Now that you have invested in paints and brushes, it’s time to come up with the storage containers or cases.
With so many choices, where do you even begin, and at a fair and inexpensive price?
There are all sorts of specialty containers for water, brush cleaners, paint thinner and oils. They may have some redeeming features that sound particularly convenient or efficient, but they are generally unnecessary.
Use plastic containers or cases saved from pre-packaged foods such as margarine or lunchmeat. They have snap-on lids, are lightweight and disposable. If you are using a solution that degrades petroleum-based products, use a glass jar with a screw-on lid. There are different sizes in every pantry. Baby food jars or small condiment jars are good for storing small portions, while larger mayonnaise or pickle jars may be as large as one-quart capacity. Avoid metallic cans, as they can corrode or rust.
Paint Box Or Tabouret
After a time, an artist acquires a good deal of paraphernalia. Keeping a tidy workspace and having a portable means to tote his gear are important for efficiency and just plan organization.
A good paint box is a standard carpenter’s toolbox. They are inexpensive and are available in many sizes. Metal or rigid plastic boxes have a variety of configurations. Some have hinged trays that are accessible upon opening, while others have lift-out trays. Larger models have extra compartments, and they all have sturdy latches and handles. Craft stores also have similar, compartmentalized cases. However, they may be more costly than the building supply store toolboxes.
Using a portable toolbox, the artist has the ability to pick up and go. Unfortunately, as time goes on he may have acquired more equipment than will fit in his toolbox. In that case, it is time to consider a more spacious home for his growing accumulation of tools.
Choosing a Tabouret
When that happens, it is time to consider a tabouret. The term is just a fancy name for an oversized tool chest, generally mounted on wheels so that it may be moved about the studio. If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated area in which to work, a tabouret is a great convenience.
There are good substitutes for the pricey artist’s tabouret. A mechanic’s rolling tool cart is perfect to house all your equipment, and the shallow drawers are perfect for the small items that artists tend to use. Since they have shallow drawers, you get a lot of storage in a compact space.
Positioned next to your easel or painting table, the top provides an area for palette, brushes and painting medium at a perfect height for accessibility. The wheels allow it to be positioned easily and tucked back in a corner or closet at the end of a painting session.
There are also small moveable carts available at department stores, but they generally have fewer, deep drawers that don’t provide as much storage potential. However, the plastic units may be less costly and suffice with the addition of shallow baskets to separate and store your tools in the deep drawers.
When searching for inexpensive solutions for your artist’s accessories and tools, it pays to look outside the box. Second hand stores, garage sales and flea markets are all great resources for many accessories. You may need persistence, patience and be willing to spend a few weeks of shopping excursions to find the right items at the right price.
A used, garage sale toolbox is just as useful as a costly art storage bin, ordered from an artist’s supply store. Anyway, that dinged-up tool chest gives you the air of a well-seasoned artist, and there’s nothing wrong with that.