A lightweight, sturdy metal rod of varnished aluminium with leather covered cork end, for resting hand on to create a stable support for your hands above the artwork so you do not smear it.
This expandable mahl stick has traditional leather covered cork end rest and will not slip like rubber. The mahl stick is light but very sturdy and unscrews into two parts to be collapsible.
- Made of sturdy varnished aluminum
- Leathered covered cork end rest
- Extends from 45.7cm (18 inches) to 90.6cm (35 7/8 inches)
- Professional artists and students
- Oil painters
- Support for detail painting
What is a Mahl Stick?
A mahl stick is a stick or thin pole that is about 1 meter (3 feet) in length with a ball-shaped pad at one end. It is used as an aid in painting, particularly in oil painting because it takes so long to dry.
The mahl stick has two primary purposes:
- To steady your hand while painting. Holding your arm away from a surface while painting can cause your arm to tire. This may cause your hand to shake and the mahl stick helps alleviate the problem.
- To give you support to rest your hand on. Many people have a tendency to rest their hand on a piece of paper while drawing. When painting, this is not a good idea because you are working with wet paint and, often, a soft canvas with no support behind it.
You will find that a mahl stick is useful when painting details and a steady hand is absolutely crucial, or when painting in a large area where the paint is still wet and you want to avoid touching the surface accidentally.
How is a mahl stick used?
Rest the ball-end of the mahl stick on the edge of the canvas, on the easel or even on a spot of the painting that’s dry. Hold the other end up with your non-painting hand and steady your arm holding the brush on the stick while you paint. If you rest the mahl stick on your little finger and forearm of your non-painting arm, you can (with a bit of practice) use the other fingers of that hand to hold your palette and extra brushes.
(left) Johannes Vermeer, “The Art of Painting”; (middle) Edouard Manet, “Portrait of Eva Gonzalez”; (right) Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-portrait (Source: https://principlearttalk.com).