

Essentials for our home art Studio

We know light and inspiration are essential for painting art. But what else do artists need?

Most painting artists use an easel or a flat surface for painting. We may use a chair or stool while painting, resting or contemplating.

We need storage space for our supplies and paintings. We have supply of paper, paints, brushes, etc. We also need something to paint.

do we stand or sit to paint?

We may either stand or sit. Different people paint different ways.

Standing imparts a freedom and vivaciousness to our paintings. Our arms and hands are both free for movement and expression.

Sometimes we have to sit, but that doesn't stop us from painting. Some artist may even paint in their lap.

what Do we Paint on?

What we paint on depends on our painting medium. We may paint on an easel, table, counter or even a rolling cart.

Essentials for the art studioWe need paint, palette, brushes and an easel.

Oils and acrylics are usually painted on an easel.

If we sit at a table to paint, use a table easel. An upright painting gives a better view and access for painting.

Watercolor paintings need to lay flat or only slightly tilted. We may use a desk, counter, table or a drafting table.

I use a drafting table for painting watercolors. I sit for smaller pieces and intricate detail. But I stand to paint and view large watercolor pieces.

Then I place a 2x4 wood block under the top edge of the painting. The block tilts the painting up for a better view and comfortable painting access.

an Organized art studio is convenient

We need to have our painting supplies organized, handy and ready to use.

  • Keep an adequate supply of materials. There is nothing worse than running out of our favorite color in the middle of a painting. What paint colors should we have on hand?
  • There are many innovative ways to store our paint supplies. We may use shelves, boxes, baskets, cans, vases or glasses.
  • Even a fishing tackle box makes a good art box. That's what held my oil paints and brushes for years. Necessity makes us very inventive.

A clean organized space makes painting pleasant and more inspiring.

We probably have heard of writer’s block. There is also such a thing as an artist’s block. One of the ways to prevent an artist's painting block is to keep our painting area organized.

Without any distractions, our creative juices can flow and painting is fun.

What do we put in our home studio?

  • Natural lighting or daylight bulbs
  • Good ventilation
  • Painting supplies
  • Supply storage
  • Things to paint, photos or objects
  • Easel, counter or table
  • A chair or stool
  • Music
  • Wastebasket
Setting up our art studioWe need our own painting place

Make your home art studio comfortable and convenient, so it's always ready for more awesome paintings.

have fun painting!


You might like these

  • Every artist needs to know: painting watercolor flowers is fun! Enjoy the excitement of painting watercolor Iris, Poppies and Echinacea flowers step by step.

    Painting Watercolor Flowers

    Every artist needs to know: painting watercolor flowers is fun! Enjoy the excitement of painting watercolor Iris, Poppies and Echinacea flowers step by step.

  • The world of painting art terms: A comprehensive glossary suited for contemporary artists, art enthusiasts & budding painters alike. What did that artist say?

    Art Terms: Your Essential Guide to Mastering Painting Vocabulary

    The world of painting art terms: A comprehensive glossary suited for contemporary artists, art enthusiasts & budding painters alike. What did that artist say?

  • What is the best painting medium for the artist to start with? Compare the pros and cons of today’s popular mediums, oils, watercolor, acrylics and alkyd paint.

    Best Painting Medium

    What is the best painting medium for the artist to start with? Compare the pros and cons of today’s popular mediums, oils, watercolor, acrylics and alkyd paint.

  • Beginner and intermediate artists learn how to paint a butterfly, step-by-step tutorial for painting a Malachite Butterfly with oil paint, from start to finish.

    How to Paint a Butterfly with oils

    Beginner and intermediate artists learn how to paint a butterfly, step-by-step tutorial for painting a Malachite Butterfly with oil paint, from start to finish.

  • You can learn how to paint! Millions of people are painting and you can paint, too! Let me share five easy things to jump start your painting art experience.

    Learn How to Paint

    You can learn how to paint! Millions of people are painting and you can paint, too! Let me share five easy things to jump start your painting art experience.

  • Use the principles of art to create successful paintings. Artists create pleasing compositions by using the art elements according to the principles of painting

    Principles of Art

    Use the principles of art to create successful paintings. Artists create pleasing compositions by using the art elements according to the principles of painting