A Sketcher’s Traveling Kit

I left for a short (4 day) trip to India 2 weeks ago and got back last Friday.

As usual, it wasn’t easy deciding what to take with me. The correct number of shirts, pairs of pants, socks, toothbrush and co. were obviously not the issue. The real pain points were of course: which art supplies shall I take with me?

It will probably not come as a surprise to anyone reading this that I packed too much. Yes, too much, as most of us probably do. But I think some art friends will be surprised in a moment how little I took and still see me planning to reduce it on future trips.

I’ll start out with what I took along, I’ll add a photo of it later. Then I’ll let you know what I’ll take along in future.

  • Lamy Safari fountain pen (F nib) prefilled with De Atramentis black ink
  • empty Lamy Safari (M-nib), with one unopened purple ink cartridge
  • Tombow Calligraphy pen (hard nib)
  • a Kolinsky paintbrush, size 8
  • two containers for water
  • a nib and nib holder
  • a pot of India ink
  • reduced set of 6 coloured pencils (Polychromos)
  • one unused(!) water colour sketchbook (heavy paper)
  • one Moleskine A5 diary (half full)
  • pencil, kneadable eraser, pencil sharpener, pen knife
  • Schmincke watercolour tin for 12 pans (filled with 10)
  • a small Koi waterbrush
  • a sleeve ripped off an old t-shirt
  • a book with reference photos of figures, to practice drawing at night


So, what will I take along in future, based on what I used of the above?

  • a Moleskine diary
  • the magical Tombow Calligraphy pen (hard)
  • the small Koi waterbrush
  • ripped off sleeve of a t-shirt (wraps wonderfully around thumb and wrist)
  • tin of 10-12 watercolours
  • pencil (optional), kneadable eraser (doubly optional)

Wow, that’s pretty simple. That’s basically nothing.
But those were the tools I pulled out all the time.

  • while waiting for the planes arrival at departure
  • while on the flight to India
  • while waiting in the hotel’s lobby
  • while at the breakfast table
  • while watching my colleagues play cricket
  • while practicing poses in the hotel room
  • while practicing drawing lines when the colleagues were bowling


And what did I sketch while I was on my trip?

Ok, there’s one in there with coloured pencils, perhaps I’ll slip the reduced coloured pencils set in too. The pencil case is soooo sweet 🙂 But that’s it! … I promise … I feel myself wanting to add a real paintbrush and a container for water. But if I want to whip the tools out in seconds, and also pack them away as quickly as possible … then they can’t come on the trip with me.

8 thoughts on “A Sketcher’s Traveling Kit

  1. rebecca Feb 13, 2017 / 9:01 am

    I am heading to Venice in 2 weeks….this post comes in very handy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stu-ttg-art Feb 13, 2017 / 9:21 am

      Have fun and get yourself a load of plus temperatures … must be cold in Stockholm now

      Liked by 1 person

      • rebecca Feb 18, 2017 / 9:35 pm

        Actually Stockholm is relatively moderate…but we have had our share of cold and GREY skies!! I am looking forward to sun and cool architecture

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stu-ttg-art Mar 8, 2017 / 6:55 pm

        I’m sorry you weren’t subject to higher temps in Venice while you were there … next time, then!


  2. rosjenke Feb 13, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    Great post and sketches. I pared my travel kit way down for my last trip. On my French trip I took too much stuff. You can see it here.https://instagram.com/p/BIPMhKRDX8J/. My last trip I took just a mini palette, one Uniball vision pen, a waterbrush and towelling wristband, a few double ended colour pencils and 2 very lightweight journals. I attached Velcro to the underside of the mini palette to adhere to the wristband. https://instagram.com/p/BJKgu1ED10g/ That worked out really well for 2 weeks travel sketching and it’s all I’ll take in future.

    Liked by 1 person

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