Al Young Studios Newsroom

Custom built-in brush holders

Most features of the studio are custom made by Al to fit the techniques and work habits of each artist at Al Young Studios. Each holder shown here has stood up to the trial-and-error test of years of professional painting. Brush holders are as individualized as the artists who use them. We hope these ideas help in the search for solutions that fit your needs.

The brush holder pictured above is mounted on the wall next to the 50 in. x 55 in. easel on the studio's east wall. The natural-wood portion of the brush holder is actually portable, and sets in a painted wooden compartment. In addition to the slanted "shelf" through which holes were drilled to accommodate brushes, a lower shelf is provided with handle stops to keep the brushes in place.

A shelf running across the top of the holder accommodates a large white pitcher (not shown) containing old and over-sized brushes. A miniature silver teapot stands in the middle of the shelf and is home to frequently used palette knives. Bottles of solvent occupy the right side of the brush-holder shelf. Each bottle is equipped with a cork-mounted, stainless steel pour spout.

Another free-standing easel in the studio, above, is equipped with a brush-holder tray made of fluted, trim molding. The 3-in. wide, flat molding supports the painting, and its fluting is used to keep brushes separate when in use. This is Elspeth's favorite because it keeps the brushes between the palette and the painting; she doesn't have to reach away from the easel to retrieve a brush. Besides, Elspeth's easel is too far away from a wall for a mounted brush rack to be convenient.

Below, a wall-mounted brush and tool storage area occupies the bottom shelf of a set of wall-mounted shelves on the west wall of the studio. The white porcelain flower pot also contains brushes used for a wide variety of studio chores.

The storage shelf (above) is seldom used for brushes in use during a painting session. It is also home to palette knives, pencils, smudge sticks, and other tools.

Another wall-mounted easel, on the south wall of the studio, is equipped with a simple brush holder (near the center of the photograph) that allows brushes to lay flat without rolling around.

The pliers are most frequently used to remove lids (a great way of avoiding paint stains) and getting the very last bit of paint from a tube.

Over the years, Al has moved toward the use of free-standing brush holders (to be featured in another post), depending upon which easel he uses.

Tags: 2010, Tools supplies and operations

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