Setting Up An Artists' Studio
Studio space: what works for you?
Jimmy Leslie, artists’ outreach manager at Winsor & Newton in the US, takes us through the options.
Bedrooms and painting
Studio rules: eating, drinking or smoking?
Studio size: Does it matter?
As for size, it really isn’t everything. Unless you plan on working on mural size pieces, your studio doesn’t need to be large. A small studio often means you need to think about your environment more and how this can focus the mind or steer your work. The type of practice you have, the materials and the way you work can also determine the size of space. But being an artist is ultimately about creativity, and limitations of any kind often lead to wonderful results.
Keep it fresh
It is always a good idea to keep an eye on ventilation when you are working with oil paints and solvents, especially in a small space. An exhaust fan will help move contaminated air outside and taking frequent breaks to get some fresh air is a good idea as well.
Making space work
In a small studio, it is vital to make the best use of space. As for storage, what do you do with any art that collectors aren’t lining up to buy? Unfortunately, this is a space limitation that’s tough to overcome. One solution is to hang as much as possible in the studio and then loan remaining pieces to family and friends. I also adjust to my environment by working smaller. Sometimes these restrictions can be positive and force you to think and work in new ways.
Let there be light
If your studio lacks natural light and there are few, if any, windows or you work at night, then try replacing standard light bulbs with full-spectrum lighting. It provides the full spectrum of sunlight to mimic natural light, helping you to see the true nature of your colours.
Check the label
In the EU, Winsor & Newton materials are labelled with pictograms and a signal word – either “danger” or “warning” – and hazard and precautionary statements. You can find out more about these by reading our guide to decoding hazard symbols.