When Was The Last Time You Used A Mahlstick?

by Raymond Horner - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 319 Share This!

A mahlstick is a long stick with a round resting surface at the end. Painters use this to support their hand holding the brush. But why use one in figurative painting? Because this wonderful instrument prevents your hand from touching the painting surface. That means you are able to paint images and objects with more precision and expertise.

Have you ever tried to paint on a vertical surface at the same time attempting to rest a part of your hand on it. It is hard. You probably had a hard time bending your hand far back enough to provide the details needed in your figurative oil or watercolor.

That's where that handy mahlstick comes to the rescue. You can rest the padded end of the stick on the canvas while resting your hand on the middle of the stick.

This will change the painting surface of the canvas. Plus you will have more control of your painting/drawing hand If you read about painters like Jan Vermeer ,Marie Victorie Lemoine, and Ray Horner Jr.,just to name a few they were noted for using a mahlstick.

You would be surprised at the number of famous artists who had one in their studio or carried one like a professional pool player carries his stick.

Does size really matter?

Yes, size does matter. You can scale the size of the mahlstick in relationship to the artwork. For example, If you are drawing the size of the mahlstick your buy or build will be smaller that the one you would use for painting.

So, if your are an aspiring artist be sure to include this powerful tool along with your paints and brushes.

How do you get one?

You can purchase one from a really good art supply store. But you can also make your own That will be discussed in the next article. How to make your own mahlstick.

But whatever you choose to do be sure to own-it is an invaluable tool.

Related Tags: painting, art, drawing, mahlstick, paint images

All Rights Reserved, 2006
Raymond Horner is an Art Instructor and Painter

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