Posted in studio tip

New Easel, Pastels, & Studio Space!

Hello fellow creatives! I have been hard at work in in my studio and finally finished a pastel painting I have been wanting to do since summer.

More about that in my next post….

Meantime, I have recently reorganized my little corner studio space–partly because it was getting a bit cluttered, and partly because I was forced to!

You see, I own a fabulous Heilman Backpacker pastel box which I have always used on a sturdy photo tripod. For pastel works, I painted by placing my paper (taped to foamcore) onto the Heilman aluminum easel which is mounted in a specially drilled hole inside the box.

This set-up worked pretty well for me for pastels, but felt limiting for use with other mediums. For example, I would not consider doing a splashy watercolor on this easel because the easel has no angle adjustment.

Well, my tripod finally gave up under the strain, I suppose, of the box’s weight and my usage. So……


I was amazed at how much more free I have felt while painting on a floor easel! I modified it to accept a paper towel holder for wiping pastels on. I also have clipped on a tablet holder and two lamps with daylight bulbs. While I generally am seated when I paint, this easel adjusts to allow me to stand and paint. It also has a nice tilt feature so that I can lay a canvas flat for watercolor, or bring it to vertical or past vertical for pastel painting.

On the other side of my studio area I have a desk for drawing, blogging, etc. The cabinet holds many of my art supplies.

Speaking of art supplies, here is a photo of a brand of soft pastels that were new to me until a few months ago. They are Jack Richeson Soft Handrolled Pastels, “Garden” set of 80.

I absolutely love these pastels! They are about the softness of Unison soft pastels, in my opinion. I have not used them for wet underpainting yet, so don’t know how they do there, but I really enjoyed using these in my most recent work and found myself reaching for them along with my Unisons.

And just look at those colors!!!

Here is a photo of my current pastels. As I add colors, I find that I am moving away from harder pastels like Rembrandts to the softer Unisons, Terry Ludwigs, and Schminckes. Though I do use harder pastels for varied purposes.

Well, that’s it for now! I will be posting more recent works soon including some charcoal studies and more pastel pieces.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


Rhonda is an artist, violinist, mountain dulcimer player, composer/arranger, homeschool mom, and chicken/goat farmer. To purchase her fine art, visit

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