Getting Ready to Paint at Home

Mar 21, 2020 | Articles

This week, the Painting Experience team met online to talk about how we can help our vibrant community of process painters—that’s you!—stay connected and keep painting during this time when we must stay physically apart. As you’ve surely experienced by now, many creative communities are coming online with new ways to get together; we are doing the same.

Currently, we’re offering more opportunities to paint together online. But we have other plans in the works as well, including some upcoming weekend offerings to provide sustained practice in place of the on-site workshops we’ve had to cancel. Gathering this way provides a few unexpected benefits—like carving out a home space for creative practice and more intimately witnessing others’ painting journeys in our shared virtual environment.

To that end, we hope the following suggestions will help you put together the supplies you’ll need for a home process art practice.

My photo is to inspire people who don’t think they can! I’m in a studio apartment . . . iPad propped on books, dresser moved out from wall, tall light slid over from across the room. Love it! ~ Dyane

Use What You Have

If you’ve attended a Painting Experience workshop, you know the supplies we use are simple and always the same: same paints, same brushes, same paper. We do that to minimize distraction and keep the focus on deepening your practice. But there’s no magic in the supplies we use; any materials will work just fine when used in the spirit of process.

To join us from home, it’s not even necessary to have paint. We do encourage you to work with color, but there are many options for that: colored markers, pens, crayons, pastels—or any kind of paint you have that you find easy to work with.

Likewise, you have many options for paper. Choose whatever will support your paint, markers, pens, or crayons. For a pallet, you can use something like the lid from a plastic tub; think big yogurt container. For a pallet knife, any plastic knife is a good substitute.

Right now I am into pencils . . . as you can see. I have made my art every day like this. It’s always hanging there for me to be inspired and add something to it. I just love colors and shapes, and when I’m happy or sad or anxious I express it there too. ~ Gigi

Ordering Online in the U.S.A.

In many parts of the world right now, all but the most essential shops are closed. Depending on what’s happening at the time you read this, however, you may be able to order art supplies online—including directly from us. We don’t sell paint, but we do have a small stock of brushes and paper on hand. As long as we’re permitted to go to the post office, we can ship these supplies within the United States.

To find our recommended brands and sources for ordering paint, brushes, and paper, see the article Paints, Paper, Brushes and Time. The article also contains tips for using these materials.

For Our Canadian Painters

Our senior facilitator Annie Rousseau is available to help those of you in Canada who need supplies. For paint, she recommends Chromatemp, which is currently available in Western Canada from Opus Art Supplies. For brushes, she likes this Royal Grip starter set.

And for as long as her post office allows, she can ship the type of paper we use in our workshops directly to you. If you’re interested in this option, send a note to Annie using our online contact form and we will forward your note to her.

Last year, I did not have space where I lived at the time, and so painted on the refrigerator. ~ Peyton

I took over the space I had set aside as a play space for my grandchildren that they don’t use anymore. I just taped up brown paper and find that tacks work better to hang the painting paper than tape. I have a table next to it to hold paints, water, and brushes. I have a storage cabinet nearby to hold the paper. That’s about it. There’s only two of us here and it’s a pretty private space.  It really is pretty simple. There’s even room for the dog. ~ Terry

Setting Up Your Space

Here again, you don’t have to do anything fancy. You can just sit down at a table with your paper, markers, and an Internet connected device. If you want more detailed tips, our friend Caroline made a wonderful video a while back about setting up a painting space at home. (If you’re getting this post by email, click through to our website to watch.)


We also hope the photos and quotes in this post have provided some practical inspiration; we’ll be sharing more like this in the days to come. In fact, if you want to send us a picture of your home painting space with any tips about what makes it work for you—so we can share your ideas with others—please do!

More Information

If you decide to join us to explore process art online and have questions anywhere along the way, we’re here here to help!


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