Dreama Tolle Perry » Artist and Writer

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Painting FAQ’S

1.  Can I work in acrylics (or another medium) in a Dreama workshop?

To get the most benefit from my workshop, it’s best to work in oils.  My method is alla prima (working wet into wet) and the nature of acrylics as you know, doesn’t allow for a very long working time before drying up.

Having said that, I do allow acrylics in my workshops:))  A lot of what I teach applies for any medium and you may find things that transition well into your acrylic work.  I leave it up to the individual, just wanting you to be aware that the my painting style is working back into what has been laid down (and is still wet and workable) playing on the use of the transparent colors to achieve vibrant colors.

2. What skill level do I need to take a workshop with Dreama?

I have artists of all levels, including those who have not worked in oils before and some who haven’t been painting long —all the way up to seasoned, paint everyday kind of people. Each workshop is always a mix.

As one student describes my workshops:

“Dreama’s teaching style is geared for student success. I’ve taken many workshops and her method is a super way for students to learn how she uses the transparent oil colors. Dreama will talk and demo in broken segments of study and it gives us plenty of time to go back to our easels and paint, then regroup for the next session. She continues breaking down this process into easy to grasp portions until by the end of the day each student has a very nice painting.”

3.  How can I get an Eddie painting?

Heck if I know!  Personally, I am suspicious of how quickly they sell.  I think Eddie has paid someone to buy all paintings of himself as soon as I paint them. Probably storing them somewhere so he can go view himself in all his furry glory.  He has made himself somewhat “famous” thereby putting me on the spot—no matter how bad he behaves, he knows I can’t do much about it for fear of retribution from his loyal fans….

Seriously, the ones of Eddie (and also those of he and Phyllis the Mouse) go amazingly quick.  Making sure you are subscribed to my updates helps let you know as soon as one is posted-:))  You can do that by clicking here:)

4.  What medium and/or solvents do you use?

I have been on the hunt quite some time for safer studio products, particularly where solvents are concerned.  I am currently using Zest-it Oil Paint Dilutant and Brush Cleaner for my solvent and using it in a 1:1 mix with refined linseed oil as a medium for my alla prima works.   It has a light scent of orange, is non-toxic and safe to fly with.  The only downside is it must be ordered from the UK.  Below are links to learn more about Zest-It and a link to Rosemary and Company in the UK where I order mine from.



5.  Can I use water soluble/miscible oils in your workshop and if so, what colors/brands do you suggest?

Yes, water soluble oils are fine.  I do suggest using one of the mediums made for water soluble oil paints (just using water as thinner allows the initial layers to soak in and feel dry too soon).  W & N Artisan makes a both a Thinner and a Refined Linseed Oil that are formulated to work with water based oils.  They also have a water miscible  Oil Painting Medium.  I find the Oil Painting Medium a bit thick for my purposes,  so having the Thinner allows for thinning it out to a better consistency.

Here is the  list of suggested colors if you decide to use  water miscible oils:

Holbein Duo Aqua Oil

Titanium white
Cadmium Yellow Lemon
Cadmium Yellow
Indian Yellow
Rose Violet
Quinacridone Scarlet
Verditer Blue
Ice Green
Ultramarine Deep
Dioxazine Violet
Sap Green
Imidazolone Brown

And two Cobra Brand Colors
Transparent Oxide Red
Transparent Red Medium

Just as an FYI, regular oils and water miscible oils can be used together.  So if you have a favorite color that can’t be found in water miscibles don’t be afraid to throw in a regular oil based color (for me that’s Old Holland Caribbean Blue:).  From what I have read, you can go up to a 30% mix of regular oils with water miscible oil before you lose the water miscibles’  ability to be cleaned up using soap and water only:))


6.  What kind of eye make-up do you use?

Okay, when I said paint, I meant paint of all sorts:))  I’m a MAC girl, tried and true.  The girls at the MAC counter know to get the purple war paint out when they see me comin’:))  Favorite color?  Purple Haze:))

7.What surface do you best like to paint on?

Hands down favorite for me is Ampersand Gessobord.  I simply love the smoothness of it—the paint gliiiiiiiiiides on:))

8. What kind of lighting do you have in your studio?

My current studio has sloped ceilings, so I use track lights with a mix of cool and warm bulbs to bounce the light back towards my easel.  For me, a simple light test when setting up a new work area is this—I want my  painting to  look basically the same in other areas (my home, a gallery, etc) when viewing it so…if it looks drastically different in your studio as compared to somewhere else, try playing around with your lighting ‘til you find what works for your specific space.

