I wrote recently about painting outdoors with oil paint; today’s post is about taking watercolors with you when you travel. Below is what my kit looks like when it’s in my luggage or my day bag. I keep my brushes and pencils in a plastic zip lock bag that is inside a freezer bag, along with one or two sketchbooks, depending on how long of a trip I’m on. A complimentary airline travel bag is terrific for an array of equipment you’ll see below.
The block of Arches WC paper -140 lb; 7″ x 10″ – and a styrofoam portfolio that doubles as a backing board don’t fit into the zip lock, but travel well enough on their own, although sometimes I use a big rubber band to hold them together.
I take a small variety of brushes: #10, #6, #4 rounds; 1/2″ and #12 flats, a fan brush and a 2H and a 3H pencil.
In the airline bag I keep my paint tray, mechanical pencils, erasers, a stump, toilet paper or a paper towel, a few rubber bands, a big paper clip and a small plastic cup for painting water. If you forget paper, like I did when I shot the photo above, you can always pick something up along the way. One other thing to have if you’re using a WC paper block is a knife to cut the top page off your block, which you then slide into the foam-core portfolio/backing board. A butter knife will do, but a pocket knife is best. Especially if your pocket knife has a corkscrew.
The mechanical pencils and stump I use for drawing in the sketchbooks, but for laying in the drawing that I’m going to paint over, I use the #2H and #3H pencils because they are so light they kind of disappear in the paint. But my favorite thing in my bag is the set of 3 collapsible daVinci brushes:
The brushes themselves are quite good, they take up very little space and they are so cute!
Shown below is an alternative for carrying brushes that I use when I’m packing long handled brushes. The hard plastic case is expandable to accommodate whatever brush size you want
The backing board/portfolio for finished paintings and drawings:
A rubber band keeps the folio closed to protect your paintings.
That’s it. Go forth and paint. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, and maybe not even good enough. Good for you for trying! Fact: The more you practice the better you become.