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How To Make a Travel Art Kit?

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

So you’ve decided to head off on a grand travel adventure and do some travel art journaling in the process. Or, maybe you have signed up for an artist retreat in a gorgeous exotic location. Now it’s time to get packing! In addition to your personal belongings, you’ll want to prepare an artist’s kit that is both complete and portable. We asked the acclaimed Judith Cassel-Mamet, Sketching Spain’s art leader for her tips and recommendations on what materials you should include your travel art kit.

Initial considerations when putting together a travel art kit

First, travelers should consider the length of their trip and the amount of time they hope to spend on their journal pages; will you be working while wandering or just at the hotel in the evenings? Do you prefer to fill your pages after the trip? Finally, what is your style? Do you prefer to use photos attached to your pages or will you sketch the moments? Do you collect every scrap of interesting paper while on your trip or are you a minimalist? Asking yourself these questions will help guide your decision about the materials that you bring and that will take up valuable space in your suitcase.

Judith suggests some materials she usually brings on any trip that will be around 10-14 days long. She prefers to pack light and not carry much during the day. She works on location with sketching, and uses photos for reference to finish her art journal entries back at the hotel or even after the trip concludes.

Field Art Kit: What you take with you during the day

  • Journal (small enough to fit in your daypack) with good quality mixed media or watercolor paper

  • Pencil with eraser

  • Waterproof black drawing pens, variety of points

  • Small travel set of watercolors

  • Water chamber brush

  • Small piece of sponge (for cleaning the brush)

  • Small spray bottle filled with water

*For shorter trips, she suggests just bringing some watercolor postcards or a smaller journal, or using one that you have already started for other trips.

Follow Up Bag (Which stays in hotel)

  • Roll of decorative (washi) tape

  • Glue stick

  • A few watercolor pencils

  • White gel pen

  • A few water based markers

  • Small scissors (infant nail scissors work well)

  • A few plastic bags with zip closures to use for holding any cards or brochures, etc. you might want to add to the journal later on

The most important thing to remember is that if your travel art kit is not portable, you won’t carry it. And if you don’t carry it, you won’t use it, so keep it light! For a complete travel art journal material kit curated by Judith Cassel-Mamet please head to:

About the Author: Erin Van de Hey is a freelance writer, outdoor enthusiast, and wine lover. Connect with her on Instagram and on LinkedIn.

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