21 Jun

Dreama Perry Painting Standing in Panel Pak – https://dreamatolleperry.com

Before the Creative Process

Dreama’s Favorite Studio Stuff

I’ve had it on my mind to share my favorite, time tested, painting/studio/gotta have items.
And to tell you why I like them, which is equally important.
Hopefully, this will help you decide if something is a good fit for you and your painting processes!

What I have on this list are things I use regularly, a list of things I would replace if they were to be lost, which I believe is the REAL test ;-)!
I’ve discovered them over the years and feel they are worth their value (and then some) in what they give back. They are problem-solving tools that improve the painting experience. They add efficiency and convenience. Some will save you money in the long run and others will help you be kinder to your precious body.

Please note: A special thank you for the overwhelming response we received when we asked for your help on this. We selected the most popular items for this list, along with my personal favorites.

It’s available as a beautiful PDF download for you to keep and share—so read on!

Here we go…!

Coulter Easel
When on the go with an easel, this is hands down my favorite. Perfect for either a home studio, workshop, or plein air experience. Made by an artist for artists, it covers all the important stuff. Weight, ease of set up, and flexibility to select a panel or canvas holder. It can be used seated or standing. And my favorite thing? It holds the painting at eye level while allowing me to have my mixing area at waist height. Sturdy and handmade with a choice of 3 sizes (I have all three 😉 ).
Available Here: artboxandpanel.com


Wet Panel Carrier Panel Pak
These carriers have become my favorite for transporting wet paintings when traveling. They consist of a lightweight wooden ‘frame’ and large stretch bands that hold the panels in place. They take up virtually no extra room in your luggage and can transport two wet paintings at a time. Available in multiple and custom sizes.
Available Here: panelpak.com


Palette Garage
The two things I love about this tool are:
It’s a paint saver which equals money saver. It works to extend the life of my oil paints by sealing them in an airtight container. Inside the end caps of the tubes are felt discs, infused with clove oil. The clove oil slows oxidation, which helps keep oil paints wet!
The other thing I love? It’s portability for plein air painting. It holds the colors I need for a small painting and transports them neatly. I just fill it up with the necessary colors for on-location painting and leave my big tubes of oil paint behind!
Available in My Amazon Shop—Click to go!


Kemper Tool
This tool is the best few bucks you’ll probably ever spend on an art item. You can use it’s pointed tip to ‘draw’ on a wet painting to help establish or re-direct your composition. You can use the wedge-shaped end to scrape off paint in small areas. The pointed tip is great for signing your name into your wet painting. It’s a little workhorse!
Available in My Amazon Shop—Click to go!

Jackson Art Grid
Great for adding a grid to any of your photos. Super helpful for selecting composition and seeing values. Works on iPad and Android tablets as well as iPhone. Just go to apps on your device and search for Jackson Art Grid.
Here is a link to their webpage for more information: jacksonsart.com/artgrid


Panel Rak
Lots to love about these for those of us who paint on panels. They are lightweight, taking up virtually no room when stored away or traveling. They can hold a wide range of panel sizes. They are sold in pairs to keep wet paintings safe and sound while drying.
Available Here: panelpak.com


Brush Cleaner Jar
Made by Speedball, this Mona Lisa lidded glass jar comes with a dome-shaped screen in the bottom. Just add solvent and drag your brush back and forth over the screen. This will remove most of the paint from your brush. You can then finish clean up with the brush cleaner of your choice. I use it both for traveling and home studio.
Available in My Amazon Shop — Click to go!

Tube Wringer
Quality paints aren’t cheap, and this handy tool helps you get every scrap of color out of those tubes. Simple and effective!
Available in My Amazon Shop—Click to go!


Brix Bottle Opener
Many of us have issues getting the lids off of solvents and bottles of refined linseed oil. This bottle opener is perfectly sized for these containers. (Please note, it doesn’t work on the small oil paint tube lids. It is perfect for the larger caps found on solvents and mediums.)
Available in My Amazon Shop—Click to go!

Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat
I got into the habit of using a mat when I taught live workshops. I now use one of these at my easel and also at my standing desk when doing computer work. They make ALL the difference!
Be kind to your body:-)
Available in My Amazon Shop—Click to go!

Baby Wipes
These are great for quick clean up in the studio, workshop or outdoor plein painting!

Panel Holder
This panel holder makes it easy to paint edge to edge, top to bottom, on your panel. It elevates the board so that all of your painting is visible. Nothing is left hiding behind the lip of the easel.
Available in My Amazon Shop— Click to go!

Glass Palette in Gray
Using a glass palette was a real game changer for me. They are easy to clean and easy for mixing colors. And since you are mixing your paints on a middle- value gray—easier to mix the correct values!
You can either have a piece of glass cut and paint it with a middle-value gray acrylic on the back side
OR purchase a ready-made one made like those by New Wave.
Available in My Amazon Shop—Click to go!

Please Note:
I’ve provided links, when possible, to help you locate items on this list. I am an Amazon affiliate and as one, will receive compensation for items purchased via those links.
Please refer questions specific to products to the makers of those products.

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Feel free to share this with your creative friends and family—they will thank you for it!

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  1. Vicki Baggett

    Do you have a favorite painting journal with pretty paper? Decked edges?

  2. Really excited about your work and workshops. Are you coming back to Jax FL?

  3. Joanne S Kilduff

    Dreama, Tip. I use plastic wrap folded over twice or more to put over each solvent bottle before I put the cap back on. Many of the bottles will have a slow leak if they fall on their sides when you travel. This procedure prevents that. Joanne

  4. Love your tools you use, I’ve used several over the years, some I haven’t, but will soon. Thank you again for sharing.

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