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Teaching & Learning Art Online: Equipment & Software

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To see how all of this equipment works in a physical set up, scroll down for photos or watch this video above.

Genaray MonoBright Daylight LED 750

Lighting option #1: Great to Have
Genaray MonoBright Daylight LED 750

(use with the Neewer soft umbrellas & the Impact Light stand)
Even lighting that is color corrected is a gigantic hassle without a daylight lamp. This lamp is well worth the peace of mind that your lighting will be consistent and even.

Lighting Umbrellas

Lighting option #1: Great to Have
Neewer 2 Pack 33″/84cm White Translucent Soft Umbrellas

(use with the Genaray MonoBright & Impact light stand)
Attaching a lighting umbrella to your daylight lamp ensures that the lighting will be even, soft and diffused.

Impact Heavy-Duty Air-Cushioned Light Stand (Black, 9.5')

Lighting option #1: Great to Have
Impact Heavy-Duty Light Stand (Black, 9.5′)

(use with the Genaray MonoBright & Neewer soft umbrellas)
Mount your daylight lamp to this stand.

soft box lighting kit

Lighting Option #2: Great to have
YICOE Softbox Lighting Kit
Soft box allows for diffused light that spreads evenly. Comes with remotes that have settings for warmth and brightness.

Blue Snowball Mic

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

Most people don’t realize that good audio quality is MORE important than good video quality. Poor audio can cause people to stop watching, whereas most people are willing to tolerate moderate quality video.


Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam

Use a rubber band to attach the webcam to the mic stand. Being lightweight, the webcam will sit just fine in an overhead view. The angle of the webcam can be adjusted without having to move its position.

computer monitor

2nd Computer Monitor
Not required, but really helps when you have OBS, YouTube, and other windows open simultaneously.

Amazon Basics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand

Amazon Basics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand

An inexpensive stand that allows for tons of flexibility,  as well as an overhead view that is stable and easy to adjust in any direction or angle.

Art Supplies: Blue Painter's Tape

Blue Painter’s Tape

Use tape to mark the position of your chair in relation to the set up. Make sure you are sitting in a chair with no wheels so you can mark the position of the chair.


Art School Admissions Portfolio, Photographing 2D artwork

DSLR Camera
Overkill & is much heavier than a webcam, which limits your options for how you can position it. A DSLR really requires a very large, high end tripod to allow for flexibility of camera angles while keeping the DSLR securely mounted.

octopus tripod

Octopus Tripod
Appears very flexible, but is impossible to get into a stable position that you can replicate consistently, making it very inefficient and unpredictable.

Smart Phone

Smart phone
Battery power is a problem, tough to adjust camera
angle because you have to reposition the entire phone, not easy to connect to OBS: requires an app you have to pay for, plus a plugin that you have to install into OBS.


Tripod is very too short. GoPros have a wide angle lens, which creates a fisheye effect, so your videos will have lot of distortion, making it tough to see accurately.  The closer you get to an object, the greater the distortion.GoPros are make for fast action, they are not effective as stationary cameras.


IPEVO Document Camera
Very limited in terms of accommodating  doing art demos where the project is large to small. Not much flexibility in terms of adjusting angles on the demo area.

artist easel

Camera angle is impossible with you standing in front of the easel. Either you draw in a position that is unnatural to accommodate the camera angle, or you draw naturally with a poor camera angle, neither option is good!

Art Supplies: Cell Phone Holder

Cell Phone Holder, BENKS Universal Flexible
Very unstable, moves extremely easily at the slightest touch or movement. Especially problematic if it’s attached to your table; any slight movement you make during the demo creates shaky camera movements during your video.

C Stand

C Stand
Overkill & really expensive. (~$120) A C-stand is for pro video shoots for holding very heavy equipment. You CAN use it, but why spend that amount of $ when you can get a mic stand that is better and 1/3 the price?

Physical Set up & Camera Angles

This physical set up is designed to have as little equipment as possible plus maximum flexibility to allow for a range of adjustments in terms of getting the right camera angle. Getting the right camera angle that allows you enough physical space to do your demo, while also providing a clear view of your demo is probably the most difficult balance for people to achieve.

