Building a Travel Kit for Painting on the Go December 7, 2021 – Posted in: Photography

The following is an excerpt from Watercolor with Markers: Learn to Paint Beautiful Creations with Brush Pens by Jessica Mack. 


When the weather is nice you might like to paint outside. Maybe in a park, while traveling, or even in your own garden. In this case you’ll want to pare down your art supplies to just the essentials so you’re not lugging too much around with you. My recommendations for a travel painting kit are:

  • Watercolor Sketchbook
  • Six Markers (red, green, yellow, blue, purple, medium gray)
  • Water Brush
  • Fineliner Pen
  • Mechanical Pencil (with an eraser attached)
  • Paper Towel
  • Bulldog Clip

With these six colors of markers and the ability to mix on paper, you’ll be able to paint just about anything you come across. If you want to really pare down your kit, you can take along just yellow, blue, red, and gray. If you’re planning to paint a city scene, however, you might want to throw in a couple of extra grays and a black.

The bulldog clip comes in handy for clipping down the page you’re working on, especially if there is any breeze at all.

I often used to forget to bring a paper towel when sketching on the go, and then I’d have to scrounge around for a napkin or tissue, neither of which works as well. You’ll use it for cleaning color off your water brush and mopping up any excess water, so it’s a must-have.

Some people prefer to sketch in pencil first. If you’re feeling brave, you could leave the pencil at home and do all your sketching directly in ink with a waterproof fineliner. There is something quite freeing about drawing in ink because you are forced to embrace mistakes and just roll with them. It can really help you loosen up, because it doesn’t allow you to get too precious about things or spend hours getting your preliminary sketch “just right.” So maybe give it a try next time you’re sitting down to sketch something, ditch the pencil and go straight for the ink!