Need Advice On How To Work with my surface

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jrasche2003 wrote
on 16 Jan 2014 10:30 PM

Newbie here asking about my work surface and any suggestions you may have for me.  

I have a adjustable drafting table to work on.  I like being able to sit and rest my arms(my arms would not last 5 minutes with an easel).

I have a couple issues however, and I need your input.

1.  There is no lip, no storage with this table.  It's all it is, a table that I can tilt fairly much.  Of course, if I am working on a canvas, or canvas panel, it just wants to slide right off.  Does this mean I need a lip on it?  And if that is the case (I am guess it is), how do you deal with the canvas being butted up against the lip, which can be not far off of your lap?

2.  Since it is tilted, how do you guys deal with your water container, brushes and paints?  Do you have an additional little table sat next to you?

3.  do you use a clamp light on the table?  I have a florescent one that seems to put alot of glare on the painting.. 


I hope your not laughing too hard, but videos don't show these little details, and I am struggling to make this work for me.  The photo below is how I had it set up, but I find that I need it angled a little bit more, of which nothing wants to sit on it... 

I Need your help Thanks!

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on 17 Jan 2014 1:50 PM

Is your drafting table anything like this, i.e., wooden?   Is there a way you could glue or screw a couple of slats of wood onto the frame near to the top but under the top of the table on each side.  If so, this would allow you to slide a piece of wood on top of the slats that could be pulled out to use as a platform for your canvas to rest on when you want to put your table on a slant.  You would have to allow a space between the table top and the glued/screwed on wood to insert the board.  The board could be the size of your table frame top and would allow you to pull it out as much as you wish giving you a surface for other items when it is out.  You could clamp a piece of moulding on the board in front of your canvas to keep it in place.  You could put a drawer pull on the front of or on the bottom of the piece of board to help with moving it in and out.

Or another thing you could try is get a couple of clamps that would be large enough to grab the table edge and your painting surface when you clip it on and want to rise the table top.

You could check out Lee Valley catalogue to see what items they have that would allow you to attach to your table (similar to the slats of wood) that would allow for a more professional pull-out system, i.e., for drawers.

If you don't mind nailing things to your walls  - holes can be filled  ;)  - you could nail or screw large tomato cans to a 2 inch by 12 - 16 inch board and screw this into the wall.   Or you could nail it to the frame of the outside of your drafting table if it is wooden.  This could hold your brushes, pencils, etc., even a can to hold a glass jar for water.  The glass jar inserted into the can would allow for easy clean up.   Or you could look into Ikea's kitchen section for  systems that have magnetized bars that you screw into the wall and you can get items for this that you can hang from the magnetized bar to hold your painting items.  Or, another option for your painting/ water supplies would be a kitchen cart that you can move around, but that gets a bit costlier.

Hope this helps your creative juices.




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jrasche2003 wrote
on 18 Jan 2014 1:58 AM

Thank you for all those ideas.  

I don't have a wood one like above.. I had a Berkely style.  But today I bought a different table that is a bit easier to adjust from the sides instead on in the back.  Your post did give me some ideas and I did get a storage bin for fairly cheap that has wheels and holds all my brushes, and my paints and everything else.. plus, I can wheel it out and use it to set my water container and my palette on!!   I also bought some masking paper in the painting section at walmart to protect my surface too.. 

Here is a pic... 


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