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Do you sit or stand when you paint?

(Valri Alexander Ary) #21

great idea…I love yoga and find that when I paint I just forget about my body…I’ll try your technique!! THANKS

(Mary C. Aikens) #22

I prefer sitting because I feel as though I can have a better balance with my supplies as well as dealing with an issue with my hips & lower back. There’s times when I paint in the kitchen because I like the lighting there the best in the house.

(Dave Casey) #23

Depends on the size of the painting. If I am doing one of my small, daily paintings I will sit. I have a mini easel that sits nicely on my desk that will hold up to an 8x10 painting. Larger paintings I stand most of the time at my larger floor easel, unless I am working the details on a smaller section of the painting. Then I will probably sit on a padded barstool I picked up at Goodwill that is just perfect for it.

(Jacqueline Davis) #24

I thought I would re-open this thread as I saw this report that came out today:
Sitting too long…


I know that we all know that sedentary behaviour affects our health but reading it in black and white sometimes hits home.

I made a conscious decision to try to stand as much as possible when I paint. It may sound like there’s not much of a difference between sitting and standing but I think healthwise, it does help.

(Geoff) #25

I prefer to stand, but in practice I often have to sit, as my back and heel (plantar fasciitis) start to hurt after an hour or so of standing. Standing in one spot hurts my back; walking too much hurts my heel. One solution is to bring a chair and sit in it for frequent breaks. That helps some.

Ideally I’d start a painting standing, then sit for a while, then stand for a while, etc. But doing so obviously changes one’s point of view! It might work for a landscape with a big vista, but it certainly won’t work for a portrait or still life.

(Jacinthe Rivard) #26

Wow! I alway sit! Seems like I’m in the minority’s! I do back up often and take lot’s of pictures of my work in progress but I sit right back. I think I’m going to try standing up from now on now that I’ve read all your comments :slight_smile: I never gave it much of a thought before. I do find it easier to adjust my stool as I paint Instead of adjusting my mammoth of a easel!

(Gayle Levee) #27

I always stand, partly to step back more often, and partly for my back. In my twenties, I used to do scratchboard illustrations, and I did them sitting down. I just about ruined my back until I started using a high drafting desk for the drawings, and standing. When I switched to easel painting, standing just came naturally – then I learned about the benefits to my art. I’m always trying to get my students to stand!

(Mario Parga) #28

Hi Carol,

I know my comments are very late but I’ll add my input anyway.

I personally prefer to sit when I paint, purely because I spend a lot of hours in front of the easel every day. Sometimes I’ll stand, if I’m painting a very large piece, such as right now, working on a 6’ x 4.5’ canvas, it would be impractical otherwise. However, the late Nelson Shanks told me that he always stands when he paints, regardless of the painting’s size, and said that the painting ‘energy’ rises through the feet almost like an orchestra conductor, and that method worked very well for him, even into his later years. I think it depends very much on personal style and comfort levels, and to a certain degree on how many hours we tend to paint for. I’ve been known to paint for 16+ hours straight when dealing with some urgent pieces.

Best wishes,


(Connie McLennan) #29

I developed a shortened IT band resulting in chronic hip/sciatic pain from too many years of too much sitting. Fortunately it was reversible with PT. Just sayin’…sitting risks.

(Hilda Rogers) #30

I have long term lower back issues, so, I cannot stand still constantly (though oddly I can walk briskly for miles without it bothering me) - I use a swivel stool that I got from Ikea, years ago, I swivel it up high so I am almost standing, sometimes I do stand for a while, sometimes I sit back on the stool. It’s actually pretty therapeutic to swivel it about whilst I am painting and easy to hop off and back up a bit if I want to take a look. Works for me (takes the “pain” out of being a painter :wink: ) The bigger the painting the more I stand, but, the stool is always there in case my back starts to bother me.

(Lucas Olster) #31

I have long term lower back issues, so, I cannot stand still constantly

Almost the same problem. Since my early childhood I suffer from scoliosis and that’s why I can’t stand for a long time because of back pain. Fortunately, scoliosis is no longer progressing and I am trying to improve my health, but it’s still hard for me to stand when I paint.

By the way, here is an interesting post concerning thei thread:

So, personally I prefer sitting. Moreover, last time I pay more and more attention to digital painting with tablet and my digital pen Wacom MDP123 and it is much more comfortable to sit than to work standing with the tablet.

(Wendy Vargas) #32

I like to sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee. I also have to listen to really loud music. While I am painting I do like to get up and stretch and look at my painting standing so I can see it from a different perspective.

(John Steven Wilson) #33

I always stand since I use the sight size method to paint.

(Jessica Naish Lingley) #34

Currently I find it most comfortable to sit, especially when I work small, but find it easier to paint larger pieces standing up.

(Lilly Loo) #35

In my case it depends on technique of painting and how I’m drawing in the moment. :thinking: For example, if I do some sketches in my pocket notebook unni, so I prefer to seat with paper lying on the table, because in this way I can see better details and avoid right hand discomfort. This notebook is quite small.

At the same time it’s more comfortable to stand drawing with easel. I can pull back at any moment and appreciate my painting from afar. It’s cool when you can move during painting, like in this video.

(Patricia J. Powers) #36

I used to stand, but an old injury acts up now and then so I sit. It’s not a good idea to try to do a painting if you aren’t comfortable.

(Patricia J. Powers) #37

I just took a look at ‘Sitting Risks’ and think I need to get something like a swivel stool, as mentioned by Hilda. Thanks for the post.

(Patricia J. Powers) #38

A swivel stool sounds like a good compromise. Do you have caster that roll on it? Is that problematic? Thanks for the post.

(Pam Lendi) #39

I can’t sit and paint, it restricts me too much as to how I approach the painting and it inhibits me from taking frequent steps back to get a different view/focus on my work. You have to get away from your work or you end up myopic and focusing on the one part you are working on instead of the whole piece. I have stood from the beginning and it doesn’t make me tired to do so, it’s freeing, plus I listen to music and I can move around as the mood hits me. :slight_smile:

(Catherine Cabbell) #40

I do both.
I stand for small paintings and sketches, and sit for longer painting
sessions because of back issues.
But I have a small office chair that swivels and has wheels, so I can
just zoom right back a ways like I would while standing.