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Using A Mahl Stick For Extra Painting Control

Painting of figure using a maul stick


The mahl stick is a traditional tool for painting that helps the user to keep a steady hand while they paint. It's very handy for creating areas of detail that require precision and control. I find that a tool like this becomes valuable when doing long sessions of detail work. In my experience I have reached the point, in these long sessions of pain-staking work,  where I have had to hold the wrist of my painting hand with my other hand to keep it more steady. Granted I do go crazy for coffee when I have a deadline though....


The mahl stick is designed to lean on the edge of the painting so that the user can rest his/her wrist against it while making a series of detailed marks, or any kind of marks that require control. By leaning on this stick the user can also avoid smudging areas that are wet or smudgable.


This stick can easily be made from some scrap materials or you can purchase a super nice one here at this website: . I love simple technology like this : )


picture of a mahl stick

Image source [1]

Image source [2]

About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

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