Art Supplies to bring during vacation trip


I got a question on Facebook: what kind of art supplies to bring during a vacation trip? I think that is the hardest thing to pack. I probably take longer to pack my art supplies than I do my entire suitcase. Being that my family lives in Brazil and art supplies are horrendously expensive there, I have to plan carefully — there is it would be difficult or impossible to purchase supplies there.

The container: very important

The first and most important thing is the Supply Box, the container that will carry my supplies. After trying a number of different fancy art containers, I now settle for a small — 8x5x2 inch — tupperware-style box with flapped lid. This not only lightweight, but it protects my supplies from getting wet due to spillage or rain, is very resilient and durable, protecting pens and delicate pencils.

Art Supplies to pack for trip •

Art Supplies: What will “make the box”

Next, comes the hard part, the items that will “make the box”. I spend a lot of time thinking of the supplies I want to bring and it depends a little on the projects I have in mind. These are the ones that “made the box” this time around.


Regular pencils, stumps and waterbrush

I bring two F pencils, preferably some that are already smaller, so if they get lost, I won't suffer too much their absence. I carry three blending stumps, one for black, one for brown and one for white. I also carry a small waterbrush and a mini water spritzer. And finally, a mini tombow eraser pen.

Sharpener (not shown)

I like to carry a sharpener that has a container attached to it to collect the wooden particles of the pencils, so that I don't make a mess on the plane or while waiting around at the airport.

Fine-liners in various nibs and colors

I like to use Sakura's Micron pens, usually 2 01s, 2 browns, 2 plastic nibs, one older 01 for hatching and one in a different color just for fun (blue). You can see how I marked my favorite pen with a red masking tape, it makes it easier to find when the supplies are all packed in the plastic box.

A few colored pencils

I fit as many as I can get, giving preference to black, brown, sanguine (a light rust brown), and some bright colors. Whenever possible I carry watercolor pencils, because they have double purpose. Very important in this kit is the presence of the sanguine pencil, which matches the tan paper and brown pen (renaissance style).

Specialty items: gold and manga pens

I like to choose a few specialty or unusual pens for my trip. You never know when a new pen might inspire you to try something new. On this trip, I brought a chiseled calligraphy pen, two japanese manga-style brush pens, and some golden pens. I usually would not select so many golden pens, but I thought I might try to play with my nieces and nephews with them, so I have three — an unusually large number of gold pens.

White pens and pencils

A very important component in my basic supply kit is the presence of white pencils and gel pens. In this kit you can see 2 white colored pencils. Once again, I tried to find the shortest ones I had, so if they get lost it's not too much of a loss. I also have one single white charcoal pen. I normally carry only one or two white gel pens, but once again, I thought that it would be nice to work with white gel pens over black tiles with my nieces and nephews, so I brought a few more than necessary.

Watercolor brush markers

This time around I brought watercolor brush markers, in colors that were different than the watercolor colored pencils (don't want to double things). I thought these might be easier for my nieces and nephews to use. Normally, I carry with me a small flat kit of peerless watercolors, which fit very flatly.

Papers and more

Next, I decide the papers that will make the box. These are simpler to pack and do not require much thinking. Below you can see some generic black tiles, some Zentangle white and tan tiles, some hotpressed watercolor paper tiles pre-cut in 4x4 inches and also, very important, my mini index tangle sampler. The mini-index is nothing but a small compact 4x6 inch photo album with some of my favorite samplers and recipe cards. I also double up and carry an index in my ipad, but sometimes it's too cumbersome to turn the ipad on to look for a tangle, or there is no internet available.


I divide all the papers into different ziplock sandwich size bags, and slip them into a flat pouch. Then, I store the papers in the flat compartment of my hand luggage with the ipad and the mini sampler, which keep the papers flat.


And that's pretty much it! I hope you enjoyed this article and have safe travels!