Creating Art in Small Studios

Believe it or not, many successful and dedicated artists create beautiful art in small studios.

Over the years, I have been inspired by my artist friends who visit my Facebook Fine Art Tips fan page and share their stories. I’ve loved seeing photos of their studios, and the artwork they create.

I hope you enjoy seeing how some of your fellow artists are creating fabulous art in small studios. These artists don’t let any excuses get in their way!

Max Moss

I thought some of the fellow artists on here might appreciate the little mini or small studio I’ve just finished. Not the room itself, just the goodies. My easel is a “Best” wall hanging easel……I built the table out of a walnut slab I finished and put on top of an old sewing machine base that I bought at an antique shop. I had it sand blasted and powder coated. It’s turned out really nice.Creating Art in Small Studios

The glass pallet is 32″ long by 16″ wide.  Also, I have my paint on a 4″ by 18″ pallet that I can put in my freezer when I’m not painting (to keep the paint from drying)I got that brush cleaning doohickey I mounted on the back of the table from Wind River. (click to enlarge photos).

Creating Art in Small Studios

All the little wall hanging things are blessings from Ikea (holding the paint brushes). Those Europeans know how to live in tight quarters. 🙂 One other thing I’m really excited to use next week when I’m painting/traveling in Colorado is the Art Cocoon you can see on the floor on the bottom left. What a cool idea those folks had! It’s really well made, and only $10 each.

Creating Art in Small Studios

So, I’m all gadgeted up and I need to quit playing studio designer and get to work painting. I just thought yall might enjoy it as much as I love seeing everyone else’s setup. ~Max Moss

Ken Newman Sculptures

Working out of a 5th wheel RV has some challenges…space is not always large, but the passion to create out weighs the need for the perfect studio space. RV living as an artist – space is limited but anything is possible. ~Ken

Creating Art in Small Studios
Creating Art in Small Studios Jorunn Coe

I love my studio space. My studio place is small, but beautiful. It is very feminine in every way. When I look around, I see not just my own art but beautiful vignettes of flowers, dishes, lamps , books , mirrors etc. Yes it is a design studio located down town of our small mountain town, so friends pop in to visit and I can go to the coffee house when I need a brake. I believe that the space doesn’t have to be huge, but I believe it should be comfortable, with good lighting and I place to sit down and rest once in awhile. ~Jorunn

Creating Art in Small Studios

Sea Dean

I have a tiny place and I’ve put a little studio in the lounge in the disused space behind the lounge chairs. I don’t have a problem with lack of light. I have too much light from the floor to ceiling windows which let in bright sunshine all afternoon behind where I sit. I have to completely close the blinds to cut it out. But I used to have the easel the other way around to paint the view you see below and it was difficult to see the colour of the paint I was using or on the canvas which let to all kinds of problems. Now I’m happy and I paint every day. ~Sea

Creating Art in Small Studios

Samantha Hegeman Villenave

Only finished work on my easel this weekend as I am showing in a beautiful ancientvillage in southern France this weekend. However, the scenery is breathtaking, and I am buzzing with inspiration and cannot wait until I have a little time next week! (: Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend Lori and thank you again for letting us share. ~Samantha

Creating Art in Small Studios

Debb Ferris Bates

My “little art studio” is in a small room in my basement. Not much light.My window , I covered in stain glass that I did a few years ago. There is a deck that hangs over this window, and I thought the stained glass window was nicer to see 🙂 ~Deb

Creating Art in Small Studios

Jack Mckenzie

This my “mini art studio’ in one corner of the room. The cabinet that the easel is sitting on is an old TV set Most of the magazines in the shelves below are cooking magazines since I like to cook, too. ~Jack

Creating Art in Small Studios

Lori McNee

About 20 years ago, I first started my own art career at the kitchen table. After a few years, I dedicated a corner of our busy living room to my ‘studio’ among a television, Nintendo, toys, kids and my dogs. Those are fond memories, but now my kids are grown and in college and I have lovely studio all to myself. Even though my studio would not be described as small, the area I concentrate most of my work in IS small. Even though I have taken over a bedroom for my studio, the majority of my painting is done in this corner…

To my left is an adjustable shelf where I set up my still life paintings. When I paint a studio landscape, I use the shelf to hold my laptop so I can project reference photos. My next purchase will be a new and large LCD monitor to help enlarge my images!  In the second picture you can see the way I light my easel. I have tried many types of lighting and lamps that simulate daylight. Finally, I have found a simple, and inexpensive solution that works – a shop light with two 32/t8 fluorescent bulbs from good ole’ Home Depot! ~Lori

art studio

Creating Art in Small Studios

Hopefully some of you have gained some new ideas for creating your own small studios. Please join us and share, ‘what’s on your easel’ on my fan page! Thanks for stopping by and please share any suggestions you might have…we all learn from each other! ~Lori 🙂

Want to further your painting skills? Please check out these art books I recommendclick here.

