When putting your workspace together, your first priority is to make sure you have enough room to move around without tripping over something. You especially need enough space behind you so that you can back up to view your work in progress. The bigger your art is, the more space you need. In an ideal situation, using a traditional setup with an easel, plan for at least an eight-foot square of space. However, we realize that you may not live in an ideal situation, so this section provides some suggestions to help you.
If you’re lucky enough to have a large space available for your pastel work, congratulations â you can pretty much use whatever kind of setup you want, so check out the following section “Choosing equipment for your dedicated space” for more on furniture and other considerations. If you’re not fortunate enough to have ample space for a large art studio â perhaps you live in a smaller apartment or house and simply don’t have the space â you can still create a workable art workspace. You can turn a closet into a studio if you have to (though tiny studios may mean that you make tiny art). Here are some ways you can work when only a small space is available. These tips are also helpful if you’re just starting out and can’t afford an easel.
Use a wall for an easel. This option is best because it takes up no space, and you can easily step back to evaluate your work. Nailing Masonite or Formica to the wall creates a smooth surface under your paper so that you can easily tape the paper to the wall.
Work flat on a long folding table. You can lay out your materials and even a still life setup conveniently and work flat on the table.
Sit to work with your drawing board propped against the table. Attach your paper to a drawing board and sit with the bottom edge of the board in your lap and the backside of the board propped against the table. This setup isn’t exactly ideal â if you’re really digging into the drawing, a certain amount of pastel dust can drift down the face of your drawing and into your lap â but it’s certainly better than not drawing at all! Just think of doing laundry as a small price to pay for your art.
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