Category Archives: best art supplies for traveling artists

Artists: what are YOUR favorite art supplies to make art while you are traveling?

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In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of making art while traveling. In this blog post, we’ll expand the topic further to tell you about the best art supplies for traveling artists.

Whether you will be flying to Europe to sketch the Roman ruins or plein air painting next to your local fishing spot, the art supplies in this list are all portable and compact – but don’t let size fool you! These art supplies are more than capable of capturing the scenery around you.


Watercolor travel sets, such as Winsor Newton’s Half-Pan Watercolors, are perfect for traveling artists. Watercolors require minimal preparation and clean up, making them ideal for painting-on-the-go.

Aside from the pan of watercolors, all you need are: a paintbrush, a bottle of water, watercolor paper, and a tiny piece of soap for cleaning your brush. Art supply stores sell handy little plastic containers with lids that you can simply fill with water from your water bottle, and you’re ready to paint!

Watercolors are more ideal for travel than acrylics or oils, because they are easier to clean up and they are available in small, travel sized sets. If acrylics or oils are your main media, you can always do watercolor studies on-site and use them as references later for larger paintings in oils or acrylics.

Colored Pencils

Just a few colored pencils can go a long way. You don’t need to bring your entire set of 100 colored pencils the next time you travel – just bring anywhere from 6 to 12 colors, and you’ll be able to capture the essence of your surroundings. As long as you have a small range of different colors, you can mix them to create the colors you need.

Colored pencils are great for traveling artists because they require no preparation at all – simply open your sketchbook, whip out your colored pencils, and sketch away! Clean-up is just as easy.

Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils combine the benefits of colored pencils and watercolors in a single media that is super easy to transport. Like colored pencils, all you need are a few colors of watercolor pencils, and you can mix them together to create endless color combinations. In addition to the watercolor pencils, you’ll need a paintbrush and a small container of water. However, you can also do without the water and just use the watercolor pencils like colored pencils, if you so desire.


Pens are excellent for capturing the immediacy of your surroundings. You can buy artist pens in a variety of colors. They are lightweight and inexpensive, and you can also use them to scribble notes in your sketchbook.

Pens can also be combined with watercolor washes to add color and dimension to a piece.


Even if you only have a pencil and paper, you can make art wherever you are! Drawing pencils are available in sets of varying softness and hardness, so you can also carry a whole range of pencils with you, to help bring the best out of your pencil drawings.

So, artists: what are YOUR favorite art supplies to make art while you are traveling?

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