View Full Version : Setting up a new work area

07-19-2007, 10:01 AM
Hello people,
I just joined this community this week and I have to say that I find it fantastic so far. Iíve been looking around and reading different threads and I find everything really interesting. I paint with acrylics so Iíve been spending most of my time in this group.

I will be moving into a new house probably next summer and Iím building myself a little work shop in the back of the house with a door for clients to come in and see my work (and not walk in my house like they have to do now). Since I currently do all my paintings in a small room in my basement, Iím looking at ideas or anything that can help me out setting up this new shop. Thereís people in this community with years of experience so Iím sure you would have a few tidbits for me. If you have any links or pictures of your working area, that would be fantastic too !!!

Thanks guys !!


Lady Carol
07-19-2007, 11:08 AM
You might be interested in this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346344)by Nitsa who built her own studio off the house

07-19-2007, 11:30 AM
This is probably obvious, but a big window on the north side will give you lots of natural light all day without making it too hot in summer.

I have a room for arts and crafts, but you're lucky that you get to design it from scratch. Well, maybe, because now you have to figure it all out.

07-19-2007, 11:59 AM
The thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=346344)by Nitsa was helpfull thanks. I don't think my new space will be that big but still some good stuff in there. I would love to see other stuff if anyone has something to show.
Thanks again !

07-19-2007, 12:29 PM
Hi Matt!

Your post caught my eye as I am also in the process of adding a studio separated from my living space.

How are you planning for ventilation and temperature control? Ventilation is a concern of mine as after years of exposure I am sensitive to solvents and common household cleansers. My choice of mediums is affected by this.

I designed and built a garage with a room at one end which has front and back access doors. The exterior is finished, but the interior walls, floor and ceiling are still studs and concrete.

Rough wiring is in place for either electric baseboards or a gas wall heater, and a ceiling fan along with appropriate lighting to supplement natural illumination.

There are casement windows on the north and south sides. However, we live in an area of New England with especially cold winters, so I don't see opening the windows as a year around solution!

I am new to the community as of last night and am encouraged by the sharing of ideas here.


07-19-2007, 12:34 PM
What a concidence. My future studio will also be off my garage so we are looking at a similar project. By the sound of it, you have already started. I'm only in the planning stage now as I won't build until next summer. I do think that lighting and ventillation will be key. I haven't spent much time thinking about it just yet. You should start posting pictures like the thread recommended by Carol. It's really nice to see the progress.

07-19-2007, 01:05 PM
I will look through my organized clutter tonight and pull out construction photos to post.

Nothing new as of this summer as I paused the interior work due to an illness and find myself juggling a non-art job to finance a child's college education. I am excited to get going on this new studio again, but figure all the work may stretch out over a couple of years.

Given your location, we likely will have the same heating issues to tackle!

07-20-2007, 06:08 AM
Matt and Caroline, welcome to the acrylics forum at wet canvas. There is a vast amount of knowledge here, the hard part is finding the right tidbits that apply to you.

My preference is to have white walls with a slight warm side leaning.

Try to think about how you work and that will determine many options. Some like an easel while others prefer a drafting table. Both may be an option.

Adjustable lighting is a good option as far as I am concerned.

In my small studio I have a recliner (about half sized) which I find quite valuable. It was a roadside pick up and has served me well. My floors are concrete so a 29.00 oriental carpet about 3X5' has a nice feel in front of the easel.(it's not the quality, it is the feel.)

Caroline, there are some crystals that you can get at the art supply that are designed to absorb chemical gases. They need to be replaced at regular intervals but it may assist in the reaction department.

I also have a HEPA air filter that I find of great value.

Living in Florida I had the room added to my air conditioning ductwork to keep the humidity down and the heat low.

I have a 5'X4' homosote board covered in black felt as an area to photograph my work.

My storage cabinets are all white laminate.

My next big purchase is a white laminate taboret and the removal of my old nasty plastic storage units.

I am also learning that I am a collector and need to give stuff away on a regular basis in an effort to minimize my clutter.

It feels good to donate things to a childrens art program and see the rewards of art growing in your community.

My most recent thing is to try and keep the studio uncluttered and open. I find that things creep into my space and then I get flustered. Spend a few days cleaning and reorganizing and go at it again. When in the heat of creation I find that things tend to pile up and get in my way

I did notice in some of the art supply houses that many are carrying air cleaning/buffing systems that may help the air quality of the studio. Not cheap but not terribly expensive either. My noisy old unit may need replacing here in the near future. Hopefully the new ones are a bit more quiet.

07-20-2007, 09:18 AM
Have a glance at these previous threads for some idea of what other members have done:


07-20-2007, 09:40 AM
Those past postings have lots of great pictures. Now I don't feel so bad saying that I currently paint in my washer & dryer room :lol: . Funny how those two units makes a great table. I do have a custom build table on the other side of the room where I do all my paintings.
Thanks for the links.

07-22-2007, 11:37 PM
Here are photos of my studio under construction (a work-in-progress).

As I mentioned, the outside is finished. North side (public front) has a large window and glass door. The south (private) side has a small window area and back door facing into the vegetable garden.

Hopefully this combo with plenty of color-balanced lighting will allow enough control of the illumination for a productive day...and a nice break to occasionally munch on the garden veggies!

The room height is 10 foot, because I was tired of the studio easel hitting the ceiling in the house. The interior pic shows this, along with the interior fire door into the garage. During our long winters, I can walk into the house by passing through the garage stalls and attached breezeway.

This project is the result of years of planning and anticipation. I wish we could speed up the completion, but finances dictate that will be a couple of years out. My equipment stays in the house's basement until then.

Love the comments and the links showing other people's work areas. I think I've pickup up a few new ideas!


07-23-2007, 09:03 AM
Hello Caroline,
You are very lucky to have such a great room to play with. I think 10 feet high ceiling will be fantastic to display your work. A couple years seems so far away but I'm sure it will be all worth it the moment you move in and start enjoying it. Keep us posted !!!

07-23-2007, 12:34 PM
Matt, thanks for the encouragement. Hope your studio planning goes well!

Howard, I'll update myself on new solutions that may be available for air cleaning/ventilation. Always developments coming along.

The idea of a cheap-o carpet for cushion is very appealing...will do that.:thumbsup: I stand at the easel and move around. Never thought about a recliner - might take up too much room and end up with stuff piled on it! Your comments on clutter are dido here.


07-23-2007, 06:53 PM

This is my present workspace.We don't get much rain so it's been working out very well except for the paint drying out too quickly issue.I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible and the light is great. My bodyguard enjoys it as well. Life is good..



07-26-2007, 12:28 PM

Your space looks fantastic! No ventilation problem there. Seems like every studio should have a bodyguard...canine or feline.

I wonder what "studio companions" other artists have. It would make an interesting new thread - don't you think?


07-26-2007, 12:34 PM
Cew, that would be great. Maybe we can post our pet pics too. Just don't count me in since my monster is banned from the house and if I even dare to go outside to paint or draw he'll be bothering for attention, everything revolves about him (or that's what he thinks but he is correct:D ). I have a very mischievous German Shepperd. ;)

07-26-2007, 04:38 PM
Well this is my studio campanion. She likes to steal my brushes ... very funny actually but only when there's no paint on it ... :lol:

07-26-2007, 09:54 PM
Our house and basement is shared with this indoor dude, who sheds enough fur every day to make another cat. He is really more of a "writing pal" as he likes to share space in the chair or by the desk.