A Simple Packing List Artists (and people like you) will love

Travelling with art supplies can be daunting but we have created a packing list that artists will love to use.

I recently wrote an article on the Freedom of Packing Light. I did find it rewarding to pack so lightly, AND I was determined that I could cut down on my luggage even further, but now I find myself in a bit of a conundrum.

An old flame has been reignited. One I cannot deny! Sorry, I got a bit carried away. Let me explain. I have spoken before about finding art some years ago. Of finding art classes, something for myself with people I connected with. An outlet. An interest. I loved it, but with time and changes in life, I found it difficult to continue. And I didn’t believe I had any significant skills that I could keep practising independently. I needed to be guided every step of the way. And I was OK with that. So it was set aside, forgotten.

Or so I thought. Life changed. I met new people and made new friends. Ironically several of them are artists. And I attended their exhibitions, could appreciate their work, the techniques and styles. I realised I had learnt a lot more than I had thought. And again I loved it, but from afar. Through others.

And then I met artist Kathy Karas and some years later Kathy and I began working together on local painting tours, art escape tours, and then we headed overseas with our Painting Trips. You can see the wonderful paintings Kathy created here on our last trip to Italy.

When we headed to Italy, I had no thought to paint. I had a small sketchbook, some Inktense Pencils and a brush and thought I would try some sketching when we were there. I did and wasn’t fussed by my results. I felt quite deflated really. But I still ended up buying a lovely little travel watercolour set in Arezzo and tinkered away.

We arrived home and time passed by. I started to watch all the wonderful artworks being created by the ladies on the trip. The beautiful colours and images – my memories being captured by others. They were gorgeous, but they weren’t mine. And they never would be. And so I made the decision to start art classes again. With Kathy.

Well after one term with Kathy I cannot believe all I have learnt. How confident I feel to try things myself and am so pleased with what I have achieved in class (even though I grumble my way through – a perfectionist issue I am trying to address). And now the problem I face is finding time to paint at home but a problem I am happy to have now that a passion has been reignited.

So now there is a Christmas List already tacked to the fridge for the family to see (or buy myself as it usually goes) of art supplies I need and want. And of course, now that I am planning the next Painting Trip to Greece I realise I face the issue of packing light.

Here are some simple tips to keep the art supply packing to a minimum and of course, Kathy has some experience in this area, so I have included her recommended packing list.

Travelling with art supplies can be daunting but we have created a packing list that artists will love to use.

Guide to Packing Light for Artists

Use Arches Watercolour blocks. They are a little expensive but well worth it. They are an excellent quality watercolour paper that comes in sealed blocks alleviating the need for a backing board. They come in a variety of sizes. Perfect for Travel.

A great tip from Kathy was to convert your Travel Wallet (given to you with all your documents by Travel Agents) into a portable art supply travel pack – keep brushes, pencil and eraser and any other small bits and pieces you may use.

I have a Pencil Roll, which can also be used for smaller brushes that I will take next time with the essential pencils, erasers and brushes in it.

Travelling with art supplies can be daunting but we have created a packing list that artists will love to use.

Kathy’s Recommended Packing List for Overseas Travel

  • Arches Watercolour Pads in two different sizes
  • Foldable Paint Palette with your favourite colours
  • Additional mixing palette (optional)
  • Set of favourite watercolour brushes
  • Collapsible Water Container
  • Favourite watercolour paint tubes in Ziploc bag – remember to put into checked luggage and seal tight
  • Small Back Pack
  • Collapsible Easel (optional)

You can get Kathy's full Watercolour Materials List here.

Added Extras

  • Watercolour Postcards
  • Travel Watercolour set

These can be easily added to your handbag when heading out for the day sightseeing along with a Ziploc bag with a pencil, eraser and a watercolour brush together with a collapsible water container. That way you can get creative wherever you are.


Travelling with art supplies can be daunting but we have created a packing list that artists will love to use.
Travelling with art supplies can be daunting but we have created a packing list that artists will love to use.




And last but not least your mobile phone to take great photos when you are out and about to inspire future artworks of your trip.

So I guess now it’s back to the drawing board with packing light. Another challenge I am more than happy to tackle.

And the moral of the story is you don’t need to be an artist, or even have any skills, to travel on one of our Painting Trips for a couple of reasons.

  1. Our trips and the destinations are amazing in their own right.
  2. Kathy is an amazing teacher. I have never felt so confident in myself under her guidance.

One of the ladies on our last trip who had never really been too interested in art herself decided to give it a go. She now attends art classes regularly. A fantastic outcome I would say.

If you are creative, share your “must haves” when travelling in the comments below. And if you’re keen to travel with like-minded people to amazing destinations then you might want to check out our Destination Itineraries.

Don't forget to get your Watercolour Materials List so you can get started painting watercolour!

Are you Inspired by Art? Love to Paint or would like to learn? Come with us and see Europe, no artistic skills necessary. Travel, Painting, like-minded people - sounds perfect don't you think?

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