Welcome to The Official Page of Olivia Beaumont
February 06, 2017
A mahl stick is an instrument used to prevent a painter from touching areas of wet paint with the hand or wrist. It provides a surface on which to rest and steady the painting hand.
This artist is holding a mahl stick and resting his right hand on it (Vermeer)
This artist clearly has a mahl stick next to his brushes (Rembrandt).
You can find the mahl stick in many artist's self-portraits if you just look for it!
Today I would like to show you how to make one. There are different kinds of mahl sticks but this is just a basic one, similar to those used throughout art history.
You can purchase mahl sticks at art stores but I wanted to make my own because it is super easy. The materials cost me less than $7 (I already had the glue, rubber bands and cotton balls).
1 Wooden dowel (7/16" thick)
1 wooden candle cup
1 chamois (5x7")
2 rubber bands
4-5 cotton balls
Gorilla glue or wood glue
Step 1: Place one rubber band around the end of the dowel for grip.
Step 2: Wet the surface (if using Gorilla Glue) of the wood near the rubber band and inside the candle cup and then spread a modest amount of glue. Press the dowel slowly into the candle cup. It should not be loose.
Step 3: Allow for drying time. (Place some paper under the glue area because the candle cup has a hole that might leak glue).
Step 4: Place the cotton balls on the chamois.
Step 5: Center the stick between the cotton.
Step 6: Fold the chamois up around the stick and secure with the last rubber band to form a soft ball.
Step 7: Hold the stick with your non-painting hand and rest the ball of the mahl stick on the painting surface (or the easel). Rest your painting hand on the stick for a steady paint free hand.
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial and make your own mahl stick!
All artwork is the sole property of Olivia Beaumont and is held in copyright even after purchase. The images, artwork, and content may not be copied in any way without consent from the owner.
Photography: Paprika Southern, LLC www.PaprikaSouthern.com