Using a Mahlstick

“When I use the mahlstick, I rest the right end on the wood panel and hold the other end with my left hand, keeping it from touching the painting. My right hand rests on the stick, giving me complete control while I’m painting detail; it works like a charm,” says California artist Pam Carroll. “Also, I struggle with perspective, so I measure the distance between every item I paint and the other elements using a mahlstick or a ruler.”

You can purchase a mahlstick from any art supply store for around $20 or you can make your own. Take a three-foot-long stick made of wood, aluminum or bamboo and tie a folded-up ball of cloth to one end. Attach the cloth to the end of the stick with string or a rubber band.

See Carroll’s gorgeous still lifes and read the entire article in The Artist’s Magazine’s January issue. Learn more about the January issue here.

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