Today I am going to begin a tutorial to help you create your own art on your travels. We will begin with the necessities, an art supply list. By travel I mean going any where outside. Go to the park or to the farmer’s market and set up shop, bonus if it’s Thailand. I love painting out in public. I love looking around me and selecting one area that will be my painting, my image capture. Sitting outside and taking things from the scenery and putting them on paper is so empowering and so much for fun than copying a photograph. I do recommend trying to copy a couple of photographs of landscapes to practice perspective and composition.
Painting during your travels takes a lot of prep work. It’s not a matter of just sitting down somewhere and getting to creating. When I am out and about I am always looking for something to paint. What do you like to paint or draw? What looks interesting? What looks like a challenge? What is a personal meaning to you or what would be a good spot to capture a memory? My favorite things are narrow streets, umbrellas, and hilly landscapes. I personally stay away from classic architecture, monuments, or symmetrical things. If it’s a majestic building there is probably a picture of it on the internet and there’s no reason for me to paint it. What I do like to find is little doorways and arches and large broad areas that won’t photograph well. bridges and parks are perfect for this. When there’s a path, a stream and some trees it’s so hard to get them all together in a photo and there’s always just that one dead tree sticking out of the corner of the photo. This is what you stop and paint. Look for a scene that you could make better.
I used to be dedicated to creating the painting. I would stand at the edge of a sidewalk and get covered in mosquito bites just to get that one great piece of art. Now my priorities have changed. Now I want to be able to sit down – bonus if I can sip a coffee or beer as I paint. What I’ve realized is that I love the experience of sitting in one place for an hour and watching the world go by while I make art. It’s this strange juxtaposition of being an outsider and observer but at the same time I’m seeing details and intricacies of a location that I would have never noticed before. I feel so much more connected to the place as I try to paint it.
The key to a travel paint set is lightweight and convenient. Are you walking all day and you might get to paint? Do you really want to carry a tote bag of stuff? I don’t. I end up carrying my husband’s things as well already. I also like cheap so that I don’t have to stress about losing fine art supplies. Also, I don’t take the best care of my stuff, it gets thrown around and smooshed. I don’t even have a place for my brush, it’s just beat up at the bottom of my tote bag but that is what I love about Japanese brushes, they are resilient. Once they are wet they come to the finest point and you can draw or paint with them.
Here’s my art supply list of what I’m carrying now:
- Canson Montval Watercolor 140 lb Cold-Pressed Blocks – 4’x6″ – 15 Sheets
- Jack Richeson Yarka Student Semi Moist Watercolor, Set of 12
- Winsor & Newton Series 150 Bamboo Short Round 6 Handle Brush
- 4H pencil
- Staedtler Mars Plastic Erasers
- Sakura 30062 6-Piece Pigma Micron Ink Pen Set, Black – I only have 03 right now but I’d probably get thicker. I started with 005. It’s really what your drawing style is and preference. I’ve never spent the money on a set but it can be helpful to add interest in changing lines
- ballpoint pen
- Conte Crayon Match Box- Set of 4 Colors right now I’m only carrying the brown.
When I don’t have to worry about carrying stuff I like to have a couple things to play with, sometimes I choose one of these to take out with me:
- Uni-posca Paint Marker Pen – Medium Point – Set of 15 (PC-5M15C)
- Prismacolor Water-Soluble Colored Pencils, 36-Count (Pack of 1)
- Charvin Water-Soluble Pastel Painting Sticks Set of 24
- an 8×10 sketchbook
I like to play and these supplies I experiment with and try different techniques depending on my mood and what look I am going for. Posca markers are my newest toy. I still haven’t really figured them out.
Now you are ready to go forth and paint. If you need a little help on how to make an easy watercolor sketch I will give you a tutorial next week.
Some of these links in the art supply list are affiliate links. I benefit from you purchasing from these links. This is my personal collection of art supplies.