You might like some of these articles:

Top 10 Reference Photo Tips for Artists


How to Build a Pochade Box from a Cigar Box

How to Pack for Painting: Tips for the Artists Flying by Plane or Car

New Zealand: Painting and Playing in the ‘God Zone’

Bringing the Still Life to Life: A Painting Demo by Master, Jeff Legg

Demystifying Social Media for the Artist

Sketching Peregrine Falcon Birds from Life

I hope you join me on Twitter and Facebook! ~Lori 🙂


  1. Matteo Grilli May 19, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Lovely post Lori, I wish I posted a picture of my desk too..
    Best wishes

  2. Matteo Grilli May 19, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Lovely post Lori! I wish I posted a picture of my desk too..
    Best wishes

    • Lori McNee May 19, 2011 at 9:21 am

      Oh Matteo…I would have loved to include your ‘desk’ in this post. If you’d like to add it, send it on in to me…

      Thanks for the comment-
      Lori 🙂

  3. michael scott May 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Lori, Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. I love learning about art and artists online, its like I have another chance to go to the best art school ever. I’m also just getting in to blogging and networking, in fact this comment is for me a learning experience. You are a great role model, keep it up! By the way, I discovered you on youtube. Keep up the good work!

    • Lori McNee May 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

      Hello Michael and I am glad to hear this little post was inspiring to you. Blogging is a lot of fun and congrats on jumping in and going for it!!! I am always looking for a good guest post, so keep that in mind.
      YouTube??? Thanks for letting me know where you ‘found’ me. Those little videos are a lot of fun to make which reminds me…it’s about time to make another one.

      Take care and hope to see you again-

  4. Amy Tennant May 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks for sharing all of these pictures and stories ~ I always love seeing other artists’ studios. I have a small bedroom set up for painting and drawing but lately I find myself spending a lot more time working at the kitchen table because the natural light is so much better in there. I may have to look into the shop light idea!


    • Lori McNee May 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Hello Amy,

      Thanks for stopping by for a comment. Small studios often times are more efficient than large studios! Now that I have more space, I have a harder time staying organized…lol! Yes, that shop light is a great way to bask your easel in even lighting. I hope you try it out.

      Happy creating-
      Lori 🙂

  5. Joe Ray May 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Wow! Very inspiring! It’s always enjoyable to see others’ studios and the work in progress that they have. It’s very telling about how they work, how they think, etc. It’s where the magic happens!

    • Lori McNee May 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Hello Joe, thanks for taking time to comment. I am glad you enjoyed this little post. It was fun for me to peak into their studios too…

      Hope to see you again-
      Lori 🙂

  6. Janice Tanton May 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Wonderful post, Lori! A big thanks to everyone who contributed photos of their workspace. It’s so nice to be able to see these creative spaces and how everyone finds a way to “make it their own”. It’s a bit like having a virtual studio tour! Opening up your private creative space is such a gift. Here’s a link to a recent refurb that I did, with before and after photos. It was a big inspiration to reorganize, tidy and set up to create!

    Thanks again for sharing, everyone! So inspiring. 🙂

    • Lori McNee May 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Hello Janice,

      Thank you for the great feedback and for sharing your own beautiful studio with us. Wow, what a wonderful space you have created! Someday I will do a post on elegant studios and would love to include yours…

      Hope to see you again sometime soon!
      Lori 🙂

  7. Mary Sheehan Winn May 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    SO much great reading on this blog. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lori McNee May 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for the short and sweet comment. Your positive feedback is important to me.

