What is in My Art Travel Kit

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

I know that most of us have been cooped up in our homes for too long, we need to get out and enjoy the sunshine. We need to enjoy some summer before it’s gone and bring back a small sense of normalcy to our lives. However, just because you need to get out of the house doesn't mean you have to leave your coloring behind. Why don’t you grab your project, head outdoors and enjoy some summertime coloring in the sun?

I travel for work which means I am on the go most days and it’s not uncommon that I can only find time to be creative during my lunch break. Nonetheless, I always carry my practice kit with me which contains the bare essentials for me to take advantage of any free time. Let me show you what is in my kit - the things I must have, the things I just love using, and a couple of tips for coloring while on the go.

My Sketchbook:

I found a sketchbook from Strathmore that is the perfect size to fit in my purse that measures 5.5 in. x 8.5 in. These sketchbooks come in different options, but I prefer either the toned tan or toned gray sketchbooks. I like both because it is easier for me to quickly establish the contrast in my project. I have found this sketchbook is pretty good for what I like to do. There are a ton of books out there and all of them will be right for you just find one you feel comfortable with. I like carrying a sketchbook because it is fun to keep all my projects in one space. After a long day on the road you might find me kicking back with a glass of wine and just flipping through my sketchbook. I typically date each sheet so I can see how my drawings have developed over time. My sketchbooks have become my favorite thing I carry everywhere with me. I can pull it out anywhere, and now that people need to stay six feet away, I don't worry about anyone peering over my shoulder while I color. Lol

What I carry my stuff in:

There are two different containers I use, mainly because I have a couple of different purses and I keep a kit in each purse. I started doing this because I would forget to transfer my kit from one purse to another. Now I have a kit no matter which bag I pick up today. I keep my kit in either a soft pouch that is like a make-up bag or a slightly larger hard-shell case. I know it seems weird, but I can fit everything I need in just a small pouch. I like using the pouch because I tend to get pretty messy and the pouches are easy to wash. I like having several pouches with my handful of supplies because it is easy to pop out and practice when I am waiting at the dentist office or when I am on a plane/train or even during my lunch break. I didn't realize how handy they really were until now. I also have a hard-shell case that fits a bit more supplies, but it is very bulky to fit in my purse. I use that one if I am going on an overnight trip, so yes, I keep that one in my luggage bag. Again, even though that hard shell pouch is a bit larger I still only have about 2 handfuls of supplies in it because I have found that is all I really need.

Here is everything in my kit:

  • a handful of colored pencils

  • 2 Copic markers

  • a Posca pen

  • a micron pen

  • 3 Col-Erase pencils

Yes, that is it. The first time I put my kit together there were a ton more items in it that made it difficult for me to zip up the pouch. I swore I needed everything in the pouch, until I didn't. One day, I was on a plane and opened my pouch and an explosion of pencils went everywhere. When I was trying to fish out the pencils that fell under the seat I noticed that majority of the pencils I was picking up I never used while I was on the road so why was I putting myself through this? No good reason at all. This is when I learned to take only the handful of pencils I use the most - the ones that stay in a cup on my desk. They are the ones I keep close to me on my desk for a reason—so they should stay close to me on the road too. This kit is perfect for me. I only bring two Copic Markers to do some base color layering - a BV20 and BV23. I use a Posca Pen to get in the bright highlight that I can't get with my white or cream pencil. I use a black micron pen only on the darkest part of the pupils of the eyes I color. Thats it, really that is it.

Essentials-- I cannot leave home without these items:

  • mono eraser, to erase the tiny areas

  • blending stump - to help me blend my pencil base layer

  • a long and short point pencil sharpener - to create a medium or very sharp point

  • cardboard divider - to use between my papers in my sketchbook

Tips and Tricks:

Use a cardboard divider - I took an old journal planner from years ago that had a nice hard plastic divider that fits perfectly in my sketchbook. I use it when I am drawing in it to keep my markers from bleeding to the next page but also it keeps the book sturdy when coloring in my lap if I don’t have a table.

Keep your markers full - there is nothing more frustrating than picking up a marker that is totally dry or partially dry. Before you go out check the ink level in your markers to save yourself frustration later.

Shake your Posca pen - If you don't use Posca pen often then you will need to shake it before using it because the paint in it will separate and it will need a (really) good shaking. SHAKE with the CAP ON! No one likes sitting next to a person on the plane who shakes without a cap on (I learned this from experience – bet you wonder if I was the one shaking the pen or was splattered by the person next to me shaking a pen without a cap).

I know there are lots of great tips and tricks for coloring while on the road. If you have a good tip share it with me in the comments below. Now, let's get outside and have some fun!

What's happening in the Corner . . .

Do you struggle to get dimension in your coloring? Is it flat no matter what you seem to do? Do you create a base layer of color before you color an image. Join us in the Practice Corner for the month of August as we guide you though practicing coloring for depth and dimension.

If you are reading this after August, don’t despair, you can still explore and practice this technique by purchasing the "Coloring for Depth & Dimension" Technique Practice Pack here.

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