Portrait Painting for Dummies

How to use a Mahl Stick

  • This is useful for steadying the hand and extra support when painting small detail.
  • It consists of a long handle made of wood or metal, with a rubber or leather padded end.
  • Rest the ball-end of the mahl stick on the edge of the canvas, on the easel, or on a spot of the painting that you’re sure is dry.
  • Hold the other end with your non-painting hand and steady your arm that is holding the brush on the stick while you paint.

You can make your own by tying a piece of cloth over one end of a stick with a piece of string or elastic band.