solo adventures

Travel Art Supplies




I am packing to travel to Alaska this week and I thought I would share what art supplies I am bringing. My goal is to fit all of the following into my camera bag:


Since I discovered Palomino Blackwing 602 pencils years ago I am a convert. I journal regularly and the speed and smoothness of the Blackwing is addictive. For my drawing needs, Stabilo watersoluble graphite and Derwent Graphitone in 6B can be used dry or wet.


Portability is the key for me when I am traveling. I like my journals to be small enough to bring with me anywhere. I have enjoyed Apica CD Notebooks in A6 size for the past two years. This ultra-smooth paper also handles light watercolor washes well. My traveler’s notebook in passport size is always with me. I add zippered pouches and folders inside to hold any and all momentos I collect during the trip.

Watercolor Paper

In addition to painting in my journal, I always bring along smaller pieces of watercolor paper. I am bringing two different kinds of 100% cotton paper from Khadi and Arches. I am also including a small piece of cardboard for support.

Travel Watercolor Box

I use a Van Gogh Travel watercolor box. I like the size of the travel palette. It has room for 12 half pans of color and six mixing wells. As I use and empty each half pan, I refill it with the artist watercolors from tubes I have on hand at home. It dries and hardens in the pan for easy travel.


I lost the travel brush that came with my watercolor box. I choose brushes with short handles when I travel. I am bringing the brushes I use when I teach: Utrecht synthetic golden taklon Round size 8 and 16 and and Flat size ½ inch. Additionally, I fill and bring a Niji waterbrush so that I have available water no matter the location.




Oil & Watercolor Crayons

I use Caran d’ache brand for both. I love the smoothness of the oil pastels. I will use these under watercolor as a resist. Caran d’ache Neocolor II pastels apply like a crayon, but are water soluble. I bring my most used oil and watercolor pastels, not a full selection.


The Uniball Signo Gel Stick .7 is waterproof and allows for watercolor painting over and does not bleed. I love, love, love the Pentel Slicci .25. It is super-fine and bleeds a little when used with wet media. I also  bring along a Uniball Signo in white to add any details.

Color Pencils

I’ve been using Prismacolor color pencils as long as I can remember. I bring a nice complement of colors. I have so many little stubs, they don’t take up much space.

Additional Tools

I bring a small washcloth along for a rag. I include painter’s tape to affix watercolor paper to the cardboard. Bull clips help to keep my journal open so i can paint on a mostly flat surface. I also throw in an old credit card to use freely spread paint. I like to bring two small cups for water so I can always keep clean water in one. I keep my pens and pastels in a metal tin by Caran d’ache, and an old makeup brush bag is the right size for pencils.

There seems to be a theme here. I pack little pieces for portability and those that have more than one use so that I have options. Happy summer traveling all!!! Please share in the comments your favorite art supply to pack when you travel or your tried and true art travel hack.



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