My workspace - in depth

The other day I posted a photo of my workspace on instagram . 

The voyeur in me likes seeing other people's desk spaces too because I think to a certain extent it gives some kind of insight into that person. Whether, they're organized, whether they like to remember things with colored highlighters....or if they're like me, and live in systematic chaos. 

So, here's my desk again with annotations if you're a desk perv like me. Maybe you can let me know what kind of impression you get from it lol. And at the same time, I'll do a quick run down of the tools I use when I make my paintings. 

Normally stuff aren't grouped together and there is more tissue. 

Normally stuff aren't grouped together and there is more tissue. 

I don't have any drawers so when I'm not staging photo shoots like this the Daler Rowney tubes usually live in a repurposed kitchen trolley we bought from IKEA. That's also where my other arty / crafty knick knacks live too, like rulers, blades and watercolour paper. 

My paintings started off on 8x8 size paper and for now I don't really do larger sizes. Which means I generally don't need a lot of brushes to paint. These are all of mine (for now!) .  

 

Yup. That's it. And a mechanical pencil.  

Yup. That's it. And a mechanical pencil.  

The two on the left were the only two brushes I used for a lot of my first few paintings. They're pretty special in a way because they can hold water inside their plastic handle. This means they're portable if you really fill it up with water because you don't need a separate cup to dip water in. 

The others are relatively new purchases from the art store here in Singapore. They're just your regular round and flat brushes. My rounds range in sizes 0, 4 and 8. Together with the two on the far left, that's usually all I need.  

I generally only use the flat brushes for backgrounds or washes (rarely).  

The next most frequently used tools on my desk are these pens.  

 

I'm thinking 005 isn't small enough these days!  

I'm thinking 005 isn't small enough these days!  

This is the brand. They came in a pack and weren't expensive but definitely get the job done.  

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Sakura micron pens are more expensive but do the same thing. I wouldn't mind having more of these just to compare any differences, but I haven't found a place in Singapore that sells them in a pack. 

Next are palettes. Again, you can get super fancy, large ones at your local art stores. If you do oil and acrylic you can even get disposable ones, but for the size and type of work I do, these small plastic trays are just good. 

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Okay, so I know of artists who diligently wash their palettes after each session. I'm...not one of them. There, I said it. I'm a palette grub. When I find I need to mix completely different colours that I don't want to get contaminated by what's already there, I just wipe the palette clean with a wet then dry tissue. But otherwise I leave the colours to dry and reuse the shades I've mixed or use it as a base for something else.  

Next are my paints: 

 Koh-I-noor watercolor cakes 24 colours

 Koh-I-noor watercolor cakes 24 colours

I have a base set of cakes (basically dried up paints) in these nice stackable circular trays. When I want to make a completely new or different shade, I bring out my Daler Rowney tubes and mix them in the palette. When work is done, these tubes get put away and the circular trays get stacked and live in a corner of my desk.  

Other miscellaneous things on my desk:  

Tissue! 

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Okay, so tissue isn't just to wipe your brush on or for cleaning palettes. It's one of the main ways to correct mistakes in watercolor. The trick when you make a mistake (what I do anyway) is take a clean brush, load it with water and dab it over the mistake, then press hard over it with a dry tissue. The tissue will suck up the excess pigment and make your mistake less obvious. It works pretty well for small areas. 

Finally, finally, the secret to all creativity: Pokemon and tea. 

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And that concludes this tour of my desk and painting tools. If you have a creative space of your own, do share!