Drawing Setup recommendations

Hello again everyone,

I posted here a bit last year, and while the community was wonderful, I disappointed myself by letting my involvement, especially my sketch-a-day thread, fizzle out almost as soon as it started. . . but here I am, back again for Round 2 of expanding my horizons!

My roommate is moving out of my two-bedroom apartment, and I find myself with a new space for setting up a little home studio. Growing up I had the tiniest little desk, so I was hoping you all may have some recommendations for a desk, table, or drafting table that is sturdy, fairly good quality, and has ample surface area for spreading out. I’m on a bit of a budget so something under $300 is ideal, but I’m always happy to invest in something if it will last a good while.

Also, I have been looking a bit into a setup that would allow me to record myself drawing and make time-lapse videos to keep track of my progress. If anyone else does this, I would love advice on cameras, tripods, lights, etc. that work well, or just general advice!

Go to IKEA and buy the biggest table your 300$ can afford :wink: Personally I don’t know a single designer from my generation or up that still owns a drafting table, I don’t think that is something worth fretting about.
The probably biggest mistake you can make is to think you need a certain type of “tool” to really get started doing anything. You don’t need a drafting table and you don’t need video equipment to record your sketching. No one will watch it unless you are some internet sensation. It will only add another layer of obstruction and work to your practice that will keep you from practicing at all. All you need is a big stack of cheap printer paper and a pack of bics. That’s all that was ever needed for some great designs out there. If you really really want to record yourself buy a tripod for 15$ and tape your phone to it. If it helps you in any way you can upgrade. If not just skip it.
I feel it is very common for many people (including me at times) to think that you need to make a financial or physical investment into something in order to follow through with it because the guilt will drive you into it. Unfortunately it never works like that. That’s probably the reason most gyms make most of their profit with the people who never show up and companies like Canon or Nikon would be out of business for a long time without all those people who really really want to get into photography - and this time for real.
I forgot who told me or who said that, but the advice was: Buy the cheapest possible version of whatever thing you think you need. Once it breaks you know you will use it with a certain intensity and you can replace it with something appropriate. You would be surprised how many things never break.

i don’t have recommendations for table #ihatefurniture…but if you have an ipad and a stylus, the procreate app can automatically create timelapses of your sketches if you don’t mind going digital, or just use a smartphone & its flashlight w/one of those phone tripods to record video of yourself sketching…a former co-worker use a gopro to record her sketches

At this point, I would say that this isn’t the case for me. I have a fairly good system in place for myself, including of a ream of paper, pencil, and a Flair pen that works well for me, and a clipboard for mobile sketching. The problem is my main location at the moment is an open studio with a frustratingly small, shared desk and a rampant theft problem. I’m excited to have a place in my own home, but I don’t have a table yet. As far as the recording, I am hoping to do it for my own benefit and retrospection more than the satisfaction of others watching it. I might post it on Instagram from time to time, but I’m actually quite interested in observing my own process. Sometimes I forget how I did something when just looking at the final product.

I will certainly take this into account. From a sustainability standpoint, the idea of buying something new but low-quality kind of bugs me, but I do see your point of learning my needs before investing too much. Perhaps I can find a good compromise at a thrift store or something.

Thanks for your advice!

I’ve heard good things about that app, but unfortunately I don’t own an iPad. I do have a touchscreen, two-in-one PC that I am thinking of buying a stylus for to take a whack at digital sketching.

I have a GoPro, I didn’t even think of that! I’m sure it would be very easy to stick a mount on the wall above the desk, and it would be barely noticeable. Thanks!

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Nice set up Keno. For recording drawing I usually just balance my iPhone on my task lamp, and I use a daylight LED bulb in he lamp. It avoids cast shadows and makes the light consistent.

An easy, inexpensive drawing setup with plenty of room is a hollow core door from Home Depot, and a couple of saw horses. Paint, and stain as needed. You can build the saw horses at an angle if you like to get more of a drafting table effect.

You can make them look really great, and the pre-drilled hole for the door handle works great for cable routing.

Wow, do bots now really interpret content and intelligently fill in synonyms to make it sound different? I don’t get it, what are they trying to sell me! :laughing:

wow, I missed that before. It is so surreal I almost hate to delete it. A total parrot of the post I did just before. I assume they are trying to get up enough post count to seem legit before laying in the links, or perhaps our filters kept them from posting a signature.

EDIT… before I deleted the user I looked at their profile and they were trying to post something about mattresses and bedding stores in the posts/signatures.