Sunday, 2 August 2020

Anatomy of a Painting Desk

Photos of hobby desks are quite common.  Some hobby forums run "show your desk" threads and I enjoy them immensely.  I'm always curious to see what people's desks look like be they tidy or chaotic, dirty or clean.


The above is a slight twist on this recurrent theme.  I've numbered the various items so I can add extra detail below and illustrate how I work. 

I didn't want to add a written key to the image: you'll see why when you read the key.  To identify things you'll need to switch back and forth between the larger linked image and the key.

This is easy for me because I use the HoverZoom extension on Firefox and I can pop up the larger linked image just by placing the mouse over the image.    For those without this facility it'll probably be best if you open the large image in separate tab or window and switch between them.  Let me know how get on in the comments.

Key to the desktop
  1. Tools.  Modelling knives, tweezers, pipettes, and "nearly dead" brushes for those dirty jobs like dry brushing.
  2. Box of useful things like glue, stirrers, basing tools, home made brush cleaning soap plus the inevitable collection of odds and sods.
  3. Current set of brushes with dedicated brushes for priming & varnishing.
  4. Droppers for water & acrylic medium.  These make it much easier to control dilution etc.
  5. Reading glasses (see 20).
  6. Mixing pots for Plaka & metallic paints.  I keep these well away from the acrylics on my main palette just in case.
  7. Easy clean ceramic palette on a home made lazy Susan.   The paint pot in the centre contains talc for matting paint.
  8. Clean water.
  9. Brush cleaning water.  Usually a dilute solution of washing up liquid.
  10. My version of a wet palette to provide a ready source of my core paints.
  11. Selected craft paints and custom mixes made from craft & tube acrylics.
  12. My trusty two Plaka paints: red brown & signal red.  I wouldn't be without these.
  13. Vallejo paints.  I have more in stock but they are the same colours as on my desk.
  14. Miniature paints tanned flesh, pale flesh, earth brown and chocolate brown.  Plus a bottle of cheap black paint (from tube acrylic) for undercoating.  Three colours decanted from larger bottles of craft paint (taupe, light taupe and cream).
  15. Metallics.  Most are decanted craft metallics.  One is home mixed gunmetal.
  16. PVA for basing and flags etc.  Brush on matt varnish & white spirit for cleaning varnish brush.
  17. Brush on primer and more acrylic medium.
  18. Work in progress tray.
  19. Completed figures awaiting varnishing.
  20. Magnifier for use in conjunction with reading glasses (see 5): I need both now: bugger!
  21. Toughened glass top to protect the desktop.  It's surprisingly easy to scratch but it's so much easier to keep clean
  22. Coasters for endless cups of tea (not shown).
Compared to other desks, and paint "collections", I have seen I think I use relatively few paints.  This doubtless because I have tended to use a more restricted palette and mix any intermediate & highlight colours I require.

The photo contains almost everything I use; certainly on a daily basis.  I do have a few extra tools and the like in the desk draw such as files, clippers, brass rod, half a dozen paints I very rarely use.  Needless to say I have a small box I bring out when I'm basing figures and a mini-lead pile but I keep these well hidden in a cupboard especially the latter

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my painting desk.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

    3 comments :

    1. Replies
      1. None. The desk is in front of a south facing window. The light can be so strong I have had to draw the blinds.

        Delete
      2. Pity - I’m always looking for the “perfect” lighting!

        Delete

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