Every time I travel, more than worrying about what clothes and shoes to pack, I am always anxious about packing my art supplies right. 

I paint almost everyday when  at home and even when I am going out for a couple of days, I like to keep my art supplies in my bag coz you never know when inspiration strikes. Having said that, I cannot possibly pack everything on my desk which is why I figured a couple of  easy-breezy hacks that help me pack light and effectively. 

So, one way to pack right is to balance between the supplies I enjoy working with the most/use the most and the ones that do not take up a lot of space. The normal tendency is to pack everything you can think of, however, it should be the opposite of this. Pack only the essentials depending on what you will be working on, duration of the trip and the place you are travelling to. 


I am traveling to Bangalore for 7 days tomorrow which means I will have a decent amount of time to paint. 

The supplies I am taking with me consist of - 

  1. Moleskine watercolor pocket journal - This has been my absolute favorite when I travel because of its compact size, light weight and the quality of the paper. The paper is thick enough and can hold layers of paints and a lot of water. It has a rubber elastic closure which keeps the pages secure. 

  2. Airtight color palette - Instead of carrying around multiple tubes, I take out a pea-sized paint from my tubes on to the palette and create the colors that I use the most and store them in the palette itself. The palette has a blue rubber on the edge which keeps it airtight and the paints do not dry out too soon. This also prevents dirt from going in and making my paints muddy.

  3. Water brush - To be honest, I am not a big fan of water brushes, but they are a hero when you are traveling. I fill the barrel with water and can really start painting in the middle of a street or even on a flight without worrying about spilling a cup of water.

  4. Paintbrushes - I carry 2 regular paintbrushes, a 000 for details and a size 0\1 for thicker areas. 

  5. Gouache paint tubes- Apart from the paint on my palette, I carry a black and white gouache tube since I use those two colors excessively. 

  6. Lead pencil, eraser - Lead pencils eliminate the need for a sharpener and erasers are a necessity :P

  7. Microns - Size 1 for shadows, details and quick laid back doodles.

  8. Brustro watercolor paper - Lose sheets are great for bigger artworks that won’t fit inside my tiny Moleskine and hardly take any space. 

You know sometimes we get too ambitious and pack everything we can see around us thinking, "oh well, just in case”. I have done that and believe me by the end of my trip I was guilty of not even using half the things that I packed.

Remember, a lot of times too many tools can hinder our urge to take them out, spread everything and start painting and can get messy whereas fewer tools can be handy and take a lot less effort to paint while you are away from your comfort zone. 

I have formed the list mentioned above depending on the kind of artworks I plan to paint and this can vary for each one of you. For example, if you are into doodling or black and white sketching, just a marker, a couple of sketch pens and a notebook might be enough for you.

Keep in mind that starting an artwork on the go and coming back and finishing it is also an option and packing light is always a good idea. 

If you can have any of your hacks for packing light or have any questions, please share them in the comments below :)

April 26, 2019 — Vidhi Khandelwal


Ami said:

Hi V,

I love your work and got myself a planner from TIB. It’s lovely.
I’m passionate about colors and love drawing.
I’m from Bangalore too. The reason I’m reaching out to you is I want to study designing. I am presently doing my MBA.
Also want to pursue in something I am passionate about, can you guide me a good college in Bangalore?
I am not keen in studying fashion as I am more into sketching and coloring. I have flair for it.

Can you please help me?
My number is 7259213381.


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