Share Your Bedside Art Studio
"It's so good that you have an art studio in your bedside table drawer, Mum!"
When my 9-year-old daughter pointed this out to me a few days ago, I thought that it was a cool way to look at my set-up. A bedside art studio!
Mind you, my bedside table drawer hasn't always been filled with art materials. In the past, I've always kept pens and pencils there for writing, sketching, and drawing. But, over the last few months, I've slowly been adding bits and pieces in my drawer. And now, I have a mini art studio that I can use whenever I get the urge to create before bedtime.
Why set up a bedside art studio?
Yes, I know some people would probably be horrified at this idea. Keeping bedrooms strictly for bedroom-related activities is something that many people support.
But, to me, having a mini art studio within reach is akin to having a television or a selection of books in the bedroom. They're never meant to take over the main bedroom activities. They're just a good way to spend a few minutes winding down from a busy day. (Side note: I don't usually watch TV at bedtime! Prefer reading, writing, or art-making.)
Anyway, the main reason I started adding art materials in my bedside drawer is that I have often found myself stuck with my daily art practice. With a full day of work, chores, and family time, I end up needing to take my kids to bed without getting the time to do any art.
Since I'm often too tired to go back to my home office/studio at the end of the day, I just end up working with whatever I've got on hand in my bedroom. And, while anyone can make art just using pens and pencils, I find that working with different materials help to inspire me. So, I started adding some of my favourite materials.
What's in the bedside art studio?
To give you an idea, here's a photo of my bedside table drawer and its contents (especially cleaned and re-organised for this photo!) -
- Pens - As I mentioned earlier, I have a collection of pens as my staple art materials. The ones I use the most: black fine Uniball pen and black fine Sharpie. I also usually have a black Sharpie marker, white gel pens, red fine pens, refillable fine nib Lamy pen, and an assortment of ballpoint pens.
- Pencils - Again, another staple. I usually have a couple of mechanical pencils (Size 1.3 and 0.5), as well as an assortment of pencils (HB is standard, but I try to add different types too). I'd add a woodless graphite pencil and a pencil sharpener with a case here too, when I get the chance.
- Small watercolour set - I have a few watercolour sets handy. The set that's in my bedside drawer is a Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolour Compact Set. I've kept most of the original pans that came with the set. But, I've replaced a handful of colours with Van Gogh Artist Half Pans.
- Water brush pens - Love, love, love water brush pens! Don't know if I could cope with daily art and on-the-go sketching without them. Most brands I've tried seem to work well enough. But, admittedly, I'm partial to Pentel Aquash Brush Pens. Very easy to refill, maintain, and use.
- A box of tissues - I always keep one anyway, even before I had this bedside art studio. Now, I'm finding my tissues useful for cleaning water brush pens, dabbing pieces, and more.
- Coloured Markers - I'm especially in love with the brush markers like Copic Ciao Markers and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens. I also adore the Sakura Koi Watercolour Brush Pens, but that set is kept in my portable art studio bag instead.
- Coloured Pencils - I often have a variety of colour pencils within reach. But, since I don't seem to use them as much with my daily art pieces, I kept cheaper sets like the Crayola Twistables and Crayola Coloured Pencils. Though I do like keeping a handful of my favourite Prismacolor Coloured Pencils.
- Crayons - Another one of my favourites! Didn't really think crayons would become an art-making staple for me. But, over the last few months, I've fallen in love with crayons again. For regular waxy crayons, I don't think you can't go wrong with Crayola. But, my absolute favourite crayons are Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Watersoluble Crayons. I bought the basic 10-piece set to start off with because they're a bit pricey. Since then, I've purchased a 30-piece set, which is now in my portable art studio bag.
- Sketchbooks - I'm not a one-sketchbook-at-a-time artist. I tend to have several in one go. Some are handmade from watercolour papers. Some are the cheap visual art diary types you can get easily from any newsagent, dollar shop, or department store. I love the cheapies because I get fearless with them. I don't mind messing them up. But, there are days I do feel the need to work on some nicer paper. Some favourites include: Strathmore Visual Journal (Watercolour or Mixed Media, 140 lb), Moleskine Watercolour Journal, and Strathmore Gray Tone.
I also keep bulldog clips (for keeping sketchbook pages open or holding pieces of paper together) in my bedside studio. I also have erasers (a regular rubber eraser and a putty eraser). And, while I don't keep them in the drawer, I try to have access to sticky tape and a pair of scissors.
What about you? Do you make art in bed? If you do, what kind of art materials do you keep at your bedside?