An artists smock is an item of clothing worn by an artist when painting. It is designed to protect the clothes worn underneath from paint The outer garment used to be worn in a number of disparate capacities, including sheep herding, however, the large size of the cloak lent itself to the needs of artists. An artists smock tends to be generously fitted, baggy around the shoulders and reaching to around mid thigh or lower. Sleeves are folded back in order to keep them from impeding an artist while they work. An artistâs smock is often made from heavy linen or wool. An improvised artists smock can easily be made at home. All that is required is an old, large, long sleeved shirt. If the shirts is missing buttons on the front and can not be closed fully, the shirt can be worn back to front. An apron may also be used as an alternative to an artist's smock, however, aprons only cover the front of the torso and a portion of the legs leaving the arms exposed. For particularly vigorous painting, coveralls can help to offer all body protection from paint, the single use suits cover the entire body from head to toe and can be worn over shoes.