Hacks For Your Studio
There are all kinds of things around your house that you can use in your studio. Why not save yourself a little money and try some of these tips to re-purpose household items in your studio. Here are some household hacks for your studio.
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1. Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes can be used for more than just crafting a pretty face. They are household items that are also very useful for both painting and drawing. These brushes are great for brushing away dust from graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. Makeup brushes are also excellent for blending paint. The don’t shed like most artist blending brushes do. The little eye shadow sponge applicators are also good for blending pastels and powder blender.
Tissues are great to have on hand for blending larger areas of a graphite drawing. Buy good quality, soft tissues to prevent possible minute scratches. They can be twisted to a point for smaller areas when you don’t have a stomp handy. Of course they also come in handy when your drawing doesn’t turn out as planned or you accidentally spill your coffee. It’s not a good idea to have any liquid near a drawing, but who can think without coffee!
3. Makeup Sponges
Makeup sponges that come in triangles or squares are perfect for blending pastels and even paint in some cases. The sharp edges can get into tiny places and can even absorb excess paint. Use a light touch since they can actually wipe off pastel or paint from the surface and leave an ugly smudge.
4. Shop Towels
Most artists use paper towels or rags in their studio. I prefer those blue shop towels that can be found at most hardware stores. They are cheap, disposable and can absorb more than paper towels. They last longer than a paper towel would and don’t leave tiny fibers behind.
5. Eye Dropper
When you need to add a very small amount of water or medium to your paint, an eye dropper is very convenient and easy to control. I have even used one to add tiny drops of paint to add texture to some paintings.
6. Spray Bottle
Almost every artist has a spray bottle in their studio, usually purchased at a dollar store or garden center. I find these spray bottles have a fine mist and instead often leave large droplets of water on my work. I use an old body spray bottle that has been thoroughly cleaned. The mist is much finer and there are no large droplets of water to ruin a painting.
7. Hair Dryer
Hair dryers are great for drying acrylics and watercolors quickly. A cheap one is best since you shouldn’t use high heat and you don’t want to turbo dry your painting. Remember to keep the dryer too close to your work and be aware that drying too quickly can sometimes cause cracking in the acrylic paint.
8. Cotton Swabs
Some artists use cotton swabs to actually apply the paint to their work. I use them to lift paint from small areas where I have made a mistake or don’t like the color I have applied. Good quality swabs are best as they are less likely to leave little fibers in the paint.
9. Tooth Brush
An old toothbrush is another great household tool to have in the studio. It can be used to add splatters, stars, snow or other texture to your painting. Use paint thinned with water or other medium and don’t hold the brush too close to your work to avoid large splatters. Paint that is too thin or too thick can leave globs of paint instead of light spatters. It is best to practice on an old canvas or paper before trying this technique.
You don’t have to always purchase expensive artist tools when you can re-purpose household materials to aid in your work. After writing this post, I am wondering if I should move my studio to my bathroom since that’s where a lot of my supplies live! Ha! If you have any other household hacks for the studio, why not tell us about them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.