The Equipment I Can't Live Without | Studio Tour

Jun 17, 2022
The Equipment I Can't Live Without - Art Studio Tour - Bonny Snowdon Academy

Over the years, I have amassed quite a collection of equipment in my studio, and it has taken me most of those years to figure out what is fit for purpose, what works for me, and what was worth spending the money on. In episode 14 of my podcast, It's A Bonny Old Life, Jean Pritchard and I chatted about the hoards of cameras, cables, tripods and more that we've bought over the years, and the boxes of now-useless equipment that we have hidden away, and it became apparent that I'm not the only artist that has struggled with the trial-and-error approach of finding what I need for my art studio. So, to try and take some of the guessing out of filling your studio, I wanted to share a list of equipment that I use nearly every day and could not live without. 


Apple Mac

I've been working on a Mac since 1987 and I would be lost without it. I use the iMac Pro (which runs on OS Catalina) in my studio and then have a MacBook Pro in my kitchen, so I can switch between the two when needs be. The iMac is great for everyday work, and the MacBook is fabulous for jobs like creating line art, as I can use my Apple Pencil to draw. 


Hard Drives and Storage Space

Because I record so many tutorials and have so many to store, it's really important that I have hard drives with the capacity to store such large files. I use two, the LACIE hard drive and the Pegasus 32 Raid System.



While I don't make prints anymore, I recommend the Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner to anyone wanting to scan their drawings onto their computer. 



I use the Swordfish Multipoint Electric Sharpener. It's a little noisy, but it gives a really lovely sharp point to your coloured pencils. 


Soft Boxes

These help to reduce any harsh shadows, which is really important if you're trying to take photos of your artwork, and is crucial for me when it comes to recording tutorials. 



Like every piece of equipment, there is a huge range of microphones on the market, and I've been through my fair share of them! I've settled on the Rode NTUSB Microphone, which I've attached to a boom arm so I can move it from my desk to my drawing board. 



This is another piece of equipment that's taken some trial-and-error to find. I use the Sony AX53 Handycam for all of my recording. It's got a little, moveable viewfinder if you want to see what it's recording, and you can plug it in to charge, so you don't have to do what I did originally and buy lots and lots of spare batteries! 

If I need to connect my camera to my Mac for live streaming, I use a CamLink, and I use AV cables to connect my microphone to the camera. 


Tripods and Rigging

I have my Handycam attached to the Manfroto Super Clamp, which I've got positioned above my drawing board. It's very handy when it comes to recording, and is great if you're wanting to get a bird's-eye-view of your drawings. I also use a Pixapro Lighting rig.

As well as these, I have a Gooseneck holder for my iPad, which is great when I want to have my reference photo next to me on my drawing board, and a car phone holder for my phone (so I can watch Netflix while I draw!). 


Having a printer to hand is always useful. I use the Epsom XP900 A3 printer, which is great when I need to print out something larger than the standard A4 size. 



Anyone who has watched one of my tutorials will have probably noticed me moving magnets around on my drawing board. I find these so useful when it comes to drawing, as it keeps my paper in place and stops everything from sliding around. I use the 25mm Neodymium Disk Magnets, which are perfect for slightly thicker supports like Pastelmat, as they're nice and strong! 


Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what to look for when you're buying equipment for your art studio, and will take some of the guesswork out of your decision making. Give the video at the top of this page a watch for the full tour of my studio and to see all of this equipment in its place. 


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