An effective set up is flexible and gives you plenty of space to do your demo

Your physical set up should also be one that you can easily replicate on a consistent basis. Items like the octopus tripod make this nearly impossible and leads to unnecessary frustration.

Many people create physical set ups that set too many physical constraints on the movements you can do within the set up during your demo. With the mic stand positioned so high up in relation to your head, you’ll have tons of options and flexibility to get everything positioned well. Try to maximize the amount of space you have to do your demos, otherwise you’ll be tremendously limited in terms of the types of demos you do, as well as the scale that you can work at.

Teaching Art Online: Setting up for an Online Art Demo
Teaching Art Online: Setting up for an Online Art Demo
Teaching Art Online: Equipment & Software
Teaching Art Online: Equipment & Software

Create custom layouts (“Scenes”) in OBS that can be used within 1 stream

OBS allows you to create custom layouts for your videos that you can save as a “scene” and store for future use. With 1 click, you can switch between scenes within the same video, great if you want to switch setups within the same video.

This live drawing tutorials switches between 2 scenes:  1 scene for Q&A and 1 scene for the drawing demo. Literally, it’s 1 click in OBS to change scenes while you are live.

While it takes time to create these custom layouts, once you have them, they are ready to go!

YouTube Live Art Demo with OBS

OBS scene for Q&A portion of the live stream

YouTube Live Art Demo with OBS

OBS scene for drawing demo portion of the live stream

OBS allows many features that can be customized into the layout of your video

You can add “Sources” in OBS that include options like more than 1 camera, still images, window capture of your desktop/browser, a still image from a URL, a video file that can play during your video, and much more.

Each of these sources can be dragged to any location in your video, resized, cropped, and layered over or underneath another source.

YouTube Live Art Demo with OBS
YouTube Live Art Demo with OBS
YouTube Live Art Demo with OBS
YouTube Live Art Demo with OBS

Live Chat Window in YouTube

To the right of a video on YouTube, there is a live chat window where people watching live can type in comments and ask questions. As the person streaming live you also have the option to type into the live chat window as well.

One of the most effective features of live video is the real time interaction that occurs via the live chat. Prompt viewers by asking simple questions during the live video to invite interaction.

Students don’t want to be on video

Many teachers insisted on students being on video during Zoom calls. I understand the impulse to require that: the thinking is that if students are on video during the call, you can keep track of who is paying attention. Students told me that most of them were watching Netflix or playing video games during these Zoom calls, it’s easy to watch a movie on your phone while being on a Zoom call on your laptop!

For many students being forced to be on video can feel like an invasion of their privacy, and asking them to be on video will backfire. They don’t pay attention, AND they will resent the requirement.

By using the live chat, students don’t have to worry about their appearance, they can kick back, relax, eat a bucket of chicken wings, anything. Ironically, this relaxed circumstance makes students pay attention much more than when teachers require them to be on video.

Interaction between students is possible in the live chat

The live chat is also a place for students to casually interact with each other while you are on the live video. Often times people help each other by adding commentary or answering each other’s questions. During a Zoom call, this casual interaction between students is impossible, leading to students feeling isolated from their classmates.

YouTube Live Chat
Teaching Art Online

Link OBS to your YouTube channel

In order to live stream from OBS to a YouTube channel, you’ll need to connect OBS to your YouTube channel by adding the YouTube stream key into the settings on OBS.

How To Connect OBS to YouTube

In YouTube, under your account, go to “YouTube Studio” then click the icon on the upper right to enter your live stream dashboard. Scroll down to the bottom, and under “Encoder Setup” you’ll see your “Stream Name/Key.” Copy your stream key.

How To Connect OBS to YouTube

Open OBS and click on the “Settings,” located in the lower right buttons.

Get your YouTube stream key to connect OBS to your YouTube channel

How To Connect OBS to YouTube

In the Settings window, click “Stream” in the menu on the left side.

How To Connect OBS to YouTube

In the text area that says “Stream Key,” cut and paste your YouTube stream key. Now when you click “Start Streaming” in OBS, it will stream directly to your YouTube channel.


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