Studio Beautiful

The next question is how to furnish your studio. Whether you recruit pieces gathering dust in your attic or buy all new ones is up to you. The list that follows includes what we consider essentials to a drawing studio, but you can easily get by with far less (at least in the beginning).

An adjustable drawing table and a comfortable office-style chair are a great start. You can work at an angle by putting a drawing board in your lap or propping it up with books, but your own table is a great help. This can help keep you from hunching over your work. We don't want any sore backs! An extendable goosenecked architectural lamp will extend the time you can work on overcast days and into the evening.

A small freestanding bookshelf will hold your materials, books, magazines, and your portfolio.

Supply carts on wheels, called taborets, are a wonderful addition. They hold everything and you can move them as necessary, which is particularly helpful if you have to condense your work area when you're finished for the day.

A tackboard is nice if you have a wall to use. You will enjoy putting up your work, postcards, photos, and other visual ideas.

If you have a computer, it can live quite happily on a nearby table. It can be very handy, as we will discuss in Chapter 25, "Express Yourself."

A box, such as a file box, big tackle box, toolbox, or photo storage box, will hold your beginning materials.

A portfolio or two is a way to keep your work organized and your paper stored safely. Ideally, portfolios should be kept flat. A set of paper storage drawers can go on your wish list.

Try Your Hand

Allowing yourself a space and some time is giving yourself a great gift. It's a way of valuing yourself, thinking seriously about your interest in drawing, and making an effort to encourage yourself.

Artist's Sketchbook

Artists' studios range from converted closets to converted guest houses. Where you put your studio depends on where you have room, of course, but you can make it as individualized as you choose.

The sky is the limit with studios, but a modest space is better than no space, and working small is far better than putting off the experience of learning to see and draw because of a lack of space. Compromise where you have to; the important thing is procuring a space of your own.

The Art of Drawing

We know you may be limited by your budget, so you should consider everything in this section as suggestions. Even with a limited budget, however, a weekend at yard sales or even browsing through your local thrift shops can yield some surprising bargains that you'll treasure because you yourself found them.

Lauren drew these pictures of her studio so you can see it as she sees it. One drawing shows the painter's side of her studio, and the other, the high-tech side!

Just for fun, compare these photos of Lauren's studio with her rendition of her high-tech studio above.

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