Sunday, November 24, 2013

Studio Organization - Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils
Artists are notorious for having lots of art supplies. I'm guilty as charged. It is a necessity. It is a passion. It is like baking supplies for a foodie. And to make matters worse, I work in a variety of media...from colored pencils to pen and ink to acrylic paint to watercolor paint to oil paint to clay.

So I am constantly fighting to keep things organized and within reach at the same time.  So I thought I would post a few photos of a project that I've done to 'try' to get my studio organized a little.  But keep in mind that this is a work in progress.  One step at a time, right?  So, one side of my studio is devoted to drawing. The other is devoted to clay and paint...the 'messy' media.  Today I just want to talk about the colored pencils on the drawing side of the studio. In case you cannot tell, Prismacolor Colored Pencils are my favorite. I have a lot. I have more stored in containers in my desk.

Organizing Colored Pencils

Problem: Keeping said colored pencils organized (in one place) enough that I can find the colors when I need them and make good use of 'small nubs' of colored pencils.
Buy (2) 2' length White PVC Pipes
( I used 3" diameter, cut to preferred size to hold the pencils)
** I cut 5 pieces approximately 4 1/4" each with the remaining piece being 2 1/2" for pencil nubs.

NOTE** You may want to get more, or longer, PVC and cut all pieces the same size.  But I always have little nubs of colored pencils that I want to keep up with.  I use them to glue onto new pencils!  But that is another story!

(2) 22"  length 1x4 painted white boards (I cut them to fit the number of pieces of PVC I wanted AND to fit the top of a bookshelf that sits beside by drawing table. You may want to cut one wider board, instead of two to fit onto a table or desktop.)  I wanted 2 separate boards so I could move them around later. Also, I already had the wood pieces painted.
*E-6000 Glue (or any strong glue) to adhere the PVC to the boards, making sure the black words printed on the pipes are facing each other for a cleaner look.

I had my husband cut the PVC pipe on his electric saw.  Then I placed them on the board, into position, the way I wanted them to be glued.  I positioned them so that the 'unattractive' words that come printed on them would be facing each other.  Then I started by picking up the end piece and spread glue onto the bottom of the PVC and placed it back on the board.  I continued with that until I finished with all six pieces. Then I started on the second board.  I let it dry overnight before I organized my sharpened colored pencils by color groups and placed them on the bookshelf next to my drawing board.

And for current projects,
there is just enough room at the end of the two boards to hold two large mugs that will hold the colored pencils that I will keep while working on a project.   I think this will work pretty well for me! I've been searching for some ideas for keeping up with my pencils and found some ideas on YouTube, but I recently went to a colored pencil workshop and the instructor, Nancy Charles, had a similar version of this.  So I modified it to fit my needs and came up with this.  So, thank you, Nancy, for the inspiration!



  1. Just a quick tip. You can quickly remove the markings on the outside of the PVC pipe by putting a little nail polish on a cloth and wiping it away. Really easy!

    1. Good to know Terry! Thank you for the tip! I will add that to the post! :) Thanks for stopping by.


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