Five Studio Tools

I almost named this ‘My Top Five Studio Tools’ until I realised that really I couldn’t pick a top 5 and that perhaps ‘Five with more to come’ might be better.

Stay wet palette

Number 1 – My Masterson Stay Wet Palette. Now this I really couldn’t be without now. Actually I splurged and bought a second one a couple of months ago so I now have one used for cool colours and one for warm colours and use both when I am painting. I used to waste a lot of paint with it drying up and tried allsorts such as take-away tubs with sponges in, Clingfilm etc etc all messy and a bit of a faff to be honest. The paint lasts weeks in here and when it starts to get a bit old, I use the paints for my journal pages and rough sketches before renewing for painting. Love the size of this, love the fact that it has a lid and it is so much sturdier than any others I have seen. I think they will last me a good few years to come! Perhaps a third one would help me even more? Folks in the UK you can get yours here.

Five studio tools

Number 2 – a scratching tool – I am not sure what it is or where I got it (the card making section of a hobby store I think) and I call it a stylus although I am not sure that is the correct title. No matter – the fact is, it has a metal nib with a little ball on the end which means that it is not really sharp so as to tear the paper, but is great for scratching into mixed media pieces, handwriting over wet paint to show the layers beneath and for creating texture in paintings. I use it without thinking – it is just on my easel ready to go when I am in that place of concentration.

Number 3 – bamboo pens. I got these only fairly recently and they are great for making loose flowing marks with ink in mixed media pieces or drawings and for scratching into paint again. I may incorporate some more handwriting into some pieces I am working on at the moment so they will be brilliant for that.

five studio tools

Number 4 – rags. Lot and lots of them. They hang off my easel, drop on the floor, are to be found on every surface in my studio and I could not be without them. As soon as something made of fabric in this household tears or develops a hole it is cut up and taken to the studio. Don’t laugh but Hubby’s old boxer shorts work brilliantly. I am sure many a female artist does the same. (Otherwise husband would probably still be wearing old holey boxer shorts.) Old t-shirts, pillowcases. I use them when I am creating the many layers of glazes on my paintings where I paint and wipe, paint and wipe. Also for cleaning brushes.

Number 5 – old plastic cards – you know the ones – there are only so many my purse can take. They are great for scratching away layers of paint when things go wrong and using for image transfers and wiping old paint from my palette.

So there we have it. I would love to know what some of your favourite tools are. Also if you use your partners old pants for studio rags. (I can’t be the only one, surely?)

x x x


4 thoughts on “Five Studio Tools

  1. Great post Gill! Thanks for the tips I shall from now on also use my partners old undies as paint rags 😉 And I am very intrigued by the stay wet palette. One of my fav studio accessories are my Raskog trolleys from Ikea as they are so handy to cart around all my art supplies. My brush washer bucket (the metal kind) is also a cherished accessory. I have been meaning to ask you what kind /brand of easel do you have and are you happy with it? I just have a little cheap table top easel but it is way too small for my big canvases. I might get lucky this xmas and Santa might bring me one 🙂 Any advice? xoxo

  2. Hi Monika! Yes I have one of those trolleys also – love it as it carries so much. I have a studio easel by Wiindsor and Newton – it is one of the ones on four casters with an H shaped frame – I do love it although I wish I had taken some measurements before buying it as if I am working on smaller pieces and so have the shelf higher the top piece of wood hits my ceiling of my studio! – You can get different sizes though – I think my one is particularly suited to larger canvases. I think that the Mabef ones have a great reputation but my budget couldn’t quite stretch to that! Hope that helps – here is the link to the easel I have. x

    • Thank you so much dear Gillian for taking the time to reply and the great info about the easel. I have heard about the mabef easels too, the trouble is they are so very expensive here. I wanted an H-frame easel too with wheels. So I’ll look into the Windsor and Newton. The height should not be a problem as we have 3.3m ceilings. Have a great day! xoxo

  3. Ah – you girls make me jealous 🙂 I have those trolleys on my wishlist AND the stay wet palette 😉

    My must haves (been thinking about it) a comfy chair, for when the old back starts playing up, old credit card type things – yep – and an old plastic picnic knife and plate which work as a textured scraper and high tec palette 😉 My apron, which I’ve only recently started using. It’s easy to wipe my brushes down me then if I don’t have a rag to hand. Need to raid the OH’s undies drawer 😉

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