How to Paint Your Way to Calm-Part 3

In the previous ‘How to Paint Your Way to Calm’ post here and here, I helped you begin a painting ritual (i.e. a way to relax and and turn off your left brain) by covering a few basics, such as how to choose the appropriate paint and brushes.  In this final post of the series I will cover surface options and how to setup a studio space.

There are four primary painting surfaces:

Canvas Painting


  • Can either be purchased on a box frame or in rolls to be stretched by the artist.
  • May require priming with acrylic gesso unless pre-primed.
  • Doesn’t require framing.

Painting on Wood


  • Made from oak, birch, walnut or mahogany.
  • Must be primed with two or three layers.
  • Rigid surface prevents paint from cracking.
  • Less expensive than canvas.

Watercolor Paper

Acrylic Paper

  • If heavy weight, usually over 300/356/638 gms, it will not buckle.
  • Good for thick texture application.
  • Typically pre-primed and acid free to prevent yellowing.

Watercolor Paper

  • Has been ‘sized’ to handle water absorpency.
  • Also appropriate for use with gouache, ink, charcoal and pencil.
  • To prevent wrinkling and distortions, soak the paper in lukewarm water and allow to dry completely on a flat surface.

Now for the fun part… putting a studio together.

Art Studio

Painting Studio 2

Artist Studio 5

What To Consider

  • Adequate lighting.  Both natural light and full-spectrum task lighting are ideal.
  • The ability to ventilate.
  • An easily cleanable painting surface and floor.  You may want to cover carpet with a painters drop cloth.
  • Storage for supplies (drawers for paper, canvases, and paints; cups for storing brushes upright)

Having the tools, work space and inspiration is all you need start your painting ritual (oh, and maybe that glass of wine and some jazz playing in the background…)







source:  image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5




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