There’s more on a  studio wishlist than just paint and supports – those are the obvious things. But they aren’t the only useful items for a studio. Some of the indispensable items in my studio are a bit less obvious.  Because of this, I keep a studio wishlist going all the time. As I think of something that could be useful I add it to the list. It acts as a useful reminder. In the past I would hear about something  I wanted to get for my studio and think that I would remember to add it to my next order of materials. Ha! Of course I didn’t. But once I started making a note, that all changed. I now keep my list on my phone so that I have it with me wherever I go.

With Christmas almost upon us, this seemed a good time for me to share some of the items I’ve found useful in the studio. They may not be glamorous, but I’ve found all of these 10 items to be invaluable.

A starter studio wishlist: 10 items I wouldn’t be without

An apron with pockets – It sounds obvious but to start with I just painted in old jeans and T-shirts. Once I got an apron with those all-important pockets in front, I never stopped using it. Fewer paint drips on my clothes and somewhere to pop my phone and a pen while I work. I wouldn’t be without one now.

Brush drying kit – I only recently learned that this was meant for cleaning brushes with solvent. Silly me! I’ve been using it incorrectly for years. BUT, it is fantastically useful for drying watercolour brushes. I am diligent about cleaning my brushes. They get washed well after every session which keeps them in top condition. I am also particular about not letting water seep into the handles so hanging them upside down and letting them drip into the tray below this is perfect.  I’m sure it’s great for solvent too. 😄

Pin board with inspirational painting images
The pinboard on my studio wall – always ready new ideas

On the subject of conditioning brushes, these are two I have used and really like
Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver (I used this one for years)
and then I found this:  Jacksons Marseille Soap Pellets. This is a big tub so it’s real value for money and will take me some time to get through.

At the cost of paint, to save wear and tear on my fingertips, I got myself one of these tube wringers for my acrylics and oils. It’s not such a big deal for watercolours because the tubes are smaller and lighter and I can get all the paint out painlessly.

And this one is a load of fun: Gel plates and Brayers – there are various sizes on these links. If you’ve never done gel printing before, start small and consider doing Carol Pairaudeau’s workshop next year. But even if you have done Gel printing, you can never have too many gel plates and brayers, I feel.

For using with watercolour and inks, here’s one to tuck into your order just as a little treat. Khadi papers have fabulous texture. I love painting small watercolours that can be float mounted

When I moved my office desk into the studio, I brought the magnetic white board with me. It has proved amazingly useful for recording ideas and building a mood board that I can adapt. As you can see from the image at the top of the page, it got hijacked a little while ago by son’s stepdaughter – much to my delight.

And here’s another version: combination pin board and magnetic white board. Nice design if you want to write notes and pin items that may be a bit too thick for a magnetic hold.

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