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Best Travel Art Supplies: Complete Guide for Artists On-the-Go

There is a range of travel art supplies from pens and paints to sketchbooks and mechanical pencils. The best products stand out for versatility, durability, and ease of use, like Multiliner pens that are waterproof and Gouache paints that have a thick consistency.

Best Watercolor Palettes

Imagine this: you're on a plane, suddenly struck with artistic inspiration. But as you reach for your art supplies, you realize they're all back home.

As an artist who loves to travel, I've had my fair share of creative emergencies on the go. That's why I've put together this guide to the best travel art supplies, so you can be ready for anything - even when you're 30,000 feet in the air!

Travel Art Supplies

Best Watercolor Sketchbooks
© Homesthetics - Dylla Setyadji

1. Multiliner Pens

When it comes to creating art on the go, having reliable and durable pens is essential. You don't want to be stuck in the middle of your masterpiece only to have your pen run out of ink or break apart in your hand. That's where the Sakura Pigma Micron Multiliner pens come in - they are the holy grail of travel art pens.

These pens are tough, waterproof, and fade-resistant, and they write smoother than a buttered-up slip-n-slide. With their fine tips, you can create intricate details and sharp lines, making them perfect for sketching and outlining.

In addition to their practical benefits, these pens are versatile. You can use them on a variety of surfaces, from paper to canvas to wood as they are quick drying and deliver greater color consistency by using single pigments. So whether you're creating art on a train, a plane, or in the great outdoors, these pens have got you covered.

2. Gouache Paints

When it comes to travel art, you need a medium that is portable, quick-drying, and easy to use. Enter gouache - the underdog of water-based paints.

Gouache may not be the first paint that comes to mind when thinking about travel art, but it certainly deserves a spot in your art supply arsenal. It is perfect for travel because it dries quickly and can be reactivated with water, making it easy to correct mistakes on the go. Plus, it can be used on a variety of surfaces, from watercolor paper to canvas.

For a hassle-free gouache painting experience, I recommend the Miya Gouache Paint Set with Carrying Case. This brand offers a unique and exceptional set of high quality pigments with a sealing lid, providing a fantastic thick consistency and adding brilliant texture to your artwork. 

3. Mechanical Clutch Pencils

You don't want to be caught in the middle of a picturesque landscape with a broken pencil, or worse, no pencil at all. That's where the Koh-i-Noor Mechanical Clutch Pencils come in. These pencils are like the Hulk Hogan of mechanical pencils because the precise metal barrel and components ensure durability and reliability. Moreover, the built-in sharpener in the cap allows for convenient and easy sharpening on-the-go.

With a built-in metal cap and easily replaceable nib, the Koh-i-Noor Mechanical Clutch Pencils are perfect for any traveling artist who wants to travel light. You can fill your small baggage or pochade box with these fantastic pencils for your next trip.

4. Art Sketchbooks

Traveling artists need to be ready to capture their ideas on the go and that's where a quality sketchbook comes in. The Sketch Book Marker Paper Pad is the perfect option as this 8.3x8.3 inch sketchbook is designed to fit in almost any bag, making it easy to draw wherever inspiration strikes. 

This sketchbook is like a supermodel; it's beautiful on the outside and a workhorse on the inside. The easy-tear pages allow you to start over or share your work with ease, while the paper is durable yet delicate, preventing bleeding, smudging, or feathering for clean artwork. 

Its acid-free paper is perfect for all mediums, including watercolor, acrylics, oil paints, and grey graphite pencils. Hence, the Sketch Book Marker Paper Pad is an excellent option for any traveling artist looking to draw, paint, or sketch their way around the world.

5. Mechanical Pencils

Mechanical pencils are a game-changer when it comes to travel art. Imagine being able to whip out a pencil and start sketching without having to worry about finding a sharpener or a trash can for all the shavings. With mechanical pencils, you can kiss those pesky problems goodbye.

Say hello to your new best friend, the Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils Write Bros. Classic 2 Pencil set! With 50% more lead, a comfortable grip, a sleek design, and a compact size, these mechanical pencils are the perfect addition to any travel art kit.

They also feature a smudge-resistant eraser for clean erasing, while these 0.7mm lead pencils are suitable for home, office, and school use and come in a pack of 24.

6. Watercolor Paint Brush Pen Set 

One of the benefits of using watercolor brush pens for travel art is their portability and ease of use. These pens allow artists to start painting without the need for additional art supplies, such as brushes, paints, and palettes. They are also versatile and can be used to create a wide range of effects, from broad strokes to fine details.

The Watercolor Paint Brush Pen Set includes 25 vibrant brush pens, a refillable pen, a 12-sheet drawing pad, and a protective case. These colors are filled with premium watercolor ink that is perfect for blending, coloring, and all watercolor techniques.

Each pen has a flexible nylon paintbrush tip that allows for both broad and fine strokes, making it easy to create beautiful works of art with ease. They are also non-toxic and washable, carefully crafted for ease of use, and suitable for all skill levels.

7. Travel Palette

One essential item that every traveling artist needs in their travel art kit is a compact and efficient paint palette. It not only saves space but also keeps your paints organized and easily accessible.

But why settle for just any travel palette when you can have one that's like a travel-sized Jacuzzi for your watercolors? Introducing the Mr. Pen Watercolor Paint Palette, an ideal travel palette for artists of all skill levels. 

This airtight watercolor painting palette, made of easy-to-clean sturdy white plastic, features 18 wells and two mixing areas, providing ample space to mix and experiment with different color combinations. The lid keeps your paints secure during transit, preventing any unwanted spills or messes, which makes this set efficient, convenient, and always ready for a good soak.