      Lori 🙂

  8. Mary Hone May 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I found your website through Ken Newmans blog. Excited about that. My husband is a sculptor. He does all his sculpting in the dining room because that is were the best light is. So when he is doing his “artist thing” he walks through to the living room to stand back and get his perspective. I do bead work, also in the dining room, so we joke all the time that instead of a dining table, we have a “craft” table. We travel as much as we can in our fifth wheel and he sculpts there too. We just got back from a few weeks on the road and he got quite a bit done on his latest project. I have some pictures on my blog Thanks for sharing all the great info. Mary

    • Lori McNee May 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Mary and thank you for letting me know how you found my blog. I am amazed at the dedication artists like Ken, and your husband possess to be able to sculpt in such unusual studio conditions! It must be fun for you to bead while your husband sculpts in the dining room. I have a dog named Roxy too! Thanks for sharing your blog with us.

      Thanks for the visit and I hope to see you again-
      Lori 🙂

  9. Meltemi May 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

    The Art Studio of Meltemi [8′ x 10′] and what’s on my easel? Simple see my website…

  10. JeanGerard July 18, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Very nice post with beautiful pictures.

    • Lori McNee July 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      It’s always nice to see you Jean Gerard. Thank you for the comment.

      My best-

  11. Robert Sneed November 11, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I tried the RV studio idea for 1 year quite a few years ago. I had it set up in a campground. The winter was a bit of a challenge but other than that I met a lot of wonderful people from around the country.

    • Lori McNee November 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Robert, it’s fun to see you on my blog! Thanks for sharing your insights on an RV studio.


  12. Ashlie Blake January 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I too work in a nice small space 🙂 It’s cozy, colorful, and I have a gas powered wall heater to warm my buns while paint is drying.

    • Lori McNee January 27, 2012 at 12:45 am

      It is amazing how efficient we can be in a small space. Happy painting to you Ashlie!
      Lori 🙂

  13. Dan Freese September 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you very much for this post! My wife an I have been trying to set up a room in our house as a Crafting room. Now that our children are grown and out on there own we have Turned there old rooms into spaces for our “toys”. We turned one room into a computer room / Office and the other we have been trying to make into the Craft room. The ideas here will solve many of the problems we have run into as well as help with the layout of the room.

    Thank you once again, Be safe and happy 🙂

    • Lori McNee October 24, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Yay! So happy to help you solve your workspace issues. Thank you for letting me know…

  14. Jann Alexander March 13, 2014 at 10:52 am

    This is so fun. I love seeing others’ studio spaces. And I thought I had a small studio, until I saw the one in the motorhome! I’m thinking I’ll do a post one day on my own tiny studio, which only works because I have two great closets nearby! Thanks for this.

    • Lori McNee March 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Hello Jann, many thanks for the happy comment. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the small, efficient studios. Maybe you got some ideas? 🙂

  15. Jann Alexander March 13, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Just made a discovery of another artist’s studio you may wish you check out. Though it’s not small, it is significant:

    • Lori McNee March 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Jann, I really love this post you shared with me. Very cool indeed. Thanks for thinking of me!
      Happy painting,

  16. Lynn Rattray March 14, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Hi Lori,

    Helpful post. Do you have any past posts recommending easels? I’ve had two and both are difficult to manage when adjusting height. One is a moderate priced easel and the other is expensive. Both are difficult to reposition height and neither of them hold the position. Do easels usually have to be replaced for this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks for all your helpful tips!


  17. Nadya August 23, 2014 at 10:26 am

    hI, Lori
    thanks for sharing this fun peek into several small studios!
    I moved a former media center wardrobe into my tiny dining nook, and set up a small studio this summer, when taking an online art class, and it’s a good space! I was gifted a big easel, and have supplies on stools & the table, with some stored in the wardrobe!

    • Lori A McNee May 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Hello Nadya, many apologies for the belated reply. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  18. Allen Bryan August 23, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Lori, I grew my studio out of our golf garage. I have about everything an artist would need in there, only it’s not very neat. The personal experiences through your article have inspired me to clean up my act . . . a bit. Thanks.

    By the way, no web site. I just paint because it’s what I am after repurposing my life when I retired in 2003. Having an exhibition this early Winter though. No space on the walls now and have to move them out to put new ones on. LOL

    • Lori A McNee September 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Hello Allen, well how nice to hear this post has inspired you! When working in small spaces, it is especially helpful to be organized and tidy. Artists tend to accumulate a lot of extra ‘stuff’ and it’s best to keep the clutter to a minimum. Congrats on your exhibition!

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