I work across a wide variety of mediums and for this reason I find it rather difficult to decide what to pack when going away for a period of time. Leaving the art materials behind is never an option. As a result I have come up with this solution, which you may find useful. It goes without saying that you would have to adjust to suit your own needs and style, but the intention is to provide you with a starting block.
I keep my drawing materials in a handy box which means that I simply close the lid and everything I need is ready to go. Let’s take a look at what is in the box. You will find a range of graphite pencils as well as charcoal and pastel pencils. I also include charcoal sticks and bars. Some pencils are water-soluble. The PentelAquash Brush goes everywhere I go. There are a variety of erasers and sharpeners and a number of blending tools. An essential tool is my dip pen. My brushes are generally kept separate from this box, but I’ll add a few before I close the lid.
I now pay attention to the paper I take with me. It needs to be a sturdy paper that will be able to withstand washes. I also need something that will be able to hold the granules from the charcoal and pastel pencils. There are a variety of papers on the market to choose from. I tend to take slightly cheaper options for vacations, because I try not to do any serious work when taking a break. If you feel differently about this, you should make sure to take the best quality available on the market. Make sure there are enough sheets in the pad to last the whole holiday.
Although this is certainly enough to keep yourself busy with, I do like to have colour at hand. For this reason I take my set of 72 Derwent Watercolour Pencils. This is non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned. It allows me to work wet or dry and can be used to achieve a variety of results. The colours can be layered to be as vibrant as you like, or you can mute it by applying lots of water.
I always take a bottle of Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Ink with me. I love drawing with ink and will even occasionally paint with ink. I take only one colour. I tend to favour either Black or Antelope Brown. I slip the bottle into an empty gum dispenser to keep it safe. This dispenser doubles as a water container.
I stuff another plastic screw top bottle with old cloths and bigger sharpeners, reducing space. These bottles go into my vanity case with the rest of the bottles I take with me.
Sometimes I will take one more product along that I would like to get better acquainted with. Vacations are relaxed times and I find it easier to experiment with new products when I’ve made up my mind not to ‘work.’ It feels less like a waste of time when there isn’t a heavy work load waiting to be attended to. For this vacation, I packed a set of 24 Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils.
When everything is stacked together neatly, it takes up very little space. I put it right at the bottom of my bag. The bag I use has a hard bottom and it will be safest there. All the soft clothes go on top. It helps that all of my products are in sturdy wooden or tin cases, of course.
Here are some of the things I’ve done while traveling or away from home. This will give you an idea of what is possible with a combination of materials as described above. The first one was done with tinted charcoal.
These two were done with charcoal sticks, charcoal pencils and charcoal bars.
These were done with FW ink.
This one was done with Marie’s Jumbo Cluch Pencil in 4B lead.
This was done with Derwent Watercolour pencils
These are all mixed media projects, combining ink and watercolour pencils.
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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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