Zealous artist Robert Hewer gives us his tips on setting up a home studio on a budget. 

I moved house recently, and top of the agenda for the new place was setting up a new studio. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]DIY shops are your best friend when setting up a home studio[/inlinetweet]. All the basics you need can be found in in any big brand DIY shop and it’s all pretty good value.

First things first: you need to protect the walls and floors, that is, unless you want to cover them with paint. I just buy some of the thin polyolefin painting covers for the walls and standard tarp for the floor. If, like me, the floor in your home studio is unfortunately carpet, then you get MDF planks that slot together to give you a hard, steady floor quickly and cheaply – normally they’re used as loft flooring, if you’re struggling to find them. This means you don’t have to worry about any paint or other substances leaking through!

If someone invents a rewind button, I’d be on that immediately

Another thing I found very useful are wallpaper paste tables. They’re great for using as a mixing table, or just to give you a good surface to put stuff on. You can usually pick them up for around £10. Lastly, if you’re a painter and want a big mixing pallet, you can just buy a large single gloss finish floor tile. It’s cheap and the paint won’t dry out as it’s not porous.

Now, in terms of other kit that you’ll need – speaking as a painter now, obviously if your medium is different then you do you – my five essential tools are mini rollers, wide household paint brushes, a meter ruler, liquitex heavy & light body acrylic paint, and winsor & newton acrylic gloss medium. When I begin working, the first thing I get out are the mini roller trays. I always mix up my main colours in these. They’re also pretty handy if you want to then save the colours you’ve made, just put the tray into a carrier bag and you can leave it for a couple of weeks before it drys out. Obviously there is a lot of stuff that will just depend on your own practice and how you work, but this will give you a pretty good starting point for your own home studio.

Technology-wise, the only thing I really use is Photoshop to edit my images before I paint them, and I’m sure in the future art and technology will become more entwined, but right now I’m happy with not relying on it too heavily. Although, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]if someone invents a rewind button, I’d be on that immediately[/inlinetweet], or a machine that saves colours you have mixed up in the past – that would be incredibly useful when trying to recreate a colour that’s worked well in the past, or for when you’re just feeling lazy. I’m sure we all have those days every once in a while – though having a good, functional studio, one that you really want to work in, does help to keep them to a minimum.

Robert will be exhibiting some of his work at Artwave West in Bridport, Dorset, from 23 July until 24 September. Check out his portfolio