8. Portable Easel

If you're someone who loves to draw, you know how important it is to have a stable and adjustable easel that can keep up with your creative energy. And let me tell you, the JIUYE Folding Instant Display Telescoping Easel is the ultimate travel easel that can do just that.

This easel is like a ninja; it can take on any position you need for the perfect painting angle with the help of its adjustable easel height and leg distance.

And the best part? It's foldable and portable enough to fit in your luggage or backpack without taking up too much space. Say goodbye to lugging around a clunky studio easel or worrying about your easel not fitting in your hand luggage at the airport.

9. Watercolor Pencils

Using watercolor pencils while traveling can be a fun and rewarding experience. There's something magical about being able to create beautiful watercolor effects on the go, and many artists find that the portability of watercolor pencils makes them the perfect choice for taking their art with them wherever they go. 

One great choice for watercolor pencils is the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils. These premium, fade-resistant pencils are made in Germany and feature water solubility to produce a smooth color stroke. The colors become permanent when dry, and offer terrific consistency. 

10. Watercolor Travel Brush

These nifty little 4 brush set is the perfect companions for your nomadic creative journey. With their compact size, you can easily slip them into your backpack or carry-on without taking up precious space. Plus, the quality bristles made with synthetic sable hair ensure that you'll have a smooth painting experience wherever you go.

But let me tell you, these wooden handle brushes aren't just for drawing picturesque landscapes and cityscapes. I once used my Watercolor Travel Brush to paint my friend's face when we were stuck waiting in a long line for a rollercoaster ride. Talk about multitasking!

So, whether you're off to explore new horizons or simply need a versatile brush for everyday use, the ZenART Watercolor Travel Brush has got you covered. Trust me, this is a game-changer for any artist on the go.

11. Canvas Box

Are you tired of lugging around cumbersome portfolios and bags when you're out and about, trying to capture the beauty of the world around you? Fear not, because the Jjring Dacron Light Weight Art Portfolio Bag is here to save the day!

This versatile and durable shoulder bag with zipper is a must-have for any traveling artist. Not only does it provide a safe and sturdy surface for your posters, sketches, and drawings, but it also keeps them organized and easily accessible while you're on the go. Plus, the double-stitched folding zipper pocket is perfect for catching those pesky little items that always seem to get lost in the shuffle.

12. Dry Watercolor Pans

Dry watercolor pans are a fantastic option for artists who are always on the go. They are easy to transport, lightweight, and have the benefit of being less messy than liquid watercolors. 

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketchers Pocket Box is one example of a high-quality set of 16 satin finish half pans, a kneaded eraser and a pocket brush.

They can be easily stored in a colored pencil case or pocket, making them a great choice for artists who like plein air painting or working outdoors. You can use them with a variety of surfaces, including Moleskine notebooks or other sketchbooks.

13. Promarker

When it comes to travel art, Promarkers are a great choice for artists who want to add bold, vibrant color to their work. They are easy to transport and use on the go, making them a popular choice among artists who love to create art while traveling.

The recommended Promarker for travel artists is the Winsor & Newton ProMarker in Black. Its standout features include two inbuilt nibs, fine and broad. The fine bullet nib is narrower, making it ideal for more precise detailing and line work, while the broad nib is great for quick visuals and filling in larger areas..

FAQs Related To Travel Art Supplies

  • What are some art materials that are easy to carry on a trip?

    Some paint materials that are easy to carry on a trip include travel-sized paint sets, watercolor pencils, sketchbooks, pens, pencils, and an eraser. You can also consider using smaller versions of brushes and a portable easel.

  • Can an oil painter bring their supplies on a plane? Are there any special considerations to be aware of?

    Yes, you can bring oil painting gear on a plane, but there are some special considerations you should be aware of. Make sure to pack them securely in a sturdy box or bag, and check with your airline for any specific regulations regarding the transportation of art materials.

  • Can I use acrylic paint while traveling?

    Yes, acrylic paints are a great option for travel painting. They are easy to carry, dry quickly, and are more versatile than oil paints. You can use them on a variety of surfaces, including paper, canvas, and wood.

  • What is the best way to pack art supplies for a trip?

    The best way to pack art supplies for a trip is to use a sturdy bag or box. Consider organizing your supplies into different compartments or using a specific organizer to make it easier to access the materials you need. Pack any fragile materials securely with padding or bubble wrap to avoid damage during transportation.

  • What medium is best for travel art?

    The best medium for travel painting depends on your personal preferences and the type of artwork you want to create. Watercolors and colored pencils are popular options for their portability and versatility. Acrylics are also a good choice because they dry quickly and can be used on a variety of surfaces.

  • How can I be creative with limited travel supplies?

    To be creative with limited travel art supplies, try experimenting with new techniques or using the materials you have in different ways. You can also try using everyday objects or natural materials as inspiration or incorporating elements of the local culture or environment into your artwork.

  • Tip

    To make art on the go, you can start with a small selection of art materials that are easy to carry. Consider using portable art supplies, such as pencils, pens, markers, or watercolor sets, and bring a small sketchbook or paper. You can also draw inspiration from the world around you and take photos or sketches to reference later.

    Parting Thoughts On Travel Art Supplies
    © Homesthetics - Dylla Setyadji

    Parting Thoughts

    Traveling with art supplies doesn't just mean you get to create beautiful works of art while on the road - it can also be a therapeutic and calming experience. Taking a moment to sit and sketch in a new location can be a great way to slow down, appreciate your surroundings, and connect with the world around you.

    So pack up your art supplies, hit the road, and let your creativity flow! Whether you're sketching on a beach in Bali or painting a landscape in the mountains, travel art supplies are the perfect companion for any adventure.

    Just remember to keep it light and bring only what you need because who wants to lug around a heavy bag of supplies? So go forth, fellow artists, and create masterpieces while traveling.