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Watercolors and traveling

It takes me forever to pack. Not because I can't decide on the clothing I want to bring. It's always a bigger decision to select a project (or several) to take with me. If I have to spend hours as a passenger in a car or on a plane, I definitely need something to occupy my time and hands. Reading doesn't cut it, nor do movies or television shows. Usually I prepare a few different hand sewing projects or knitting/crocheting items that don't need a whole lot of supplies or take up a lot of space. I always bring a journal with micron pens and pencils for sketching, but for this trip to Spain and Portugal I want to bring along some watercolors. I foresee leisure time on our small ship as we move from port to port and I'd like to take advantage of the light and also capture some of the patterns and sights of the Iberian Coast.

I have been using a variety of watercolor set ups for the last several months. I started with a Koi field box of 24 colors. This would be a nice set to travel with since it is unbreakable plastic, compact, has a travel brush with a water reservoir and 2 areas to mix paints. But I'm

Koi watercolor field box

not sure that it will be enough colors for me, plus, several are running dangerously low. I could supplement with some tube colors, I use primarily Winsor & Newton, but have some Daniel Smith as well:

watercolor tubes

But I'm a little paranoid about them being confiscated or lost and it would be pricey to replace them. I thought I might squirt some pigment out in advance into a folding palette to bring with me, which is how I

watercolor palette

supplement the Koi colors at home. I even bought myself a nice Fusion folding palette. It has a lot of space for colors and for mixing. There's a lift out tray and it has an authoritative snap when it is shut (left two photos). I am also considering bringing my Marabu watercolor set (right two photos.) My brother, Larry Mizrahi, who is a painter and photographer, gave me this set in about 1980 and I rarely used it so there is plenty of paint. I recently tried it out in my tiny Moleskin watercolor journal and I was very happy with the colors and did not feel like I couldn't mix whatever I wanted as sometimes happens with the Koi field set.

Moleskin End of Summer Flowers

As for brushes, I don't have any travel brushes aside from the Koi, but I recently discovered that the little tubes that florists use to keep woody flower stems wet can work to protect brushes. I also have a few brushes that came with their own protectors. I'll bring some watercolor blocks, probably a 4" x 6" in case I want to make postcards to send home (or keep) and maybe a 9" x 12" block, or something smaller. Paper is heavy :( A few pencils and sharpener, eraser and markers, pocket knife (for taking paper off the block but also for the corkscrew!) plus my phone tripod (in case i want to paint from photographs) round out the supplies I'm thinking of bringing. I want enough options, but not so much stuff that if I don't paint I'll feel guilty about packing it all.

pencils, markers & supplies

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