Travel Sketch Toolkit

I’m in Ohio right now and I wish I had materials like this! Check out Katherine’s arts cache:


"I’m a closet ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ artist – or at least I was until I started showing people what I take on my travels on the internet!

"This is my travel kit for artwork abroad – all of this goes in the luggage and on the plane! And when I’m being very ambitious or going on a long trip my pastels go to!

At the moment I’m in the middle of sorting out what I’m packing for my next big trip to California, Arizona and New Mexico. I pack the art stuff first and then weigh and see how much I’ve got left for clothes. Priorities! Tonight I packed my pencil wraps with coloured pencils having visited the art shop earlier in the day to get new supplies of the Daler Rowney sketchbook I use on every trip. I’ll also be taking a new Moleskine."

Katherine Tyrrell
Visit her blog.

5 thoughts on “Travel Sketch Toolkit

  1. Wow. That makes me soooo glad I can pull off my artistic travels with so much less!

    Yes, I know, pastels are not so compact. I’m also glad I’m not a pastel artist! But as for packing, I learned my lesson thanks to a month in Italy trip in the late 90s: for that trip, the professor had a packing list of graphite and charcoal drawing implements and a full set of acrylic paints and watercolors, and I faithfully lugged it all along…and didn’t use a quarter of it! Yet there it was, taking up half my carry-on suitcase, the only luggage I had with me for the trip. Heck with that! Now, I carry art supplies that would fit in a brown paper lunch sack, and I’m just as free to express myself…and, let’s face it, it’s easier to be artistic when you’re not doing laundry every five minutes ’cause you didn’t have room for clothes in your luggage.

    These days, my travel art kit is:

    Small set of Derwent Watercolor pencils
    Sharpener/eraser combo
    2 B and 4 B graphite pencils
    Small set of Pitt Artist pens, brush tip
    Couple of G2 or other waterproof black gel pens
    Glue stick for any collage that may come along

  2. In my experience, once dry, G2s are waterproof. I layer watercolor pencil, marker and watercolors over them with no smearing. However, as I recently proved once again… gel pens (Uni Ball, Sarasa and G2) and workable fixative DO NOT mix! It smears, and bleeds through even Moleskine sketchbook paper. Some kinds of ballpoint also do this, so I think the rule is don’t mix pen with fixative! :}

  3. For 3 weeks in Italy I took a Moleskine large sketchbook and a mechanical pencil with extra leads. That’s all. For my next trip-Australia, carry on luggage only-my watercolors have been pared down to 6 transparent colors squeezed out of tubes and into contact lens cases, (and let them dry out before closing the caps), a waterbrush. A rapidograph in a zip-lock bag with extra ink, or just a Sharpie ultra-fine or two. Maybe a couple of Conte color sticks to scribble with. I’m looking for a folding stool that fits into carry-on luggage. Any ideas?

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