Yesterday I met two young girls, Sarah and Samantha, who skipped school to paint along the river at Natirar. I mentioned that a small spray bottle came in handy to keep watercolor pigment from drying out on their palette. When I arrived home I realized it was time to share the specifics of my travel kit.
No need for two small bottles of water. I usually bring only one, but I want to show both. The brown glass bottle on the left is the misting, spray bottle that I use to keep the paint juicy on the palette. It also works well to spritz the painting for special effects. If I am only using the pockets of my cargo pants to carry my supplies, I usually bring only the smaller bottle, leaving the spritzer and the small red cup at home. I use the cap of the clear plastic bottle to hold water and clean my brush. The spritzer is from a homeopathic remedy I used many years ago. The clear plastic bottle is a hotel shampoo bottle.
The photo shows the supplies opened up and spread out. The moleskin, cold-press watercolor sketchbook measures 3.5″ x 5.75″ closed. It has a convenient pocket in the back where I slip a small color wheel and value chart. The metal enamel watercolor palette is Winsor Newton. I love it. I can snap in several removable pans, both half pans and whole pans of paint. Having the flexibility of changing the color pigments is a huge plus. I can refill these pans with fresh pigment before I leave on a trip. The brushes are travel brushes that come apart. The brush end fits safely inside of the handle end. My mechanical pencil never needs sharpening. I generally use it just for quick guidelines prior to dipping my brush into paint. The fountain pen comes along for the ride, not always used in a watercolor sketch, but never left behind. When I bring my smooth surface moleskin sketchbook instead of the watercolor sketchbook, I often leave the paint behind and use only my fountain pen. The eyedropper is used to dip into the small bottle for clean water to keep the pigment moist if I don’t have my spritzer with me. The red cup is for washing my brush. I always bring along one fresh paper towel.
The supplies fit nicely together to slip into my small canvas bag.
I am not restricted to working in a small sketchbook.
I have painted up to a 16″ x 20″ painting with this same little travel kit.
This little travel kit slips into a knapsack, pocket book or tote bag. Being so small means it won’t be left behind. You’ll find you have opportunities throughout the day, every day, to capture your world in your sketchbook, even if you only have ten to fifteen minutes to do so. Your work will improve dramatically and you will wear a smile on your face.