Updated: Feb 21
Palettes, brushes, tubes, paints, containers, canvas, knives, and whatnot. An artist’s room is no less than that of an engineer’s work station. It’s just that there’s a lot of colorful mess instead of oil and grease. For an artist tools matter, a lot for, that forms the base or the very existence of their art. Artists treasure their tools like how moms care for their ornaments. The best thing about art is that there’s no age constraint. You can even pick up a watercolor pad when you are 85! But no matter what the age is, there are always beginners. If you are a recent member of the art family and are always worried about how to keep your tools long-lasting, this is a perfect ‘must-read’ for you. Well if you already have good knowledge about it then trust me you are doing great and best! So with no further delay, let’s jump to learning easy and handy tips to maintain your
primary art tools.
It is one of the primary and essential needs of an artist. It can be color pencils, graphite, watercolor pencils, etc. Some of the best brands come at a price, and so it is essential to take care of them properly. Always make sure they are free of pencil dust. Keep them secure and separately arranged in individual boxes. Tip - Sharpen your pencils with a knife to make them last longer.
Chalk sticks -
They are probably the most delicate of tools to store and maintain. Charcoal sticks or soft pastels need extra care. You can keep them in the boxes that come with it. Put a layer of soft sponge on them to keep them from breaking. Always clean the desk with a soft brush after you finish working with them to remove excess color dust. Blow lightly over the set before you close them for storage.
Kneadable erasers or hard erasers are an artist’s best friend. They also get dirty quickly. The best way to store essential erasers is to keep them away from the pouch in which you store your pencils. If you are patient enough, then wrap them in pieces of parchment paper or store them in a bag made of muslin cloth. This will keep them from sticking to any other dust.
It is crucial to make sure your nibs are always secured. Keep the pen caps closed and never expose them as they tend to dry up. Sort colored pens to make your art process simple and easy.
Acrylics or oil or watercolor cakes. Every medium has different properties and has to be taken care of accordingly. Never forget to close your acrylic bottles or tubes as exposure to air can dry them up quickly. Oil paints are to be stored in a warm, dark and humid place. Cold temperatures can harden your paint tubes. Get a paint rack or a cabinet to store them. For watercolors, it is advisable to store the cakes in tin boxes. If you are using tubes, keep them away from sunlight as it can dry them out quickly. Store them in airtight boxes to make them last longer.
Pallets have the most beautiful mess. To keep them clean, you just have to take that extra step in washing them immediately after use. Glass pallets are easier to clean compared to other materials. Wood pallets are challenging to maintain but are light weighted. Plan your colors, so you don’t end up mixing extra paints on
your palette. If you have a plastic palette with acrylics, soak them overnight in soap water and clean them with a soft sponge.
The most important of all ! One cannot imagine perfect art without a brush. Brushes are of different types - they can have artificial hair or natural hair. While the former needs reasonable care, the latter requires a lot of attention and care while storing. Never leave your brushes in water for a long time. Always wipe them in a cloth before you put them to storing.Make sure they air dry well if you are planning to store them in boxes. Never put the brush weight on the hair strands as they tend to bend over time.
Keeping up with you Art Room
How can one miss out the studio ? No matter how small or big it is. It can be a small space in your house or a professionally set studio. It is one of the most crucial things to maintain. As simple and quick tips, you can stick to these:
● Sort and discard worn-out or unwanted art materials
● Keep it dust-free
● A no-sunlight corner for your canvas paintings
● Planners and organizers along with a calendar
● A clean table
● Individual storage boxes for art supplies
● A basket to store your rolled canvas or other charts
● Enough old dry cloth pieces
● Label every single container, box, basket or cabinet - makes life simpler !
● Organize ruthlessly !
Refer to various art studio pictures to help you set up your space. Take inspiration to keep you going.
Having said that, there’s always scope to learning. Never be disappointed if you unintentionally damage any of your tools. Remember ? With mistakes, we all get better at what we do ! Always seek tips from experts when in doubt and never hesitate.