9.  Are you ever going to come to Texas, New Mexico, Alabama, Canada, Idaho (you fill in the blank:)) to teach??

Well, you never know where I might turn up:))  Seriously, I wish I could come to every area that wants me…it’s nice to be wanted:))  However, I do have a couple of reasons to teach in Kentucky often (Eddie Bill and Eddie Pierre, two cats with lots of cattitude, are there), California (my daughter lives there:), Florida (okay, I have no relatives or cats in Florida…but Florida in January is kind of hard to resist;) and so I try to fit some other places in between those places and painting and blogging.  It’s a tough life but what’d you gonna do??

10.  What are the colors on your palette now? What’s your favorite brush?  What’s your favorite easel to travel with?

These questions (and a few more) are answered on my other General FAQ’s Page, which can be viewed by clicking here.

11.  How do you travel with wet paintings?

Raymar.com makes nifty, light-weight wet panel carriers that will hold up to 6 wet paintings at once. Here’s a link to their page:


12.  What are some of your favorite art books?

I have collected many an art book over the years:))  After moving several years in a row I became very selective about what got to stay with me.  I have included some of my top picks in my Amazon store which you can view by clicking here.

13.  Where do you purchase the small easels that come with your paintings?

www.Easelmoments.com/ and Hobby Lobby both carry several choices in small easels perfect for displaying paintings.

14.  What’s your studio like?

In a word, it’s petite.  And light.  And airy:))  Both Eds and I love it.  Here’s a link to some pics of it.  Click here:)) 

15.  Your workshops are full…can I get on the wait list?

Of course:)!  Life happens and  openings crop up for workshops that have previously been marked FULL.

It helps to be specific in your email when requesting to be added to the wait list.  Workshop location, date and if you are available for a last minute cancel (this works if you live in close proximity to where the workshop is being held and someone has to cancel last minute:) and of course your phone number—are all helpful for us to be able to get you in when at all possible.  Just email info@DreamaTollePerry.com to be added to the wait list of the workshop of your choice.

UPDATE:  I am now teaching workshops online (in person workshops are not currently being offered).  For info on that CLICK HERE


  • Laura Mazerolle - December 29, 2015 - 1:13 pm

    Do you have basic teaching videos available so one can learn from home? I live in Canada, an hour and some from the state of Maine, so the chances of me ever going to one of your workshops are pretty slim. But I learn well sola.ReplyCancel

  • Jean Breede Lundquist - July 26, 2015 - 7:18 pm

    Hello, I just found you on Face Book and it makes me smile, Thank you for showing your work. I,m 74 years and want to paint have a lot of time, I also have many paints but just don,t know why I don’t take time. Thank You again Love your works.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy Kubat - April 12, 2014 - 5:39 pm

    I love your paintings and I’m hoping to sign up for a workshop next year.
    I was wondering what subjects you teach at the seminars. Does it vary? I love your windows with flower boxes and outdoor scenes.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ann Miller - September 21, 2013 - 1:13 pm

    One of my students put me on to your website, and I love it! You are so full of life and happiness and color! If I painted in oils instead of watercolor, I’d be on the next plane to France for a workshop with you. I’ve gone to France many times to paint and just took a group this summer. My mantra is “follow your passion.” My philosophy of art echoes Renoir: “For me a picture should be something likable, joyous, and pretty. There are enough ugly things in life for us not to add to them.” I think we would be friends.ReplyCancel

  • Irma McLaws - August 31, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    With respect to wet painting carriers; are the carriers made specifically for panels only? i.e., not canvasses? I suppose for traveling, canvasses wouldn’t be such a great idea anyway….ReplyCancel

  • Elaine Staudenmaier Halladay - April 13, 2013 - 1:46 pm

    I love your sense of humor. Thanks for answering my question concerning acrylics. I have been following your site for over a year and I think you are terrific.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Durbin Graves - April 13, 2013 - 1:48 am

    Thanks. Stealing, no wait, re-posting.ReplyCancel

  • Denise - March 29, 2013 - 10:31 pm

    Hi Dreama,
    So glad I stopped by to find the water miscible oil list. I’m currently using W and N Artisan and recently bought two tubes of Holbein’s. Wow! What a big difference in vibrancy of color. I’m going to buy the others you suggested. I can’t wait to see the difference of colors in my paintings.

    Even though I will be attending your class in October (i can’t wait!) i would also love to have a DVD of you teaching. That way I won’t nerd up the class by taking notes;)

    Love your new website it’s fab!ReplyCancel

  • Fran Chuba - March 28, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    California! I hope your daughter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area! You definitely need to schedule a San Francisco workshop!ReplyCancel

  • Artist Ada Truesdell - March 28, 2013 - 2:23 pm

    Dreama, your list for water miscible oils is invaluable! Thank you so much. I loved your workshop and of course have the regular oils but I do like the water miscible in certain circumstances, like travel, etc. Thank you again! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ada Truesdell - March 28, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Dreama, your list for water miscible oils is invaluable! Thank you so much. I loved your workshop and of course have the regular oils but I do like water miscible in certain circumstances, like travel, etc. Thank you again! 🙂ReplyCancel

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